Suzhou, a city in China described as “heaven on earth” since ancient times, is a lush area surrounded by water. It has attracted men of letters and is also the birthplace of elegant, glorious cultures.
In the year 1934, a breathtakingly beautiful, genuinely Japanese architecture was built in Mikege,Kobe as a villa of a former Zaibatsu family. Back then, such a three-story building was considered very rare.
This residence miraculously survived World War II and subsequently went into the hands of a merchant of Chinese heritage.
This man became its new owner in 1946 opened a Chinese restaurant in 1963 on the vast 1,600-tsubo grounds with a brook flowing through and seasonal trees vibrantly growing in the garden.
“Heaven on earth” was what he had dreamt of. Thus, he named this place “Soshuen” after the beautiful garden in Suzhou and it soon turned into a well-established restaurant visited often by many celebrities and important figures.
And so, time went by and we are now in the Heisei Era.
Today, this architecture that has even survived the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake continues to make history as The Garden Place Soshuen where a fusion of the modern colonial and East Asian tastes can be felt.