The garden has been used as a villa by successive lords of the Aizu domain and still contains 400 kinds of medicinal plants.
The Ooyakuen dates back to about 600 years ago, when the lord Morihisa Ashina built a villa on this site where a spring gushed forth.
Later, the second lord of the Matsudaira clan, Masatsune, established a medicinal herb garden to save his people from the plague, hence the name Goyakuen.
It was the 3rd lord of the Matsudaira clan, Masayo, who renovated the garden into a landscape garden with a pond-spring circulation system.
He incorporated the views of Higashiyama to the east and the Iide mountain range to the west as borrowed scenery, and skillfully arranged fountain stones, lanterns, and trees throughout the garden.
The Shinjiranoike Pond is located in the center of the park, and the Sukiya-style Rakjutei Pavilion is located on its outskirts.
The water in the pond is drawn from the Tonokuchi weir on Mt. Iimori, and flows into the moat of Tsurugajo Castle from two locations: the north side of the San-no-maru and the Kitademaru. About 400 kinds of medicinal plants are still planted in the park.