My original intent of visiting Japan was, well, to experience the country for the first time, it’s food, temples, bullet train and architecture. Traveling to see Architecture is one of my must dos. When I visit a country, I always check the old quarter, what Art Deco structure is present and, if any modernist works are also available, why not. And Kyoto was no exception. Based on my research, Tadao Ando, one of Japan’s and the World’s well respected Architects and winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture (1995) has two works in the city. First is the Times Building and Garden of Fine Arts. I’ve been to both and blogged about these two (please check the links) but it was in visiting the latte that I stumbled into another beautiful spot: The Kyoto Botanical Garden.
When I visited Tadao Ando’s Garden of Fine Arts, you actually have to options: 1) buy the ticket for this interesting garden, or 2) buy one ticket at a special price and you get to visit Ando’s work as well as the Kyoto Botanical Garden. I opted for the second one. Kyoto actually has lots of trees and when visiting the different temples, its well planted with vegetation and has gardens as well so visiting a botanical garden wasn’t a priority. But as I was already there, why not?
Kyoto Botanical Garden was built in 1924, fell in disuse in 1946 and was revived in 1961. It’s a big garden with around 120,000 plants representing 12,000 species and has a land area of 240,000 square meters. The area is divided into several parts like a bonsai exhibit, a bamboo garden, hydrangeas and native Japanese plants and flowers, peonies garden, camellia garden and cherry trees and others. Although I was already too tired of walking, my feet hurt, I did find some great spots to rest.
It was a soothing and refreshing visit. All these greeneries, and colorful flowers. The tall trees, flowering lotus plants and bonsai. It gives you another perspective of Kyoto, a break from the many temples and concrete and buildings. There are lots of birds within the vicinity too and colorful insects flying about. A welcome change. Too bad, I arrived in the afternoon and wasn’t able to visit the conservatory complex as it was already close when I got to it. There, I would have seen the special exhibit on bromeliads, tropical and dessert plants. But never materialized. Instead, I just took photos of the structure which is an interesting architecture in itself.
Kyoto Botanical Garden
606-0823 Kyoto Prefecture
Phone: +81 75-701-0141
This trip was made possible by Philippine Airlines who provided the Manila-Tokyo/Osaka-Manila plane tickets. Check their website Philippine Airlines for tickets and promos. Like their Facebook page and follow them in Twitter.