REVIEW – Edinburgh Kyoto Friendship Garden

Japanese style

The Edinburgh – Kyoto Friendship Garden is within the grounds of Lauriston Castle which I visit requently and posted some pictures last year. With summer on its way, 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’.

I 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.  I have spent many an afternoon with picnic in hand, reading a book and enjoying this wonderful escape from hectic city life.

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 not allowed in the garden (or Lauriston Castle grounds) or cyclists, so it really is a place for peacefulness and reflection.

Entrance to Kyoto garden

View from top shelter

Beautiful Trees

Edinburgh Kyoto Friendship Garden

Stones across the water

Suitable for disabled?
The gardens have partial ramps suitable for disabled, even allowing a back entrance to one of the bamboo shelters which appear to only have steps. Being a Japanese garden, the paths are a little uneven, so you may have to venture onto the grass for access.
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