Koko-en was constructed to commemorate Himeji City's 100th anniversary. The garden was built on the land allotments of the Edo Period discovered during archaelogical excavations. The name 'Koko-en' is derived from 'Koko do' the name of Japan's sixth provincial school founded in 1692 in Himeji by the last Lord of Himeji, Lord Sakai. The garden includes the Oyashiki-no-niwa (lit. 'Garden of the Feudal Load's Residence'), the 'Cha-no-niwa' (Tea Garden) and seven other gardens as well as a decent restaurant too. If you're going to Himeji Castle, you should certainly visit these gardens as well.
The garden is located next to Himeji Castle, just a short walk (15 min) from the Shinkansen station in Himeji or a 5 min bus ride to the Koko-en bus stop.
Himeji is a city of 460,000, located in southwestern Hyogo Prefecture. It is most famous for its castle, a national treasure that was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993. Himeji became a sister city of Phoenix in 1976, when an agreement was formally signed by the mayors of both cities in Phoenix.
Without a speck of dust's being raised,
the mountains tower up;
without a single drop's falling,
the streams plunge into the valley.