Hiroshima Botanical Garden
About the Garden
The Hiroshima Botanical Garden (広島市植物公園) is located to the west of Hiroshima City in Itsukaichi. They have played in important role since they opened in 1976 in preserving rare native plant species from Japan and from around the world through seed exchange programs with around 200 other institutes in 34 countries.
The garden is most popular during the spring time but its large greenhouses and temperature controlled buildings ensure that at least something is blooming all year round. This municipal botanical garden is well worth a visit as their collection of plants is world class even if they haven't quite matched the same level of excellence in their presentation of their plants.
The large 21 meter tall greenhouse in the center of the garden has around 1,000 different tropical plants. Tropical fruits, orchids, palm trees and nearly every other famous plant from the region has a representative specimen on display. It a a remarkable collection of plants and a incredible space but a lack of clear presentation leaves one feeling overwhelmed rather than awed. In total, around 15,000 plants grow in the greenhouse.
Next door, the water lily greenhouse is almost as good with 50 species from various areas of the world. Among them is the Victoria Water Lily (Victoria amazonica) which is largest in the world and possibly the most famous. Every year around August, to the delight (or terror) of children, the garden holds an event and allows them to have their photo taken on top of the lily pad.
Not to be missed, the Begonia Room, is a temperature controlled building where the flowers enjoy year around ideal blooming conditions. Above the main greenhouse is a number of other buildings containing a fuchsia display, more orchids, and a small desert.
After touring the buildings, you can walk around the garden's extensive outdoor exhibits. There is a rose garden, numerous Japanese plants, a large pond, a rock garden, forests, fields and more. In total, the garden covers 17.6 hectares. There are areas dedicated to each popular native plant (cherry, maple, hydrangea and wisteria) in addition to all the other exhibits.
Around 40 special exhibitions are held during the year at the three exhibition sites. These exhibitions showcase, among other things, Japanese botanical arts like bonsai.
During the late summer, the garden holds candle lit night time tours. Besides being terribly romantic, it allows them to show off some of their night blooming flowers.
The Hiroshima Botanical Garden is located far away from central Hiroshima City to the west along the coast in Itsukaichi. Actually, the garden are more in the hills overlooking the city than in it. The nearest train station is an hour walk away from the garden. The only reasonable way to reach the Hiroshima Botanical Garden is by bus or car. Buses going to the garden leave from the Hiroshima Bus Center and JR Itsukaichi Station. A number of buses from Itsukaichi Station don't stop at the park but have a bus stop which is a short 10-15 minute walk from the park.
The garden is closed on Fridays. In the event that Friday is a national holiday then it is closed on the preceding day.
Posted: April 5, 2011 Updated: February 21, 2015