Gabo-en at Matsumoto Sake Brewing Co., Ltd.Gardens managed

The Matsumoto Sake Brewery in Kyoto's Fushimi area is a company with a long history that has provided premium quality sake for over two centuries since its founding in 1791.

One area of this sake brewery site features a guesthouse called Mangyo-in (Hall of Ten Thousand Sunrises) that was completed in 1954 and a dry landscape garden called Gabo-en(Pleasure Boat Garden). The name Mangyo-in derives from the fact that it took thirty years, or roughly 10,000 days, from its planning until its completion. Likewise, the name "Gabo" means a pleasure boat decorated with various ornaments. The garden was named Gabo-en in the hope that people would look upon it with the same feeling as they would look at the scenery that surrounds a boat.

The entrance area was relocated from Shoden-in, a sub-temple of Kennin-ji Temple once restored by tea master Oda Uraku (1547-1622) after being devastated in the sixteenth century. The temple's beauty and its Jo-an tearoom were renowned during the Edo period (1603-1868). The garden features historical stone items collected by current company president Yasuhiro Matsumoto's grandfather and father collected over nearly thirty years. These include an Oribe-type stone lantern, a Taiko stone hand-washing basin, and an Asuka period (592-710) stone structure used as a foundation stone. There are also famous stones such as Kurama and Kibune stones set throughout the garden.

When looking at Gabo-en from Mangyo-in's tatami mat reception room (zashiki), a dynamic feeling of nature is expressed by the waterfall stone arrangement at the garden's center rear and the dry stream expressed using white sand. Finally, the richly expressive pines, old red plum blossoms, pomegranates, azaleas, moss, and other beautiful plants render a stirring garden scene that soothes visitors' spirits.

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Location: Fushimi-ku, Kyoto
Accessibility: not open to the public, usually
Garden construction period: in 1954

Gabou-en at Matsumoto Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. website

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