Oyakuen: Aizu-Wakamatsu's Beautiful Japanese Garden
Through these gates, a somewhat unique Japanese garden awaits. Like everything else "worth seeing" in Aizu, there's a bus stop right outside!
So what makes this garden so unique? Head to the left once you enter the gardens themselves.
Instead of seeing a traditional Japanese landscape garden, this portion has a collection of plants - a traditional Japanese herb garden!
I'm not sure what these giant-leaved plants are, but there's a small patch of them in front of the building you saw a couple photos ago.
This portion of the garden has lots of unique flowers and on a nice sunny day, they were perfect for photographing.
Another patch of plants with these berry-like plants. This one is still young, not quite ripe.
The berries are starting to drop from this one.
And this plant's fruit is all gone.
There are some roses here.
I think there's corn, somewhere in there.
This flower was really neat. It's waxy and cup-like.
Looking down the path.
Obviously, I spent about half of my visit at this garden in the small herb section.
One last photo in this section, before I headed into the landscape garden.
Choose thy fate. I went right, then followed the lake clockwise.
Speaking of the lake, there it is. With a teahouse on an island.
This garden is really gorgeous, with a nice mix of large trees, shrubs, and rocks to make a very natural feel.
Like most landscape gardens, each section of the park has a different feel.
Go around a bend, see a different view! This park has a stream with a waterfall of sorts.
The tea house is for display; I don't think they actually serve tea at this one. I would love to bring a book, sit in the house and just relax for a couple hours.
There's a dry stream bed, too. I don't recall seeing one of these in a garden before.
Across the water.
There's a small non-traditional garden in a back corner. I think this flower was back there.
The duck says hello!
Oyakuen is a smaller park overall, but it's still certainly worth a visit for the fantastic views.
The ducks agree.
Oyakuen is unique due to its dual-style approach; however, the two gardens are well-separated and feel like separate worlds. The Loop Bus stop is called Oyakuen, right outside the front gate. Admission is 310 yen, but apparently you can buy a ticket that also includes Tsuruga Castle and Rinkaku Teahouse for 700 yen. I didn't see that option at the castle. Hours are 8:30 to 17:00.