With autumn comes the changing leaves, and one of the best places in the city to stroll through the beautiful fall foliage is Yusentei. Yusentei Park features a Japanese garden situated around a central pond, and nearly 150 maple trees burst into vivid colors from mid-November to December. In addition to its maples, the park also has plum trees, wisteria, orange osmanthus and camellia, which afford beautiful views in any season.
Yusentei Park, which takes its name from the villa that once stood on the same site, was first developed into a Japanese garden in 1754 by Tsugutaka Kuroda, the sixth lord of the Fukuoka Domain. The traditional wooden building on the edge of the pond was built in the early Showa era by Kaijimaya, a local business conglomerate that used to own the land. From the spacious 17.5-mat open-plan room overlooking the pond, you can enjoy the foliage while you sip green tea and nibble on Japanese sweets.
As you stroll along the walking path, you will encounter waterfalls and stone lanterns, and you can enjoy different views of the park from each vantage point. When Yusentei served as the Kuroda Clan’s villa, it was 10 times the size it is today. As such, the park includes many sites with ties to the Kuroda Clan. Josuian, the thatch-roofed tea house, was named after Josui Kuroda, the first lord of the Fukuoka Domain, and the paving stones are Nebukawa-ishi (a type of flat stone from Kanagawa Prefecture that is rarely quarried anymore) that were donated by the Kuroda Family.
With its lush greenery, Yusentei offers a relaxing getaway despite its location in the middle of the city. The beautiful garden and traditional architecture make Yusentei a popular spot for shutterbugs any time of the year, and recently, more and more couples are stopping by the garden for wedding photos. Naturally, it has also become popular with foreign visitors. The park also organizes seasonal events, kimono wearing classes and other workshops on Japanese culture.