Yokohama garden goes for seasonal ambience during five-day moon-viewing event


Staff Writer

Cool evening breezes are a sign that autumn is here. For five days beginning Friday, Sankeien, a Japanese garden in Yokohama is encouraging visitors to engage in a seasonal pastime: tsukimi (moon-viewing).

The 175,000-sq. meter garden, created in the 1920s by Yokohama silk businessman Sankei Hara, will extend its hours until 9 p.m. through Tuesday. It will have concerts daily, with musicians including traditional koto harp players, a Baroque ensemble and specialists of gagaku (ancient Imperial court music).

Also, for the first time this year, the garden’s operators will use incense to further enhance the ambience.

“We will hang incense bags outdoors and blow air toward them with fans, to let visitors strolling the garden experience the fragrance,” garden spokesman Toshikazu Yoshikawa said. He added that operators had opted not to burn incense at the garden to avoid the risks of any of the 17 historical architectural buildings in the premise catching fire. “The moon will be our biggest feature, but we’ll have music and incense to complement it.”

Tsukimi takes place at Sankeien, a 7-minute walk from Honmoku Bus Stop, which is a 10-minute ride from JR Negishi Station. Admission is ¥500 for junior high school students and those older, and ¥200 for elementary school students. The garden will be open until 9 p.m. from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 (last entry at 8:30 p.m.). For more information, call (045) 621-0634 or visit www.sankeien.or.jp