For Japanese garden lovers coming to Fukuoka the Ōhori Park's Japanese garden is a must to go but there are also other small hidden gardens in the city such as the one I will present you today: Rakusui-en (楽水園) .
Located between the hakata station and Canal City Hakata shopping mall, Rakusui-en is a tiny, well signposted but almot ignored little Japanese garden. It is set back from a busy street, hidden behind high traditional walls. Before being opened to the public, the garden was part of a mansion dating from 1906 and it was opened to the public in 1995, taking the name of Rakusui-en ( "rakusui" was the pen name of the original owner and "en" means "garden") . Indeed, it really feels to enter someone's home ! If the door was not wide open I would have been certain of being in the wrong place .
After being relieved of 100 yens (80 yens if you have a coupon, see bellow) we walk a few steps before discovering a small pond where are swimming multicolored carps, few lanterns, a small waterfall, maples trees and other well trimmed bushes and stone paths The Rakusui-en is also one of the best places in town to look at the Hakata-bei (博多べい), traditional walls of the ancient city of Hakata, made of falls stone and tiles assemblement : nothing is lost ! They particularly fit with the Zen atmosphere of the garden and it's always fun to spot weird shaped stones .
There is also a room that is used for the tea ceremony (once per day, 1150 yens) or take a snack consisting of a small Japanese sweet and green tea (300 yens), but as I don't like tea, I never went. Instead, I like to sit on a bench to enjoy the quiet atmosphere and watch the carp swimming. They go too far? Just call them by clapping your hands for them to come back at full speed. Unfortunately it is not possible to feed them.
This garden is really tiny, everything can be seen in less than 15 minutes but it is quiet and a kind of charming place, one of the numerous Fukuoka charms. I recommend it if you have few hours in the city. I am looking forward your comments !
Phone number :
Opening hours :
From 9am to 5pm, closd on Tuesdays (closed on Wednesday if Tuesday is a national holiday).
Adult : 100 yens (80 yens with the Fukuoka City Visitor's Guide coupon)
Children : 50 yens (until 12 y/o), free (for 6 y/o and less)
Accès depuis la gare de Hakata:
10 minutes by foot of 5 minutes by bus (lines 6, 6-1, 100, get of at TVQ mae (TVQ前)) then 2 minutes by foot.
Access from Tenjin :
15 minutes by bus (line 100, get of at TVQ mae (TVQ前)) then 2 minutes by foot.