The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter1. History

Yokuon-en Garden, Tokyo 2

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A steep road of rugged stone steps, in imitation of the Hakone Pass, led to a fine clump of waving bamboos. A horse-ride, about one hundred and eighty yards long, used for equestrian sports, and a shooting range, occupied other parts of the grounds. Lacquer trees and tea bushes lined the sides of these open areas. In other spots were a lotus lake and an iris marsh with a quaint bridge, and arbours for looking down upon the flowers. The "Beach of Autumn Winds" was planted with autumn plants and grasses, such as lespedezas, chrysanthemums, Platycodons, and Eupatoria. A small temple dedicated to Inari, and other shrines in honour of different Shinto and Buddhist deities, were situated in certain parts of the garden; and pear; apple, persimmon, and quince orchards occupied other portions. One of the most interesting objects in the landscape is said to have been a curious old pine tree, whose gnarled trunk and branches, supported on numerous props, extended forty-four feet in one direction and twenty-five feet in another, though its altitude did not exceed ten feet. It resembled the Karasaki-no-matsu, or Pine-tree of Karasaki, one of the "Eight Sights of Lake Biwa." (see Fig. 6)