The 2011 Asia Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention and Exhibition was held in Takamatsu, Kagawa, on Shikoku. Takamatsu is a nice tourist destination. It’s on the Seto Inland Sea and is close to some of the larger bonsai growing grounds in Japan. At night, a giant maze of indoor pedestrian malls provides plenty of entertainment.
Just across from the hotel where the convention was held, one finds Tamamo Park, home to the remains of Takamatsu Castle. Construction of the castle, one of only three mizujiro, or “castles in the sea” in Japan, began in 1587. Since 1955 it’s been open as a public park and recognized as a national historic site (Park brochure).
The tallest structure in the park, Tsukimiyagura Turret, is a three story lookout built atop the wall along the moat at the park’s northeast corner.
Looking up at Tsukimiyagura Turret
The view north – Seto Inland Sea
Some of the park’s pines
The view south from Tsukimiyagura Turret
Getting up and down from the top floor involved steep staircases supported by some creative wood joinery.
The park is well manicured – I just can’t imagine the effort required to keep so many large trees in such nice shape.
Symbol Tower and Clement Hotel rise behind Tamamo’s well-clipped trees and shrubs
The park’s main building is the Hiunkaku, built in 1917. Inside, several outstanding bonsai were on display, but no photos were allowed.
Just outside the Hiunkaku was the Naienoniwa Garden. It also dates to 1917, though the pines that abound in this part of the park were planted a bit later by the Emperor and Empress of the Showa Period.
Lantern in Naienoniwa Garden
A number of small details gave the park its charm, from shady patches of moss to ferns eking out an existence along the eves of shingled roofs. It was, all in all, a very comfortable place to visit.
Pigeon trundling across the moss
Pine bark – same color as the stone walls that surround the park
Old castle wall
Walls and moat
Walking along the pines
Subscribe to Bonsai Tonight
New Posts Delivered Every Tuesday and Friday