Hiroshima Week 7: Shukkei-en

I visited Shukkei-en Hiroshima in March 2014.

Shukkei-en is a beautiful park in Hiroshima. As so much else in the city, destroyed by the bomb, then rebuilt.

It was March when I visited, the weather was getting warmer. It was a beautiful day, sunny, almost no clouds. Still not too varm, but with a jacket I was far from cold.

Wedding pictures at Shukkei-en

Taking wedding pictures.

It was a bit early for cherry blossom season yet, I missed that with a week or so, but the plum blossom season had started and I can’t really see the difference. The blossoms were beautiful. A whole section of the park was filled with blossoming trees, old Japanese men were sitting painting the blossoms, some of them were quite good. In the middle of the park was a large pond, children were feeding the carp. I bought a bag of fish food myself, threw it in the water as we walked along the pond.

Plum blossoms at Shukkei-en

Blossoms

All the time the scenery changed. From grass lawns to bamboo trees, from small bonsai trees to massive trees. The garden did not follow a theme all around, it always changed, always something new.

On a bridgebat Shukkei-en

Me on a bridge.

Shukkei-en was started in 1620, it was built by Ueda Soko, a famous master of the tea ceremony. It was made to be the garden to the Hiroshima Daimyo’s (feudal lord’s) villa. Shukkei-en means ‘shrink-scenery-garden’ and the garden tries to present many miniaturized scenic views. Tradition has it that the lanscape is based on Xihu in Hangzhou, China.

Map of Shukkei-en

Map of the park.

I was there with a girl I had met in Japan, I have to say it was very romantic to walk around the pond in the middle of the park, watch all the different garden arrangements. We spent a few hours just walking around, holding hands, enjoying the view. It was also a quiet place, a nice getaway from the noisy streets of Hiroshima.

Beautiful Shukkei-en

There were many paths through the park.

Highrise behind Shukkei-en

The park in the middle of the city.

The Japanese have mastered the art of making beautiful parks, and Shukkei-en is one of the more stunning parks I have seen. I can only imagine what it would look like in full bloom. During cherry blossom season it must be amazing, and knowing the Japanese, crowded as well.

Bamboo trees at Shukkei-en

Bamboo forest.

The bridge at Shukkei-en

The pond and a bridge.

Shukkei-en

Another picture of the pond.


Read post 8: Never Again.

Read post 6: Okonomiyaki.

5 thoughts on “Hiroshima Week 7: Shukkei-en

  1. Pingback: Hiroshima Week 6: Okonomiyaki, Hiroshima’s Local Speciality « traveltorgeir

  2. Pingback: Hiroshima Week 8: Never Again « traveltorgeir

  3. Jane Hansjergen

    I have read through all of your postings on Hiroshima. I was there with my family back when I was a teenager. It was a very emotional trip for us all, but especially for my father. The reason is complicated and I will tell you about it the next time I see you in person.

    Later, when I was a few years older I had a very good Japanese friend, who suffered from and sadly eventually died from, Leukemia. Her mother had been pregnant with her in Hiroshima when the bomb fell. A strange phenomenon happened that was recorded with a number of pregnant women. The fetuses seem to absorb the radiation, leaving the mothers healthy. The babies were stillborn, or deformed or appeared healthy and later developed various types of cancer. I thought my friend and her family would hate me because I was an American, and the USA had done this atrocious act, which left their lives in ruin…But they welcomed me with open arms and we did so many wonderful things together. We told each other the secrets of our hearts. I taught her how to bake cookies, and she made me a yukata to wear at Obon festival.

    Reading your posts has taken my mind back to rethink about all of there memories.

    On a lighter note, I am so surprised that you are wearing jackets in Hiroshima in late July and early August. That is the same time of the year that my family traveled to Hiroshima when I was young, and I remember it being VERY hot and humid.

    Reply
    1. traveltorgeir Post author

      Thank you for sharing your stories Jane. I was impressed myself of the lack of hate towards the US. The whole focus of the museum was the evil of a-bombs, and nothing about how the US dropped it really.

      As for the jacket, I wad there in March last year, not this year. It wad colder than Norway at the time :-)

      Reply
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