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Murin-an: an epoch-making existance for naturalistic and modern gardens in Kyoto

Introduction

Murin-an, which is a historic spot open to public in the neighborhood of Nanzenji Temple, Higashiyama, Kyoto is a private residence and garden built in 1896 for Yamagata Arimoto, who was the Prime Minister of Japan from 1889 to 1891 and held various political and military positions. It is a representative for young and modern garden in Kyoto which has a long-lasting garden history of 1200 years. The garden was designed in collaboration with the contemporary talented garden master Ogawa Jihei VII who introduced an unconventional idea to the design of the garden. In 1951, Murin-an received the prestigious title as “a place of Scenic Beauty”.


History

Arimoto started to build Murin-an in 1894 and it took him two year to complete the construction. He took the advantage of the newly constructed water pipe which supplies fresh water from lake Biwa in Shiga to the northern area of Kyoto City in order to make the garden. The abundant water supply contributed to the surge of many other gar