This prefectural park of Kanagawa is located on the former sites of holiday homes belonging to the old Mitsui conglomerate and the residence of Shigeru Yoshida, former Prime Minister of Japan. Wrapped in the leaves of trees including chinquapin, evergreen oak, and Japanese zelkova, this space bursting with natural beauty is also dotted with richly atmospheric tea houses as well as attractions such as the Oiso Municipal Museum. The undulating hills of the park also offer the spectacle of numerous small species of bird and insect.
On the grounds of the former residence of Shigeru Yoshida, the mansion where Prime Minister Yoshida once lived has been restored. In front of the residence are a Japanese garden designed by famed landscape architect Ken Nakajima, and a lake shaped like the Chinese character for “heart” as drawn in the “grass” cursive style.
The garden is always adorned with seasonal flowers, including plum blossoms in the early spring, as well as azaleas, wisteria flowers, and irises. No matter when you visit, you are sure to discover new highlights.
The Kabuto Gate was built to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco, and is also known as the “Peace Treaty Gate.”
Shigeru Yoshida was known for his love of roses, and his rose garden is said to have been filled with countless cultivars—including the “Princess Michiko”—that would have stunned even the biggest rose aficionados. Although the rose garden here is now much smaller than it once was, a list of cultivars that existed during Shigeru Yoshida’s lifetime was made, and those cultivars have been re-grown, bringing the ambiance of the day into the present.
A bronze statue of Shigeru Yoshida stands on high ground here. From this point, visitors have an unbroken view of sights including Sagami Bay and the Izu Peninsula. The bronze statue is said to be aligned so as to face the direction of San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
The site of the old Mitsui villas was also once home to a medieval castle. This spot is known for its great views. Head up the undulating hill road for a sweeping view that extends all the way from Mount Fuji to the Izu Peninsula.
Fudoike Pond, which sits within the Japanese garden here, is one of the best places in the region to see the autumn colors. When the maple trees along the pond are illuminated, a fairy tale-like world emerges.
The Joyama-an tea house is modeled on Jo-an, a listed National Treasure. Joyama-an can be reserved for occasions such as tea ceremonies and poetry readings.
At the lounge at Joyama-an, visitors can enjoy matcha and fresh seasonal desserts. Both tatami mat seating and table seating are available, making this the perfect spot to stop in for a moment of relaxation during a long walk.
Outline of the event
Oiso Joyama Park
Oiso Joyama Park is a Kanagawa prefectural municipal facility on the site of the former Mitsui Zaibatsu (conglomerate) Villa and former Yoshida Shigeru Residence.