A Fall Foliage Viewing Spot in Hokkaido: Breathtakingly Beautiful Kosetsu-en, a Garden Constructed by a Magnate by the Name of Iwafune in the Meiji Period
In Hokkaido’s Hakodate, there is a park called “Miharashi Park”, which covers an area of 460,000 m2 and features a Japanese-style garden called “Kosetsu-en”. In the garden, about 150 varieties of trees, the flowers and the quaint buildings provide the perfect foil for each other. What’s more, the fall foliage is too beautiful for words.
A Garden Constructed by a Magnate in the Meiji Period
Kosetsu-en was constructed by Minejiro Iwafune, a local magnate, in Meiji 31 (1898). So it is also called Former Iwafune Family Garden. The then abbot of Chion-in, the headquarters of the Pure Land Buddhism, visited the garden and acclaimed it as a “garden with scented plum blossoms in snow” for he was overwhelmed by its beauty, and thus the garden got the name “Kosetsu-en” (which literally means Scented Snow Garden).
In Showa 2 (1927), in gratitude for the locals, the Iwafune family leased the garden to the Hakodate Government, which have had the garden open to the public for free since then. Now, Kosetsu-en is the sole nationally designated cultural property among the gardens in Hokkaido.
Fall Foliage in Kosetsu-en
Between late October and early November, the fall foliage, including those of ginkgo, palmate maple, red maple, oliver maple and baby’s breath, lend red and yellow to Kosetsu-en, which is amazingly beautiful. Red Foliage Garden that is elaborately adorned and the Red Foliage Path that runs for about 100 m in the garden are simply a riot of colors and full of poetic charm.
Further, during this period, an annual small concert is staged in the Green Center (a recreational facility in the garden), and when night descends, the fall foliage is illuminated to create a dreamlike romantic atmosphere.
2017 Kosetsu-en Fall Foliage Illumination and Concert
- October 21, 2017 - November 12, 2017
- 16:00-21:00 (scheduled)
- Music festival
Video on the Fall Foliage in Kosetsu-en
Basic information on Kosetsu-en
- Best time to view fall foliage
- Mid-October to early November
- Facility name
- Miharashi Park: Kosetsu-en (Former Iwafune Family Garden)
- 56, Miharashi-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido[MAP]
- Opening hours
- Regular / 9:00-17:00 (Pavilion) / 8:45-17:30 (Green Center)
- Parking lot
- 155 parking spaces (free)
- A ride by a bus of Hakodate Bus System 14 from Hakodate Station on JR’s Hakodate Main Line to Kosetsu-en Bus Stop (or an about 40-minute taxi ride)