Chikurin-ji Temple and the Makino Botanical Garden, Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku

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October 28, 2016

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A short 20 minute journey on the MY YU tourist bus from Kochi City will drop you at the doorsteps of Makino Botanical Garden and Chikurin-ji Temple.

Entrance to Makino Botanical Garden

The expansive grounds of the botanical gardens are home to around 3,000 different types of flora. These grounds were built in memory of Dr Tomitaro Makino, a renowned botanist who originated from Kochi and has been called “the father of Japanese botany”. Even today, it continues to develop as a centre for plant conservation, research, learning, and as a green oasis for the whole community.

Starting at the main entrance, slowly make your way down the mountain and take in sweeping views of Kochi prefecture and plant life native to Kochi. After a short walk you will reach the north garden. Cherry blossoms and azaleas cover the northern slope in spring and the foilage are covered in hues of yellow and red in autumn.

Greenhouse conservatory and entrance

Inside the greenhouse

The south garden at the lower end of the grounds used to be part of Chikurin-ji Temple and has been designed to complement existing pathways and temple features. In this same garden, the conservatory stands out prominently on the hillside. The inside is filled with vibrant greenery from around the world, including water lilies, tropical fruit trees and even a small pond with fish and a waterfall.

Entrance to Chikurin-ji Temple

Directly opposite the south entrance of the gardens is Chikurin-ji Temple. Chikurin-ji is the 31st temple of the 88 temple pilgrimage of Shikoku.

Pagoda and stairs

The temple structures include a five storied pagoda and a treasure hall. The temple gardens are a perfect example of a beautifully designed Japanese garden – the placement of every stone has been carefully considered. It is easy to see how this is a place of meditation and spiritual refuge.

Pathway in temple grounds

Perimeter walls of the temple and path

Take your time to wander around the temple grounds and head down any number of mossy, vine covered paths.

How to get there:

The My Yu bus is a tourist service that can take you to Makino Botanical Garden and Chikurin-ji Temple, as well as other great sites around the outskirts of Kochi City. Foreign tourists get a 50% discount simply by showing their passports. Purchase tickets for the bus at the tourist information office in front of Kochi Station (price depends on the type and length of ticket purchased).

Information:

Makino Botanical Garden

Address: 4200-6 Godaisan, Kochi, Kochi Prefecture 781-8125

Hour: 9am to 5pm, open every day of the year except 27 December to 1 January

Fee: 720 yen for adults, free for children

Website: http://www.makino.or.jp/index_e.html

Chikurin-ji Temple

Address: 3577 Godai-yama, Kochi-shi, Kochi

Hour: Open seven days a week

Fee: Free admission (there is a fee to enter the Treasure Hall)

Website: http://www.chikurinji.com/ (Japanese only)

Ian Hamilton


My name is Ian and I am Australian. When I'm not eating Ramen I'm either walking around the backstreets of Japan's major cities or running around Japan's many parks. I’m interested in modern art and will go out of my way to see art by Takeshi Murakami or Yayoi Kusama.


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