The Yushien garden 由志園
Red as a peony
The volcanic land of Daikonshima, in the middle of Lake Nakaumi in Matsue, is conducive to the delicate cultivation of peony and ginseng. The island's lush garden, the Yûshien garden, opened in 1975, showcases Daikonshima peonies and ginseng throughout the year, the quality of which is recognized throughout the world.
For flower sellers
In the 1950s, a private individual, Sakai Kadowaki , noted the economic difficulties of his region linked to the decline of sericulture. To survive, the local population, mostly women, travels across the country to sell the peonies grown on the island. Sakai Kadowaki then had the idea of establishing a traditional Japanese garden on the small basalt islet to revitalize the area, attract tourists and allow the flower vendors of Daikonshima to return to their homes. The Yûshien garden, organized around a large pond fed by an artificial waterfall, was inaugurated in April 1975.
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Spring peonies, winter peonies
The garden honors the two emblematic cultures of the island for several centuries: the peony and the ginseng . It offers no less than 250 varieties of peonies with different flowering periods (spring and winter). Every year between the end of April and the beginning of May, during a festival, tens of thousands of peonies are manually placed on the surface of the pond. A real and remarkable painstaking work; especially when you know that this magnificent ephemeral carpet of flowers only lasts a week!
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Between December and February, the kan-botan take over and flower the paths. These winter-flowering tree peonies are then protected by small rice-straw shelters, called wara botchi botan . But whatever the time of year, you are guaranteed to be able to admire splendid peonies in the greenhouse of the garden . In this rigorously controlled atmosphere, new flowers are continually transplanted by the gardeners, ensuring that the visitor can always enjoy the most beautiful peonies.
A bit of patience
Ginseng, a medicinal root native to Korea, also flourishes fully in Daikonshima. It has been a thriving culture on the island for more than two centuries. With 20 hectares of fields, Daikonshima is one of the last ginseng producing lands in the entire archipelago . Patience is the key word for producers. It is indeed necessary to wait six years before being able to carry out the first harvest and then to leave the ground to rest during 20 years; the time required for complete soil regeneration! In the Yûshien garden shop, you can buy many ginseng products including tea, cosmetics and even ice cream!
The Yûshien garden can be proud to offer these visitors the greatest winter illumination of the prefecture of Shimane. From November to early January, the garden is adorned with a million LEDs. Stone lanterns, fountains and foliage sparkle after dark; just like the pond thanks to a system of underwater lights. Although established on black volcanic soil, the Yûshien garden knows how to make itself as the seasons go by, sparkling like a jewel and red... like a peony.
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