Sankei-en Yokohama, Japan

Sankei-en (三溪園 Sankei Garden) is a traditional Japanese-style garden in Naka Ward, Yokohama, Japan, which opened in 1906 Sankei-en was designed and built by Tomitaro Hara (原富太郎 1868–1939), known by the pseudonym Sankei Hara, who was a silk trader Almost all of its buildings are historically significant structures bought by Hara himself in locations all over the country, among them Tokyo, Kyoto, Kamakura, Gifu Prefecture, and Wakayama prefecture Ten have been declared Important Cultural Property, and three more are Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan designated by the City of Yokohama Badly damaged during World War II, the garden was donated in 1953 to the City of Yokohama, which entrusted it to the Sankeien Hoshōkai Foundation (三溪園保勝会) Sankei-en was then restored almost to its pre-war condition

Sankeien Garden is a spacious Japanese garden created by Sankei Hara, a successful Yokohama businessman who had built a fortune through his silk business The garden is approximately 175,000 ㎡ in space and is located on land facing Tokyo Bay The construction started in 1902 and took 20 years to complete Sankeien is comprised of two gardens;the outer garden that became open to the public in 1906 and inner garden that was for Sankei’s private use Being in perfect harmony with the 17 historic architectural properties (temples or buildings associated with historical figures,etc) gathered from areas such as Kyoto and Kamakura, the garden provides delightful scenery that changes according to the season Sankei was also known for his contacts with artists and literary figures Sankeien Garden served as a place to develop modern Japanese culture including art, literature and Chanoyu (or the tea ceremony ritual)

Next to the entrance, the Kakushōkaku (鶴翔閣) was formerly the private residence of the Hara family Today it can be rented by the public and used for meetings and parties It is one of the three buildings on the premises designated as Tangible Cultural Properties by the City of Yokohama Only during the summer, the Kakushōkaku is open to the public

Sankei Memorial:
Located immediately after the Kakushōkaku, the Sankei Memorial (三溪記念館) was built to introduce the public to the garden and its creator through exhibits, images and works of art A Gifu Prefecture native, Hara was the eldest son of Yanaizuchō village’s headman From childhood he liked and studied the fine arts, Sinology and poetry, finally beginning formal studies in 1885 in what is now Tokyo’s Waseda University After graduation, he became a teacher at the Atomi School for Girls Born Aoki, he changed it later after marrying one of his students and being adopted by her family He became the head of the family trading business and was very successful After moving to Sankei-en’s present location in Honmoku, he started collecting old buildings, rebuilding them in his garden He then decided to open the garden to the public for free in 1906

Outer Garden:
The Outer Garden, that is, the area next to the Main Pond, was the first part of the garden to open to the public in 1906 The buildings it contains are Tōmyō-ji former three-storied pagoda, a tea room called Rindō-an (林洞庵), a tea hut called Yokobue-an (横笛庵), Tōkei-ji’s former butsuden (旧東慶寺仏殿) and Tōmyō-ji’s former hon-dō (Main Hall) (旧燈明寺本堂)

Tōmyō-ji’s former main hall (Important National Cultural Property) was brought here from Kyoto and is an example of Muromachi period (1336–1557) architecture Bought in 1988, it was completely restored with intensive work of restoration and reconstruction that lasted five years

Tōmyō-ji’s former three-storied pagoda (Important National Cultural Property) is visible from any point of the garden and is its symbol It was moved to Sankei-en in 1914

Tōkei-ji’s former butsuden (Important National Cultural Property) used to be the main hall of a Rinzai Zen temple in Kamakura Its structure and name are typical of that sect It was bought and moved to Sankei-en in 1907

Former Yanohara House:
The Former Yanohara House (旧矢箆原家住宅) used to be the private home of an Edo period (1603–1868) wealthy family, the Yanohara It is the only building whose interior is open to the public all year It was brought here from Gifu Prefecture’s Shirakawago, an area listed among the World Heritage sites The house contains the original hearth, bathroom and kitchen used by the Yanohara The second floor houses an exhibition of Japanese folk articles

Inner Garden:
The Inner Garden, north of the Main Pond, was opened to the public in 1958, and was until then the Hara family’s private garden Its buildings are the Gomon Gate (御門), the Hakuun-tei (白雲邸), the Rinshunkaku (臨春閣), Tenzui-ji’s former Jutō Ōidō (旧天瑞寺寿塔覆堂), the Shunsōro (春草廬), the Kinmokutsu (金毛窟), the Gekkaden (月華殿), the Tenju-in (天授院), the Chōshūkaku (聴秋閣), and the Renge-in Only during the summer, the Rinshunkaku and the Hakuun-tei are open to the public