Inaka Lifestyle

Japanese Garden Hidden Gem: Garyu Sanso Ehime Garden

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A Beautiful and Creative Ehime Garden

Garyu Sanso (臥龍山荘) is a historic villa with mossy Japanese garden in Ozu, Ehime-ken on Shikoku island in Japan. I enjoy the peaceful scenery of the Japanese gardens. There are the things you would expect from a Japanese garden: rolling moss, manicured trees and traditional vignettes. But this one is extra special.

This Ehime garden is special because it manages to be just a bit more magical and whimsical than any other Japanese Garden or park I’ve visited thus far. Maybe it’s the funny animal statues sprinkled across the property. Maybe it’s the repurposed item throughout: grinding stones amongst the walkway stones or old roof tiles used as planting borders.

The overall effect is whimsical and lovely. It’s a feeling that only can be expressed here in Shikoku – where creatives can work with a bit more freedom outside of the stricter organizations in Kyoto or Tokyo.

In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated gardens in Japan and a top recommendation.

Garyu Sanso Official site (historic villa and Japanese Garden)
Ehime Tourism Information (official site)

Garyu Sanso: Ehime Garden Gallery

Garyu Sanso on Google Maps

Location: Ozu, Ehime Prefecture, an up-and-coming rural destination for eco-tourism.
Closest towns: Yawatahama, Uchiko, Seiyo, Matsuyama.

See also: Sadamisaki Peninsula, Japan’s Serene Seaside Travel Destination