Getting to know the father of Japanese botany

Winter isn’t usually the prime season to enjoy flowers and plants, but it’s always time for nature at the Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden! The greenhouse, in particular, is a warm oasis during the winter, filled with lush greenery and vibrant flowers.

The garden is named after Dr. Tomitaro Makino (1862 - 1957), a botanist and researcher who is widely known as the father of Japanese botany. He had a remarkable life! Growing up in Kochi, Dr. Makino was an extremely bright little boy who stopped attending classes when he was still in elementary school, because he was thoroughly bored. But rather than going out to play, he decided to study on his own (#RESPECT). Fortunately, his great potential was later recognized by the University of Tokyo and he was admitted as a student of botany when he was 22.

During a time when the study of Japan’s botany was still an emerging field, Makino walked the length and breadth of the country to find out about the wealth of plants, documenting them every step of the way. He discovered over 1,500 new species and subspecies in the course of his research! Even when he retired, he continued to involve himself with his beloved plants, and at the age of 78, he produced perhaps his greatest work—a book called “Makino’s Illustrated Flora of Japan”. It is an essential reference piece for researchers even today.

You can learn more about Dr. Makino in the permanent exhibition, which houses many of his original illustrations, a 4K theater that immerses you to the beauty of nature’s delicate yet mighty world, and more! Makino Botanical Garden honors his legacy, serving as an internationally-recognized facility for botanical research and environmental education.

The garden is beautiful at any time of the year, but if you’re seeking a reprieve from the winter, we highly recommend a visit to the greenhouse! There’s even a great café on site, too.

The garden is only 30 minutes from Kochi Station by the MY-YU sightseeing bus
Chikurin-ji Temple is also just a couple minutes away by foot, making for a great day trip!

Learn more: https://visitkochijapan.com/en/see-and-do/10019
  • Getting to know the father of Japanese botany

  • Getting to know the father of Japanese botany

  • Getting to know the father of Japanese botany