Murin-an is a villa residence constructed between 1894-96 by Yamagata Aritomo, a politician active in Japan during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
It is comprised of a garden and three buildings (main house, Western-style building and tearoom).
A modern Japanese garden masterpiece from the late nineteenth century. In place of the ponds and rocks likened to oceans and islands that were seen in Japanese gardens until that time, this garden reflects a new naturalist garden vision featuring a mountain village landscape and a dynamic water stream just like that of a natural brook. Among the cluster of garden villas in the Nanzen-ji Temple neighborhood, it is the only garden open to the public all year round. It was designated a national Place of Scenic Beauty in 1951.
A sukiya-zukuri residence that allows us to feel in the present day what a late nineteenth century Japanese house intimately bound to its garden space was like.
The characteristics of Japanese-style western architecture in Japan's age of modernization can be seen clearly.
On the second floor of the western-style building, there is the room used for the "Murin-an Conference," where former Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi and others held a discussion with Yamagata Aritomo in advance of the Russo-Japanese War, conveying the scene from that day to the present.
A tearoom given to Yamagata Aritomo and moved to Murin-an almost simultaneously with the villa's construction. It was created as a replica of the famous En'an tearoom of the Yabunouchi school of tea ceremony, but this traditional tearoom is also fascinating for its owner Yamagata Aritomo's recreation of it as a rational space for viewing the garden.
■Guided Garden Tours
Guided services can be adjusted to accommodate requests. A garden expert will be your guide.
①Gardener guided tour (Wed., Thurs. & Sat., reservation required, fee charged)
②Expert guided tour (reservation required, fee charged)
③Weekend garden tour (every Sat., reservation required, fee charged)
④10 minute garden explanations (no reservation required, free)
■Tea Ceremony Experience
Experience a tea ceremony with matcha green tea inside the garden's tearoom. Comes with a guided tour of the garden (reservation required, fee charged).
Relax with a beverage such as matcha green tea, coffee or craft beer, and sweets that include our original bean-jam pancake (dorayaki) and Russian cakes from Murakami Kaishindo (fee charged).
We hold events and lectures so that we can all "gather in the garden and nurture the garden."
①Moss Garden Creation Experience (held irregularly, reservation required, fee charged)
②Zaifu Tea at Murin-an (every Tues., fee charged)
③Seasonal arrangements and limited editions of matching tea sweets (irregularly scheduled, fee charged)
①Main house, second floor
③Special Illuminated Nighttime Events
For details, see Murin-an's official website.