Beautiful Autumn Leaves! A Guide to Yoshikien Garden in Nara

Yoshikien Garden is a Japanese garden in Nara that is located in a corner of Nara Park, adjacent to other scenic spots and Isuien Garden. The garden is spacious, at about 8,900 square meters, and has three areas, the Pond Garden, Moss Garden, and Tea Ceremony Flower Garden. We especially recommend going during the fall season, for the beautiful leaves.

About Yoshikien Garden

The place where the garden now stands was once the location of the Manishuin branch temple of Kofukuji Temple, and the Yoshiki River, celebrated in the Man'yoshu, Japan's oldest poetry anthology, runs adjacent to the garden. In the Meiji Era, the land became private property, and in 1919 the current garden and buildings were laid out. Afterwards, the garden became the property of Nara Prefecture and in order to be available for garden appreciation and tea ceremonies, the garden was opened to the public in 1989.

The highlights of Yoshikien Garden

The first highlight is the Moss Garden. As the name suggests, a carpet of Juniper Haircap moss covers the ground, with a gravel path to walk on. The water source for the Moss Garden is said to be the same as that of Tobihino Park at the foot of Mt. Kasuga, and that is why the moss grows so well. If you want to see the moss, we recommend coming in the rainy season, from June to July. The moss will be especially lush. Beyond the Moss Garden is the Tea Ceremony Flower Garden, where you can relax in the gazebo. 

Another must-see is the Pond Garden, immediately to the right of the entrance to the garden. The curved lines of the garden are designed around the original lines of the pond itself, and the buildings are integrated into the design.

Along the path between the Pond Garden and the Moss Garden is a perfect place to view the changing leaves in the Fall.

If you go up the stairs next to the reception desk, then up the staircase to the left, there is a gazebo where you can take in the view of Mt. Wakakusa to the east of Nara Park and the Isuien Garden while you take a rest.

Access to Yoshikien Garden

From JR Nara Station, take the Nara Kotsu Bus Loop Line outside loop bus headed to "Aburasaka-Funabashi Shoten-houmen", ride for about 10 minutes, and get off at the "Kencho-Higashi" bus stop and walk for about 3 minutes. About 15 minutes on foot from Kintetsu Nara Station.

Spot Information

  • Spot name: Yoshikien Garden /吉城園
  • Address:60-1, Noborioji-cho, Nara-shi, Nara-ken 630-8213
  • Access: About 3 minutes from the "Kencho-Higashi" bus stop
  • Language:Pamphlets available in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean
  • Ticket: 250 yen (will change per October, 2019)
  • Business Hours: 9:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30)
  • Holidays: Garden closed February 15th - 28th