Few nations do gardens like Japan, and Kosetsuen in Miharashi Park, Hakodate, is a perfect example. This landscape-style garden was built as a villa by the wealthy Iwafune merchant family in the 1890s and is now the only garden in Hokkaido to have been nationally designated as a cultural property. Around 150 species of trees are on show, with cherry blossoms in spring and autumn colors blazing across the foliage in fall, creating incredible atmospheres across the seasons. The traditional architecture found in the garden is also of particular interest, like the Sonotei building, whose interior is designed in the style of an old shoin (drawing room or study), where distinguished guests were often received. The structure’s pretty thatched roof is symbolic of a style once common on buildings in the snowier regions of Japan. From late October to early November, the autumn foliage shedding from Kosetsuen’s trees is illuminated after sunset to create a mystical space that highlights the beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves.
Miharashi Park (Kosetsuen)
56, Miharashi-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido