The Westin Miyako KyotoGardens managed

Aoi-den Garden

Aoi-den Garden

Aoi-den Garden

Aoi-den Garden

Aoi-den Garden

Aoi-den Garden

Aoi-den Garden

Aoi-den Garden

Kasui-en Garden

Kasui-en Garden

Kasui-en Garden

Kasui-en Garden

Kasui-en Garden

The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto lies not too far away from Kyoto’s Nanzen-ji Temple and in the background features Mt. Kacho, which is also the honorific mountain name (sango)* that is prefixed to the name of Chion-ji Temple, the head temple of Jodo (Pure Land) Buddhism.

The Miyako Hotel, which has long provided accommodations for many well-known figures, including guests of state, was first born as Yoshimizu-en Garden in 1890 to coincide with the Lake Biwa Canal’s opening and the Emperor Meiji’s attendance at the opening ceremony. In 1895, when the Fourth National Industrial Exposition was held in Kyoto’s Okazaki region, Yoshimizu-en Garden took hold as a famous spot beloved by many among the culturati, with painter Tomioka Tessai visiting and selecting “Eight Scenic Views of Yoshimizu,” which were then painted by fellow painter Taniguchi Kokyo. In 1899, a full-scale hotel facility was constructed and the hotel’s facilities were further expanded after being renamed the Miyako Hotel in 1900 and many foreigners began staying there. In 1907, it became the flagship hotel of Dai Nippon Hotel Co. Ltd and, in 1915, Miyako Hotel Ltd., which still exists today, was established to continue this role.

Sitting on the slope of Mt. Kacho, where it makes maximum use of its panorama view of Kyoto City, and featuring many buildings designed by renowned architect Murano Togo, the Miyako Hotel is not just a hotel, but a famous Kyoto spot beloved by many.

WIth over 100 years of history, the Miyako Hotel has built several gardens up until the present day. Here, however, we shall introduce the Aoi-den Garden created by Ogawa Jihei VII (also known as Ueji) and the Kasui-en Garden created by Ueji’s son Yasutaro (also known as Hakuyo), both of which are registered Places of Scenic Beauty of Kyoto City. Please read below for details about these two gardens.

Aoi-den Garden

The hotel’s main dining hall, featuring the Aoi-den (or Hollyhock Palace) facing the garden, was built in 1915. A fully developed garden was created in 1933 by Ogawa Jihei VII (Ueji), who created gardens not only in Kyoto, but throughout Japan.

From its very beginnings, Ueji was involved in creating gardens for the Miyako Hotel. In particular, however, he continued creating the Aoi-den Garden until just before the end of his life. It is quite literally his final work. Not only does it have characteristics of Ueji’s gardens in each of its areas such as tree groves focusing on maples and the use of the Lake Biwa Canal for dynamic waterfall stone arrangements using mountain slopes and stone designs with geological strata that stand out used in streams and ponds. It is also an invaluable work that shows how tirelessly Ueiji worked at garden creation until the very end of his life. Our company has been working toward preserving this garden’s original form, particularly with respect to its waterfall stone arrangement, which is named Kumoi no Taki (“Sky Waterfall”), and also through overall garden repairs made on its artificial mounds, garden path, and other features.

Kasui-en Garden

Kasui-en was first built in 1926 as Kiju-an, the vacation home of politician Kiyoura Keigo (1850-1942). Because Kiju-an was later rebuilt by architect Murano Togo into Kasui-en, its garden continues to be known as Kasui-en Garden today.

This garden was created by Ueji’s son Ogawa Yasutaro (also known as Hakuyo). Hakuyo excelled particularly at using stone and stone objects. He passed away after Kiju-an was finished, coinciding with the change in reign era from Taisho (1912-26) to Showa (1926-89).

This is a precious garden that focuses on two waterfalls that uses exposed bedrock in its natural form and features Japanese maples, Japanese andromedas and azaleas, thus carrying on Ueji’s technique while also making plain the style of Hakuyo, who created gardens from a design perspective that differed from Ueji’s.

*Sango: Because historically many Japanese temples have been built inside mountains, mountain names have often been used as honorific titles coming before a temple’s name.”

Share on social media
Line Pinterest

Location: Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Garden construction period:
Aoi-den Garden: (in Showa era)
Kasui-en Garden: (in Taisho era)

Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto website

Page Top ▲