Tokyo: Chinzan-so garden and exquisite restaurants
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Chinzan-so Garden is not only visually stunning but the unique surroundings and history of this garden means that it is not only a highly desirable tourist attraction, but it is a fantastic place to enjoy the splendid restaurants and to stay at a lovely hotel in this lovely part of Tokyo.
The history of Chinzan-so is fascinating because you have many historic remains and you feel like you are entering a different world. This applies to the pre-Meiji period and the Meiji period when Japan developed rapidly. However, in Chinzan-so this is where history makers enjoyed the opulent wealth and natural beauty of this exquisite garden. Therefore, it is clear that old Japan survived in Tokyo within highly cultural places like Chinzan-so.
The well-known statesman in the early Meiji period, Prince Aritomo Yamagata, built his splendid mansion and the name Chinzan-so means “House of Camellia.” Obviously the name refers to the many types of camellia in this exquisite and historical garden.
The prestige of Prince Aritomo Yamagata and his importance and how Chinzan-so is viewed can be seen by the fact that the Emperor Meiji held many important meetings, in order to plan the future with dignitaries who held important seats of power. Therefore, it is abundantly clear that the stunning environment, remote settings where seclusion could be found from prying eyes and the cultural aspect of Chinzan-so meant that it was an ideal setting.
Much of the historical legacy today which can be viewed must be credited to Baron Heitaro Fujita because he utilized the stunning grounds and topography. This applies to adding important historical monuments and many of these came from Kyoto and Toba. However, the stunning pagoda which is very beautiful was relocated from Hiroshima.
Throughout your visit to Chinzan-so garden you will see many Taoist images and being Japan you will also see many Buddhist images because religious and philosophical fusions go hand in hand along with Shintoism. These images and the numerous stone lanterns add to the charm and mystery of Chinzan-so. The settings of this garden with the quaint pond, stunning pagoda, waterfall, lanterns, and images of Taoism and Buddhism, all adds to the exquisite nature of this lovely garden.
You also have a sacred 500 year old tree and Chinzan-so is clearly not just a garden because it is a place full of history and splendor.
Chinzan-so is also a great place to enjoy scrumptious food and enjoy the lovely surroundings. “Kinsui” is a traditional restaurant and is located in a delightful area and the kaiseki cuisine is sure to please alongside other genuine and delicious Japanese dishes. Also, you have a casual dining area located in “Kinsui” called “Hanaguruma” and this restaurant is also a great place to eat and relax.
“Mokushundo” is another fabulous place to eat fondue, traditional box lunches and barbecue which is cooked in a traditional Japanese style. “Mokushundo” is five dining rooms which are detached and the tranquil and blissful garden setting means that you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
“Chuu-an” restaurant is also set in amazing surroundings and the backdrop of the pond amidst the stunning view means that luxury and the scrumptious Edomae sushi is a rare treasure. Indeed, the food quality on offer is extremely delicious and this is matched by stunning beauty and you certainly feel like you have entered another world.
If you really like Japanese soba then you will clearly enjoy “Mucha-an” restaurant. This applies to the unique “Kaiseki” taste with scrumptious soba noodles. Again, your walk to this restaurant is so pleasing and for Japanese soba noodle lovers then it is a most enjoyable place to eat.
Restaurant “Camellia” is famous for its French cuisine and for over 50 years this top notch restaurant continues to win acclaim. The view is majestic and more spacious and if you are a connoisseur of the best of French cuisine then restaurant “Camellia” is the right place to visit and to enjoy sublime food.
“Café Foresta” is very relaxing and also the setting is very spacious and if you are lucky to sit by the window then you can see the stunning pagoda. This café provides delicious cakes, sandwiches and you have a nice choice of coffee and tea. It is a lovely place to relax and to enjoy your stay in Chinzan-so and adds to the variety of choice.
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