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Beautiful 400-year-old garden in Okayama about to be replaced with condominium complex

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posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 08:40 PM
I found this online and thought I'd share it. There's a lot of this kind of thing happening in my city.

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.

Apparently the garden wasn't well known and the local government didn't do much to advertise it. There wasn't much effort put in to save it. I guess the space is too valuable. It's sad but I suppose there's money to be made. I hope, at least ,that the development that goes in isn't shoddy like most condos and townhouses that get put up.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 08:51 PM
I love Japanese gardens. My own is influenced by Japanese gardens and the colonial gardens of this part of Virginia. I added curved beds a,water feature and I made topiaries out of some very old boxwood bushes. Anyway I digress. It'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

edit on PMu31u0773052312014-07-23T20:52:02-05:00 by AutumnWitch657 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 08:58 PM
Here is a video reminder of the garden. It's sad that it has ended this way.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 08:59 PM
It's just sad really, Some rich guy should buy it and preserve it. I totally would.
A beautiful place, I'd love to be it's gardener.
edit on 23-7-2014 by Fargoth because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:00 PM

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

Yeah it seems like the original owner was the one that was able to maintain it as a public space but after he passed on the heirs weren't able to keep it up and I guess space is a premium in Japan. It's just too bad it seems like with a little awareness of what was happening there might have been interest in saving it, but no one ever really knew what was happening.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:01 PM
a reply to: dug88

This kind of thing is so infuriating. This breathtakingly beautiful garden should be preserved for future generations to enjoy. I understand that the people who own the land have the right to do with it as they wish, but come on!

There are 220 trees in my neighborhood that the city is planning to cut down, out of the 590 that line the street. This beauty was lost last Thursday.

edit on 23-7-2014 by Jennyfrenzy because: fix image

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 12:19 AM
And once again man wins over nature. So very sad. That place looked so tranquil, so beautiful, a safe haven.
What building could ever compare?

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 02:28 AM
It's not even mentioned on Google maps. Somebody should really put up a label saying where it is.

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 02:58 AM
Japan construction industries will pave over every gaddamned thing if left unchecked ,I took the Shinkanzen a week back from Fukuoka to Osaka and while I didn't count I swear more than half the rivers and wet lands were surrounded by concrete , Japan is a very scenic place but they can't help themselves into not managing nature and I am saying this as an urbanite. one Ainu man said
The Japanese like to take care of nature but we the Ainu let nature take care of us .
edit on 24-7-2014 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)

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