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July 13, 2018 - Hidden Honshu: Matsue's Gardens
For my first day in the Chugoku region of Honshu, I picked up a car in Fukuyama and drove around 200-300 kilometers to view some gardens in the general Matsue area. My first garden which is not that well known is the Tottori Flower Park. This large park costs 1000 yen for Japanese to enter or 500 yen for foreigners with a passport or ARC. Note that entrance is cheaper in winter.
This park is roughly 30-40 kilometers from Matsue and is quite large. It's unique design also allows for you to visit the park if it is raining as there are a large series of walkways.
The garden itself has many different sections with what is planted changing depending on the season. There was also a large Sakura section which I missed due to the heat and not viewing and flowers in July.
One of my favorite parts of the garden is the flower fields. There is also a nice view of Mt Daisen if the weather is clear.
Another garden which is quite famous in the area is the Adachi Museum of Art which often wins the best garden in Japan. It costs 2300 yen to enter or 1,150 yen for a foreigner. I originally visited in January 2014 but decided to not revisit as the gardens are nice but are very clinical. The artwork is also not really my cup of tea as well.
One of the biggest disappointments with the Adachi museum is that you cannot walk around the gardens. I'm just making everyone aware and many people try and take photos from the same location.
The last garden that I visited today was Yuushien Garden which was highly recommended to me by other people in the JG forum. This garden is located roughly 15 kilometers from Matsue City and can also be reached by bus. It costs 800 yen to enter or 400 yen for foreigners.
Many people go to visit the Adachi Museum because it wins all of the awards, but for me I found Yushein much more enjoyable and it's probably one of the premier gardens in Japan. It's distance from the shinkansen and lack of age is why it's not as widely known internationally.
This garden is mainly known for it's winter Peonies - with one refrigerated section allowing you to get a taste for what they look like in winter.
It's pretty obvious that this garden looks quite spectacular, but I don't think that many people have noticed a large amount of work occurring out the back where a large number of hydrangeas over a large area have been planted. These plants are not at the right age yet - but in 5 years with how these gardeners work it will be a sight to behold.
It's fair to say that Matsue has some great gardens in it's general vicinity. The town itself is also quite nice and is worth a visit as well. My next post will be from Yonago which is where I am staying for the night. Note that it's a bit of a disappointing post compared to this post and upcoming posts.
Tottori Flower Park: http://www.tottorihanakairou.or.jp/en/
Adachi Museum of Art: https://www.adachi-museum.or.jp/en/