The city of Kuwana, west of Nagoya, is home to a hidden gem of Meiji Era architecture - Rokkaen.
The Rokkaen was designed by one of the Meiji Period's favorite foreign architects, Josiah Conder, who also built the Rokumeikan, the Kyu-Furukawa Tei and the Kyu-Iwasaki Tei in Tokyo.
Completed in 1913, the combined Western and Japanese-style house was the former residence of Seiroku Moroto, a local rice magnate, who made his fortune in the area.
Besides the two main buildings, which were restored in 1993, the complex incudes a strolling garden and Japanese-style kura or storehouses, reflecting the owners business in the rice trade.
The European building, with the original furnishings still in evidence, includes a four-storey tower, sunroom and veranda and connects directly to the long Japanese-style tatami-floored annexe.
Access: A 15 minute walk east from Kuwana Station
663-5 Takaba, Aza, Oazu, Kuwana City
Hours: 9am-5pm (last entrance 4pm)
Admission: Adults 300 yen
Tel: 0594 24 4466
A visit to the Rokkaen can be combined with a viewing of the Seiroku Moroto Garden in season, which is virtually next door. Part of the garden was created by Hikozaemon Yamada in the Edo Period while an extension was added by Seiroku Moroto in the 1890s. The grounds include a guesthouse, a teahouse, storehouses, a shrine and the main house.
Hours: 10am-5pm (last entrance 4pm)
Admission: Adults 500 yen
Tel: 0594 24 1361
The grounds are open from mid-April to the end of June and mid-October to the end of November.
Buy Japan Mandala
Books on Japanese Art and Design
Japan Kuwana Josiah Conder Japanese Garden Nagoya Mie Yazd Guide
Wednesday, February 07, 2007