If you have an interest in the way Japanese aesthetics compliment the natural landscape this is the place to come for a variety of reasons. Firstly the trip to Yasugi (I came from Okayama) is a pleasant 2 hr train trip with no changing trains and past beautiful country side. The gardens are as immaculate as their publicity photos, my quick snaps are almost identical. I was concerned about getting to the gardens but from Yasugi station a clearly marked bus come almost every half hour and shuttles people for free to the garden and gallery. This was the reason I returned to Japan and was worried about being let down, but I certainly wasn't. There is an affect of the gardens that cannot be put into words, and even viewing them behind a glass wall did not mare this. I must also comment on the gardeners tirelessly working in the summer sun, for me, they are part of the image. These gardens are man made, perfectly manicured to express the harmony of nature, so to view the gardens is to view the people who create them.
Don't forego the gallery though. This was an equally breathtaking house of modern Japanese and Chinese art. I was not expecting to enjoy the gallery so much, but really, the array of contemporary reflection on Japanese identity was very interesting. All in all, a fantastic day and well worth the travel and small expense.
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