Nestled within the heart of Makuhari Seaside Park in Chiba Prefecture is a beautiful Japanese garden called Mihama-en. For local citizens and visitors alike, Mihama-en represents an oasis for urban life. Just 750 meters from KaihimMakuhari Station, it is a lovely escape to traditional Japanese culture, and reminder for us all that relaxation is necessary for peace and clarity in our daily, hectic lives. Take a few minutes to stroll along the winding paths of the garden and enjoy a cup of tea at Shouraitei teahouse.
The name Mihama-en originates from a diary entry found during the Heian period and means, “to view from the beach.” The garden provides approximately 1.6ha of total green space within the Makuhari Seaside Park area, and is surrounded by office buildings, hotels, recreation facilities, and residential areas. For this reason, Makuhari-en provides a refreshing scene to the area and paints a new picture every season within the property.
In early winter, temperatures still allow one to comfortably walk around the natural and man-made elements of the garden, each representing landscapes of rivers, mountains, oceans, and a forest. It is said that the waterfall symbolizes a small child, and the rolling hills characterize life’s ups and downs. Bundle up to observe the black and white cranes, and admire views of the pond juxtaposed with corporate skyscrapers from various locations, such as the Arbor and Sandy Beach on the southwest end. You may even catch a glimpse of red and gold hues from the maple tree leaves.
Many aspects of the garden at Mihama-en were designed using elements directly from Kyoto. For example, as you leave the ordinary world from the main entrance, the approach to the garden is lined with bamboo fences and stone crafted walls from the former imperial capital of Japan. Additionally, Shouraitei teahouse was built with Kitayama cedar from Kyoto to recreate the traditional style, but incorporates modern day sensibilities.
Admission to the garden is quite a deal at 100yen for adults (50yen for children). For an additional 500yen, enjoy a monthly confection paired with a cup of hot, matcha tea at Shouratei teahouse. Garden hours of operation are 8:00am to 4:30pm, 365 days a year. Pay parking lots are available at 610yen for an 8-hour duration. Why not stay for the night and explore the Makuhari New City area! There is so much more to do and many affordable hotels surrounding Mihama-en such as APA, Hotel New Otani Makuhari, and Hotel Green Tower.