An introduction to Yousuien

Letís look at Yousuienís main features. Point the cursor to a feature and enjoy a virtual walk.

The Arkray Head Office and Kyoto Laboratory are located within the grounds of Yousuien.

Arkray Head Office and Kyoto Laboratory

Yousuien-nai, 59 Gansuin-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0008, JAPAN

At this time, Yousuien is not open to the general public.

The main gate was restored when we built this laboratory.

Inari Shrine is on the left and Jyuuni (Twelve) Shrine is on the right. The shrines were dedicated to the divided guardian deities from their main shrines. The Jyuuni Shrine was built by Chojo Gotoh in 1688 and the Inari Shrine was built by Tokuko Minamoto, a lady married into the Gotoh family, in 1827.

The stone lantern in front of the Inari Shrine is called kirishitan tōrō, or Christian lantern. A statue of Virgin Mary making it look like a Budda statue was engraved at the lower part of the lantern. It is said that the statue was buried in the ground and used as a hidden Christian icon in the Edo period (1603-1867).

It is believed that people enjoyed a tea ceremony held in the open air using this arbor as a tea house. The Yousuien was designed to benefit from the beautiful scenery of Mt. Higashi and Mt. Hiei.

A river boat is connected to the boathouse which has a hinoki cypress roof. The boat was restored to be usable when we built this Laboratory. It is said that people used to enjoy the reflections of beautiful scenery on the pond.

The torii gate has a curved horizontal pole on the top of torii. This style is called the Chinese gable torii which is very rare in Japan, and the gate is known as one of the three strangest Torii in Kyoto. The original Torii was presented to the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park in 1868, so this torii was restored when we built this laboratory.

Shichimen Daimyoujin is the goddess said to have sealed the demon's gate in the Minobu Mountains in Yamanashi Prefecture. The demon's gate refers to the northeast and is believed an unlucky direction in Japanese culture. Here in Yousuien, she also protects the northeast part of the garden.

It is said that people used this water for a tea ceremony. Although the well has gone dry, a new deep well was dug for the pond when Kyoto Laboratory was built.

The pond was modeled on Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan. The Horai-jima located in the center of the pond was also modeled on Tikubujima in Lake Biwa. There are multi-colored carps came from Niigata Prefecture. In winter, a couple of ducks also visit the garden.

This white camellia was named "Gisetsu (trick snow)" by Emperor Koukaku, the 119th Emperor in the Edo era (1603-1867) who was also a great-grandfather of Emperor Meiji. It is said that it was named not from the whiteness of flowers, but from the white spots on leaves by which people thought it was covered with snow. This is a second-generation tree.

This is a wisteria noted in connection with Gotoh family, who had owned the Yousuien for a long time. The tree is named Gotoh Wisteria. This tree is a second generation and is said to be about 300 years old.

A tarajo holly tree’s another name is a postcard tree. If you scratch the back side of a leaf with something pointed, it will turn black. It is said that the name of the tree came from the fact that samurai warriors used this leaf as a letter in the period of Civil Wars (1467-1568).

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