Manyo Botanical Garden

Description: 
When a traveller is around Nara Prefecture, he will soon realizes that all the tracks winding around lead to Kasuga Taisha shrine. Kasuga Taisha enchants the heart of traveller by its rich history expressed in the impressive collection of treasures kept inside the Homotsuden Treasure house, by the blazing light from its gorgeous lantern festival which can even take your breath away in literal sense. He will be overwhelmed by thousands of stone lanterns or excitedly immerse in the joy of getting a charm for his good matchmaking. And he will definitely be lost in the imposingness of Kasugayama Primeval Forest or, losing his heart and soul in the passionate romance of the Kasuga Taisha garden, also called Manyo Botanical Garden.

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Source: MATCHA - Japan Travel Web Magazine

Manyo Botanical Garden was opened in 1932 but there was a long story before this beginning. A proposal to design a recreational botanical garden to get the best out of the Nara Imperial Villa in Nara Park was put forward in 1927 by the botanist Honda Seiroku. It remained an idea untill the scholar Sasaki Nobutsuna established an organization for the construction of the garden to put it on track. The Osaka city planner Oya Reijo took the responsibility of implementing the project, referring the Shinsenen garden in Kyoto and Poseokjeong rock garden in Korea. However, the garden was named after Manyoshu, known as the Ten thousand Tanka, the Japanese oldest collection of tanka poems as all kinds of plant inside the garden can be found in this work.

manyo_botanical_garden_welcomekansai

Source: MATCHA - Japan Travel Web Magazine

The entrance to Manyo Botanical Garden can be discovered behind the Japanese teahouse Ninaijaya on the long path leading to Kasuga Taisha shrine. The garden covers an area of more than 30000 hectares by an impressive collection of about 300 varieties of flora. The main part of Manyo Botanical garden is the Fuji-no-sono garden, a little castle of wisteria. The structure also contains a camellia garden, an iris garden and the Five Grain garden where you can see how they used to raise grain for food, textiles or dyes in Manyoshu time. It is a special highlight that there is a stone monument writing poems related to each kind of plant by its garden.

manyo_botanical_garden_welcomekansai

Source: MATCHA - Japan Travel Web Magazine

Throughout a year, Manyo Botanical Garden welcomes the very first birth of Ume in February and March, next, weeping cherry blossom from late March to early April, followed by violet in April and May, Azalea from April to June and Wisteria also in late April. This kind of flora was considered as the symbol of the Fujiwara clan. The wisteria season witnesses 200 lovely and graceful plants swaying in the light breeze of summer.

manyo_botanical_garden_welcomekansai

Source: MATCHA - Japan Travel Web Magazine

Each branch of wisteria measures about one meter long and people call the branches Sand Grazing as they find all the way to reach to the sandy ground. It is the most poetic picture when the purple of wisteria mingles with the brilliantly red of the shrine. To make the flower season more fragrant and beautiful, they hold some sort of ancient traditional Japanese court music and dance performances twice a year in May 5th and November 3rd.

Open time: 
-From March to November: from 9:00 am to 5:00. Last admission at 4:30 pm
-From December to February: from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Last admission at 4:00 pm
Closed day: Monday, or the following day if Monday is holiday.
Admission: 
-Adult: 500 yen
-Children: 250 yen
How to access: 
-Take a bus bound for Kasuga Taisha Honden and get off at Kasuga Taisha Honden stop then take a short walk.
-Take a Shinai Junkan bus on City Loop Line or Sotomawari Junkan bus on City Loop Line Outer Circle and get off at Kasuga Taisha Omote Sando stop and take a 10 minutes walk