Edinburgh Kyoto Friendship Garden, Lauriston Castle grounds (free).

The Edinburgh Kyoto Friendship Garden

The Edinburgh Kyoto Friendship Garden

The Edinburgh Kyoto Friendship Garden is within the grounds of Lauriston Castle which we visit on a weekly basis.  This is a perfect place to escape from busy city life.

The Japanese garden was built to celebrate the twinning of Edinburgh and the Japanese prefecture of Kyoto was opened in August 2002, but many Edinburgh residents don’t know about the garden and it is never mentioned in tourist guides, but well worth a visit. The garden’s official name is ‘Castle Garden to Water and Beyond’.

Japanese style

Japanese style

We absolutely love visiting these gardens at different times of the year. There are a couple of bamboo shelters, one of which affords wonderful views over the Forth estuary.  We have spent many an afternoon with picnic in hand, reading a book and enjoying this peaceful garden.

Other visitors range from pensioners taking a wee stroll, to mothers and their children exploring every nook and cranny of the beautifully landscaped hectare.

There is no admission charge to the grounds of Lauriston Castle or this garden and with on site free parking, makes a wonderful alternative to the Botanics.

Dogs are allowed in the garden.

Open daily until 8pm in the lighter months. Closes at dusk other times of the year.

Lauriston Castle offers guided tours. Admission applies.

Edited April 2017: The Courtyard Cafe is now open 7 days a week (Easter – Octoberish) and at weekends through the winter.

Cherry blossom in the spring

Cherry blossom in the spring

Kyoto Friendship Garden

Kyoto Friendship Garden

In the autumn

In the autumn

In the grounds of Lauriston Castle

In the grounds of Lauriston Castle

Spring blossom

Spring blossom

Stones across the water

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