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Japan loves to devise top three lists, and Okayama City’s Korakuen is held to be one of the country’s three best gardens. Anyone who’s visited will tell you that it’s indeed beautiful, but Korakuen isn’t the city’s only garden, or even its oldest. Okayama is also where you’ll find Tokoen, a garden with a history that stretches back to the early days of Japan’s feudal Edo era. Tranquil and easily accessed by public transportation, Tokoen would make an ideal spot for history buffs and nature lovers looking for a less crowded, quieter urban oasis than Korakuen.
Sadly, though, after roughly four centuries, Tokoen has closed down, and is soon likely to be demolished and replaced with a condominium complex.
Despite remaining in private ownership, for many years the roughly 700-square meter (39,826-square foot) garden was open to the public for a modest 400 yen (US $3.95) admission fee.
Tragedy struck, though, in 2012, when the then-owner of Tokoen passed away. The heirs to the property said they were no longer able to continue operating the garden in its previous capacity, and in May of 2013, entrance to Tokoen became limited to those making advance reservations.
Apparently even this austerity measure was not enough, and on December 3 of the same year, Tokoen closed its gates for good.
Tokoen was never registered as an official cultural property, and as such does not seem to be eligible for any sort of special protection from the local government. With its former owners incapable of serving as caretakers, the land has been sold off to property developers....a multi-floor condominium complex will be built on the site.
originally posted by: AutumnWitch657
t's a shame when city folk loose green spots and especially very old historic sights but it is orprobably expensive to run and will be worth more to the owner to sell off. Apparently this can't be saved by any social demonstration. R reply to: dug88