Many places in Japan are rightfully proud of their gardens, but the Ritsurin claims to be better than the three usually touted to be the three best. I am not prepared to debate that, but for a garden in winter, it was a very beautiful garden. It included birds, koi (carp), unique rocks as though sculptured by water and of course shaped pine trees. Taka meaning large and matsu meaning pine, which helps to explain the name of the city. This area is one of the driest areas in Japan and therefore suitable for pine trees.
Please refer to the Picasa website for related photographs.