The Japanese Gardens at Tully were created between the years 1906-1910. Devised by Colonel William Hall-Walker (later Lord Wavertree), a wealthy Scotsman of a famous brewery family and laid out by the Japanese Eida and his son Minoru. The Gardens, planned to symbolize the 'Life of Man', are now of international renown and are considered some of finest Japanese gardens in Europe.
Eida remained at Tully until 1912. He and his wife and two sons, Minoru and Kaiji, lived at Curragh House, which is now the Racing Apprentice Centre of Education. The name Minoru which means 'light of my eye' or the 'favourite one' was chosen by Colonel Hall-Walker for his favourite Tully-bred colt. When leased to King Edward VII for his racing career the colt Minoru carried the royal colours to victory in the Derby of 1909 to joyous cheers of "Good Old Teddy"!
Eida died in 1912 on his intended return journey to Japan and no more was heard of him or his family until Brian Eida, a son of Minoru, turned up as a tourist to admire the work of his grandfather Tassa.
In 1915, Colonel Hall-Walker departed to England, presenting his entire Tully property to 'The Nation'. His Stud Farm became the British National Stud and the Japanese Gardens entered a period of relative obscurity until 1945. In that year (Tully properties having returned to the Irish Government in 1943) the Irish National Stud Company was formed. In the following year, 1946, after a gap of 34 years, the Japanese Gardens got a horticultural supervisor.
The symbolism of life, the garden portrays and traces the journey of a soul from Oblivion to Eternity and the human experience of its embodiment as it journeys by paths of its own choice through life. Typical ambitions toward education, marriage, or a contemplative or carefree life, achievement, happy old age and a gateway to Eternity are portrayed.
The gardens are visited by more than 100,000 people annually.
Refreshments available. Gift shop. Plants for sale. Toilet facilities. Admission charged to gardens, Irish National Stud and Horse Museum.
"Normally gardens consult the genius of place in their design but at Tully the local countryside is excluded and the visitor enters an environment that exudes the mystical and botanical world of distant Japan. One of the most successful gardens of its kind, Tully is a product of the Edwardian vogue for Japanese garden making which developed as part of a movement away from the English garden and in response to a rage for autumn colour and a ready availability of a wide variety of maples."
BUS: On Weekdays leaves Central Bus Station - BUSARAS at 9.30 a.m.
RETURN JOURNEY FROM JAPANESE GARDENS - BUS leaves at 3.45. p.m.
TRAINS: The ARROW runs from HEUSTON STATION, Kingsbridge to KILDARE TOWN about every 35 minutes.
ROADS: From DUBLIN you take the N7 SOUTH for LIMERICK/CORK. KILDARE is about 40 minutes from Dublin.
In the distance,
Neither flowers nor maple leaves
Are to be see
Only a thatched hut beside the bay
In autumn's twilight.
Hana mo momiji mo
Ura no tomaya no
Aki no yugure.