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.
Arashiyama, white with snow,
Almost seems to be
Engulfed in clouds of flowers.
Pine trees, by a magic touch,
Transfigured into cherry trees.