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5-Peony Garden 神苑ぼたん庭園

PeonyGarden.jpgのサムネイル画像The Peony Garden is open from New Year’s Day to the middle of February, and from the beginning of April until the middle of May. You may wish to check opening dates with the Shrine since they differ each year based on the flowering of the peonies. You can enjoy amazingly beautiful peonies in bloom in winter as well as in spring. The Peony Garden was completed in 1980 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine.

As you walk around the garden, watch out (on your left hand-side if you enter from the archery course) for a special type of bamboo the stems of which are similar to the shells of turtles. The turtle (and the crane) are symbols of long life in Asia. This bamboo is prized for this reference to long life.

Next door to this bamboo, you will also see a special garden featuring a number of large, strangely-shaped standing stones amongst which peonies are planted. These stones were a present from the Chinese government in 1984. Traditionally, peonies were always planted in China with these famous stones which come from the Taihu Lake in Jiangsu Province in Eastern China. These stones are now protected under Chinese law and may not be exported. This garden was laid out by Chinese workmen along traditional lines.

 

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