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Find a Floral Fantasia at “ Ai-Ai Park”!

Did you know that Takarazuka is a City of Horticulture? It was here, in the Yamamoto district of Takarazuka City,that the technique of Japanese grafting, now indispensable for modern agriculture and horticulture, was invented. This invention made it possible to increase production of rare flowering plants such as peonies, giving rise to the Takarazuka horticultural industry which began around this time in the late 16th century. Sakanoue no Yoriyasu (1515-1597), the Yamamoto area samurai who invented the technique, was praised for his achievements and given the title of “Kigatsu Dayu” (Grafting Master) by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (the famed 17th century feudal warlord, 1536-1598). Ever since, the Yamamoto district has been one of Japan’s leading horticultural areas, becoming one of the three largest floriculture areas in the nation.

 

To honor and continue the heritage of the Yamamoto area plant industry, Ai-Ai Park opened in 2000 as a base for learning about flowers and greenery. Let’s take a closer look at the wonders of this immense gardening center.

Ai-Ai Park is a 5-minute walk from Hankyu Yamamoto Station. The main building is an eye-catching reproduction of a beautiful 17 th -century provincial town hall in England.

The stylish surroundings make us feel as though we’re in a foreign country.

The park has a plant store, a cafe, a culture classroom, a city service center, Yamamoto Shin-ike Park and more. A wide variety of plants, gardening and household goods are all available here. In the Model Garden Exhibition Hall, gardening classes and fairs are held offering advice on plant cultivation and gardening.

Ai-Ai Gallery

Ai-Ai Gallery

Green Shop Peonia

Green Shop Peonia

Green Shop Peonia

British-style glass-enclosed atrium

In the atrium

The wide selection of flowers and paraphernalia is astounding! Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, just perusing the plants in the park is so much fun. The selection changes to highlight the charms of each season, so you’re sure to find something new each visit.

Model garden

Model garden

The bakery in the park, “Yakitatei,” offers a staggering selection of freshly baked breads, all for 100 yen (excluding tax)! Get yours to go or take a break in their eat-in space.

Opposite the main building, explore the pond, lawn and gardens of the spacious Yamamoto Shin-ike Park.

The soothing sight of ducks at play in the pond.

On your next day off, why not spend some quality time getting in touch with your seasonal floral friends at “Ai-Ai Park”?

Access to Ai-Ai Park 
Address: 2-2-1 Yamamoto-higashi, Takarazuka City, Hyogo
Access: 5-minute walk from Hankyu Yamamoto Station

For related articles
For more on what Takarazuka has to offer, check here!
Walking Through Takarazuka: A World of Fine Art and Anime
https://visithanshin.jp/enews/1478/

For other great spots in Takarazuka♪
https://visithanshin.jp/en/area/takarazuka/

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