"Koko-en," also known as “Koko-en Garden,” in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture is a Japanese garden built on the ruins of residences' garden of Himeji Castle. Composed of nine Japanese gardens, the premises makes use of the remains and ruins of the residences and passages found during construction. Taking in the magnificent view of the traditional Japanese garden and the World Heritage Site 'Himeji Castle' is highly recommended.

The Ruins of Himeji Castle West House Garden "Koko-en"

Koko-en is a Japanese garden with a total area of 3.5 hectares built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the municipal system. It opened in 1992 as a place of cultural exchange that also served as conservation and utilization of cultural assets. In the excavation survey at the time of maintenance, the remnants such as the Western house, the samurai residence, and the passage constructed in 1618 were confirmed. The garden consists of large and small garden groups, a grove trail, and a plaza that makes use of the confirmed historic remains of the residence and passages.

Garden Layout

The garden consists of nine gorgeous gardens and garden passages, the symbol of the garden, as well as a full-fledged tea room. This garden features a pond and a connected stream (the garden was created mainly around the pond and its surrounding park) and borrows a scenic view of the World Heritage Site and National Treasure, Himeji Castle. The garden, with its rich primitive forests in the Nishinomaru area of the Himeji Castle as a landscape, creates an elegant area with a harmony of history and nature.

Spot information

  • Spot name: Koko-en
  • Street address: 68 Hommachi, Himeji-shi, Hyōgo Prefecture 670-0012, Japan
  • Access: From JR Himeji Station, take the Shinki bus and get off at the "Himejijo O-temon-mae" stop. From there, it’s about 5 minutes on foot.

Places of Interest in Koko-en

"Oyashiki Park," which includes a pond and a surrounding garden course, is the largest Japanese garden in Koko-en Garden. The beautiful colored carp swimming in the pond, along with a view of the primeval forest of Himeyama, make this a prime photo spot. The "passage" has a beautiful curve in the middle of the path, which is characterized by a pleasant sound similar to that of a drum when crossing. From the path, you can enjoy a wide view of the seasons from left to right. "So-juan Tea House" is a full-fledged tea room built facing towards the castle tower of Himeji castle. You can enjoy green tea and confectioneries for a 500 yen tea fee. There is also a restaurant in the garden where you can enjoy meals and tea ceremony while viewing the beautiful garden. Set menus such as tempura, soba, bowl and so on, are available.

Koko-en Garden Hours

Opening hours are from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (admission until 5:30 PM) during the period from April 27 to August 31. For the period from September 1 to April 26, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (admission is until 4:30 PM). The holidays are December 29 and 30. Also, please be aware that the opening and closing time may be changed due to events, etc. Admission fee is 300 yen for adults and 150 yen for children (elementary, junior high, and high school students). There is also a ticket that includes Himeji Castle: for adults, the charge is 1040 yen, and for children (elementary and junior high and high school student), 360 yen.