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We were at the Peace Memorial park when we heard about this beautiful garden so we grabbed a cab and headed over to Shukkeien Gardens.

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After the peace park, Hiroshima’s Shukkei-en Garden is an oasis of peace and tranquility and one of this famous city’s little-known treasures. Once the home of Emperor Meiji, the gardens were opened to the public in 1940, and, despite being badly damaged by the nuclear attack of 1945, were completely restored and reopened in 1951.

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Shukkeien Garden is about a 10 minute walk from Hiroshima Castle. The name Shukkeien apparently means “shrunken-scenery garden” and the idea is to represent through miniaturization the beauty of nature such as mountains, forests, valleys, lakes etc.

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There is a main bridge that runs across a lake and divides the garden in two. Walking around was so pleasant; everywhere was something scenic including tea houses, bridges, turtles, birds, etc. There are suggested routes around the garden which helped us to better appreciate its beauty. The entire garden is connected by a path which winds around the pond at the centre of the garden with plenty of signs. The path passes through all of Shukkeien’s various miniaturized sceneries. Following this path around the garden is the best way to enjoy Shukkeien

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The beautiful, almost artificial vibrantly coloured flowers set against the backdrop of multi coloured autumnal plumage is almost surreal. It was such an explosion of vivid imagery with arching bridges and secret stone pathways leading to hidden treasure. Cascading waterfalls provide the perfect tone for this quiet space creating a zone of peace, wonder and utter amazement that such beauty exists after the shocking exposure to the destruction at the peace memorial park.

The lake in the middle is filled with koi and turtles that follow you around and come to the shore looking for a handout. One of the prettiest parks I ever visited. Each corner brought to perfection… the way nature intended.

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This serene garden that survived a great tragedy is beautiful and compact; however, it also bears testimony to the tragedy that befell Hiroshima. It has a leaning ginkgo tree which is the only tree that survived the tragedy. There is also a monument to victims of the A-bomb where remains were recovered as recently as 1987.

 

 

The calm and beauty of the garden was a wonderful relief after the Peace Park, which is important to see, but brings into focus the horrors of war. There is also a small coffee shop here, but the garden is really about beauty. I would definitely spend time here. It is also free with ID if you are over 65.

 

 

Set in the midst of a buzzing metropolis and high rising buildings, this time-out space is a must see. The leaves were changing for Autumn which made it a photographers dream.

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