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Photo By: PIXTA/ kazukiatuko
Region
Shikoku
Island
Shikoku
Largest City
Matsuyama
Population
1,493,126

Nanrakuen Garden

Learn about what the biggest garden in Shikoku has to offer.

By Elizabeth Sok

Opened in 1933, Nanrakuen is a sprawling traditional Japanese garden that covers over 150,000 square meters of land, the largest of its kind on the island of Shikoku.

If you have a chance to visit in all four seasons, this lush garden promises differing glorious flora each time.

The Grounds

Nanrakuen

Photo by: PIXTA/ Liccat Take a stroll and appreciate the garden from different vantage points

Nanrakuen is a chisen kaiyu shiki style garden characterized by large ponds around which visitors can stroll and appreciate the surrounding landscape from different vantage points. These gardens tend to house many kinds of trees and flowers that bloom at different points of the year, like dogwood trees, Japanese camellias and azaleas. This collection of plant life makes for unique sights and sounds that depend on when you visit. As you make your way through the garden on the walking paths around the ponds stop from time to time to look around and take in the scene.

Power Spots

Nanrakuen

Photo by: PIXTA/ kawayasu Kougei Bridge offers good luck.

In Japan, power spots are places or objects in nature believed to be imbued with a strong spiritual force. Often linked to Japanese mythology, these spots can be found throughout the country and are often visited by those seeking physical and mental rejuvenation or good fortune. Nanrakuen has three power spots for you to discover.

Where the water separating the ponds narrows, you’ll find Kougei Bridge with its 12 round posts. One of these posts has an amulet said to come from Izumo Shrine which offers good luck and a wish to those who touch it.

The Stone of Hope is surrounded by trees on the Manyo Path and houses a jizo, a statue of the Buddhist guardian of children. Looking at it will make your dreams come true.

Finally, check out the two stone carp resting side by side devoted to love and kindness. Some people hope that by rubbing their eyes, their dreams will be fulfilled.

Seasonal Fun

Nanrakuen

Photo by: PIXTA/ kazukiatuko See 250,000 irises in full bloom.

Nanrakuen has plenty of blooms to see all year round. If your trip is in the winter, you can catch the plum blossoms and savor the plum drinks for sale to beat the February chill. Stop by in the spring to see the 80 cherry trees exploding in pinks and whites starting from the end of March or marvel at 250,000 irises consuming the ponds and walkways from the middle of May to the beginning of June in the year’s largest event.

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

The garden is open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. every day except for Dec. 29–Jan. 1.  

For adults, admission is ¥310 and for high school students and younger it’s ¥150. Meanwhile, senior citizens can enter for ¥160.

How To Get There

Address

By train

From JR Uwajima station on the Yosan and Yodo Lines, take a 40-minute bus ride heading towards Fukura and get off at Chikae bus stop.

By car

Take National Highway 46 for Nanrakuen and exit at Prefectural Road 37 to access the garden.


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