China Park of Heaven
The China Park of Heaven – called Tenkaen in Japanese – used to be one of the 4 major theme parks of Noboribetsu, the most famous onsen resort area of Hokkaidō.
The park opened in Spring 1992 and aimed to reproduce a Garden Court (probably the Summer Palace’s one) during the Qing Dynasty. The entrance is striking: the court is so vast and we feel right there, in a derelict palace in China! There is a Moon Gate on the right with the Ceremony Hall behind it, accessible through a now broken bridge. On the right, certainly the Pavilion of Flowers; a lot of little trees and various flowers can be found there, running wild. In front, we can access the gardens.
A 5 storey pagoda was erected at the end-side of the park. Next to it, a little temple with a bell offered by Beijing was installed. Apparently, this was a present to Japan to celebrate the 20th year of the restoration of their complicated relationship.
Then there is the stone forest, along with a few swampy ponds. This bit is really similar to the famous Stone Forest of Kunming (in Yunnan, China).
The names used for the buildings of the park seem all to come from the book named “Dream of the Red Chamber”, which is one of the Four Great Classical Novels. The park was also featured in a movie based on another book of those 4, the very famous “Journey To The West”.
The lack of visitors and profitability dragged the park to close only 5 years later, in 1997. The buildings seems to have been emptied and they are now rapidly decaying and tumbling down. This year is probably a good time to pay this park a visit.China Park of Heaven,
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