Oasis of Kumamoto in Japan: Suizenji Garden

Suizenji Garden is one of the standard tourist attractions of Kumamoto City area. The pond in the center is formed from a clear spring. The garden has the serene atmosphere of a clear day during Edo Period.

About Suizenji Garden

Officially known as Suizenji Jōjuen Garden, it is a Japanese strolling garden which visitors can enjoy the beautiful landscape at different angles while strolling around the garden. The pond is formed from the underground water spring of Mount Aso. The first feudal lord of Kumamoto liked the clear water of the garden and started a tea house. It is only until the third generation feudal lord that the garden is completed.

Izumi Shrine and Chōju-no-Mizu (Water of Longevity)

The Izumi Shrine in Suizenji Garden is a shrine dedicated to former feudal lords of the area. There is a Chōzuya, a place for ritual cleansing of hands and mouth before praying at the shrine, The stone used for the Chōzuya is named "kesa" by a previous feudal lord.

Beside the Chōzuya is an underground spring of Mount Aso known as Chōju-no-Mizu or Water of Longevity. The water in Chōzuya is the same as Chōju-no-Mizu. Famous poets had wrote poems and songs to praise the water.

Events in Suizenji Garden

Suizenji Garden is managed by Izumi Shrine, so Shinto rituals are performed regularly at the garden. Every spring and autumn, there will be a Noh stage and a ritual called Yabusame. Yabusame is an ancient archery ritual which the "warrior" shoots an arrow while riding a horse to celebrate or pray for a good harvest. In summer night, there is a bonfire festival with Noh theater.

Traditional Sweets and Tea in Suizenji Garden

The tea house Kokin Denju-no-ma in Suizenji Garden was built 400 years ago. A unique traditional sweet, Kaseita (originated from the Portuguese word Caixa da Marmelada) and matcha green tea are available for sale.

Admission and Hours of Suizenji Garden

The ticket costs 400 JPY for high school students and above, and 200 JPY for children or students middle school and below. From March~October, the garden opens from 7.30am-6.00pm, while during November~February it opens from 8.30am-5.00pm.

Access to Suizenji Garden

From Kumamoto Airport, take the limousine bus to Kumamoto Transportation Center (50 mins), and proceed to the Karashimachō Tram Stop. Board the Tram System A bound for Kengunmachi and get off at Suizenji Kōen Stop (25 mins). If you depart from Kumamoto Station, board the Tram System A bound for Kengunmachi and get off at Suizenji Kōen Stop (35 mins). You may also board the JR Hōhi Main Line Train from Kumamoto Station. get off at Shin-Suizenji Station (8 mins) and transfer to the Tram System A bound for Kengunmachi to Suizenji Kōen Stop (3 mins). Suizenji Garden is approximately 4 minutes walk away from Suizenji Kōen Station.

Spot Information

  • Spot name: Suizenji Jōjuen Garden
  • Spot address: 8-1, Suizenji Koen, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, 860-0956
  • Access: 50 mins from Kumamoto Airport to Kumamoto Transport Center via limousine bus, proceed to Karashimachō Tram Stop, transfer to Tram System A bound for Kengunmachi, 25 minutes from Karashimachō Stop to Suizenji Kōen Stop. 35 minutes from Kumamoto Station via Tram System A bound for Kengunmachi to Suizenji Kōen Stop, or 11 minutes from Kumamoto Station via JR Hohi Main Line to Shin-Suizenji Station then transfer to  Tram System A bound for Kengunmachi to Suizenji Kōen Stop. Suizenji Garden is approximately 4 minutes walk away from Suizenji Kōen Station.