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Murin-an Garden

Name 無鄰菴 / Murin-an Garden
Adress Nanzenji Kusagawacho31, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 606-8437
Hours Open 9:00~17:00
Admission Adult   410 yen
University  410 yen
High school  410 yen
Junior high school  410 yen
Elementary school  410 yen

Murin-an (無鄰菴) is a Japanese garden in Kyoto, built by political and military leader Yamagata Aritomo between 1894 and 1898. It is an example of a classical Japanese promenade garden of the Meiji Period.

Yamigata Aritomo was an important figure in the politics and military affairs of the Meiji Period. Born into an old Samurai family and devoted to military affairs, he traveled to Europe in 1869 as part of a delegation of experts to study the Prussian Army, and when he returned he helped re-organize the Japanese Army on the Prussian model. He became Minister of War in 1873, and was twice Prime Minister of Japan, from 1889 to 1891 and from 1898 to 1900.

The completion of a canal between Lake Biwa and Kyoto provided a plentiful source of water for the area around the Nanzen-ji temple domain in Kyoto. Yamigata who was a great lover of gardens, purchased land in the area and made plans to build a villa and garden using water from the canal. He began work in 1894, but stopped in 1895 to conduct a war with China. He resumed work when the war was finished, with the help of the notable garden designer Ogawa Jihei (1860-1933), also known as Ueji, who had built the garden of the recreated Kyoto Imperial Palace nearby. In addition to the garden, he built a tea house, a traditional Japanese house, and a modern western-style house, complete with a lawn in the English style, added in 1898.


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