The Uraku-en strolling garden and the Jo-an teahouse inside the garden is a must-see sight in Inuyama. The garden is a short walk from Inuyama Castle in the grounds of the Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel.
The Jo-an tea pavilion is a National Treasure and considered one of the finest teahouses in Japan. Jo-an was built in Kyoto in 1618 by Oda Urakusai, a younger brother of local Chubu area warlord Oda Nobunaga. The tea house was moved to Tokyo and Kanagawa before ending up in Inuyama in 1972.
Urakusai was a noted teamaster who studied under Sen no Rikyu and started his own tea school in Kyoto. With Christian influence on the rise among both the aristocracy and common people in the early 17th century Urakusai became a closet Christian and there is a possible link between his adopted Christian name of "Joao" and the name of the teahouse Jo-an.
Inuyama, Gomonsaki 1
Tel: 0568 61 4608
Admission 1,000 yen
Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel
Tel: 0568 61 2211
The nearest stations to Uraku-en Garden within short walking distance are Meitetsu Inuyama Yuen Station or slightly further from Meitetsu Inuyama Station.
There are regular Meitetsu trains to Inuyama Station from Nagoya Station and Gifu. The journey from both cities takes around 35 minutes by express.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007