I've seen 2 of Japan's 'top 3' gardens but this one beats both in attention to detail and layout - on top of that there is a very nice museum included as part of the deal.
Firstly the museum - the building itself is quite unassuming but planned perfectly to showcase the garden. The exhibits, from magnificent lacquer to traditional scrolls, modern ceramics & paintings are very good and there are two very comfortable cafe type eateries with simple but good food all enjoying wonderful views of the garden & a tea house if you wish to partake in matcha tea in traditional surroundings.
On the whole you can't walk in or through the garden but there are sections where you do go outside the building to see parts of it. But the best vistas are seen from strategically placed huge windows throughout the building where you can enjoy and photograph this work of art without the dstraction of people wandering into your line of sights.
I visited in March when there was a little snow on the ground and next to nothing flowering, but the garden was still spectacular and I hope to get back someday to see it with the colour of the flowers giving it a different look.
We travelled from Matsue by local train to connect with the free shuttle from the museum, both about 20 minutes if I have my facts straight, and it was an easy uncomplicated trip.
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