A-Z of Secret Edinburgh: Kyoto Friendship Garden

Kyoto Friendship Garden. Photography by Craig Smith

This Japanese garden can be found in the grounds of Lauriston Castle in the leafy Edinburgh suburb of Cramond.

The Kyoto Friendship Garden is so zen-like that many locals have never heard of it and it appears in very few guide books. It is, however, well-worth a visit. The garden was created to celebrate the twinning of the towns of Edinburgh and the prefecture of Kyoto in Japan and was opened in 2002. Its official name is the rather lovely ‘Castle Garden to Water and Beyond’.

One of the top three Japanese gardens in Britain

With bamboo shelters to picnic in, breath-taking views over Cramond Island to the Firth of Forth, avenues of blossom trees and calming water features, it’s no surprise that it is rated one of the top three Japanese gardens in Britain.

Kyoto Friendship Garden, Lauriston Castle, 2A Cramond Road South, EH4 5QD. April to October: 2pm every day except Friday. November to March: 2pm, Saturday and Sunday only. Entrance free. No dogs or bicycles permitted.

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