The perfect garden for all seasons.
Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, is considered one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan alongside Okayama Prefecture’s Koraku-en and Kairaku-en in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Kenroku-en literally means “six attribute garden” as it fulfills the six main criteria for creating a perfect garden: artifice, seclusion, panorama, antiquity,waterways and spaciousness.
It was once the private gardens of Kanazawa Castle which is just a stone’s throw away and was for the exclusive use of the ruling Maeda Clan until it was opened to the public in 1874.
Kenroku-en is stunning all year round and boasts hundreds of varieties of tree, a tea house and an old rest house. One of its most recognizable features are the the beautiful Kasumi Pond with its iconic stone lanterns that resemble the bridges on an instrument called a koto.
In winter, it is famous for Yukitsuri. These are ropes carefully tied to the trees to support their branches and protect them from the heavy snowfall, made all the more spectacular with night-time illuminations.
Throughout spring, Kenroku-en’s multitude of plum blossoms make way for the cherry blossoms. In summer, it is dominated by lush greens before the maples light it up with their reds and golds, making it truly a place for all seasons.
The bright white Kanazawa Castle is just a short stroll from Kenroku-en and taking in both together can easily fill an afternoon.
Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden
Kanazawa is fast gaining a reputation as a “Little Kyoto” which is unsurprising given how pretty and interesting many of locations around the city are yet it still attracts only a small percentage of foreign tourists compared to its namesake.