The Number 1 Spot in Kanazawa! One of the Three Great Gardens of Japan: Kenrokuen Garden

In this article, we talk about “Kenrokuen”, one of the three great gardens of Japan, and “Kanazawa Castle”, which is built next to it. We visited as the cherry blossoms were about to fall.

It’s Ayaka! We went to Kenrokuen Garden during our three day trip to Kanazawa!

Since now the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Japan’s bullet train) is newly available, Kanazawa city of Ishikawa prefecture has become the “it” spot. No matter where we went, it was always crowded with many tourists on the weekend.

Overall, we saw the most non-Japanese tourists in this “Kenrokuen Gardern.” It is a typical Japanese garden built around the outside of Kanazawa Castle. The area of this garden is 11.7 hectares. If you look around carefully, it will take 2 to 3 hours. It is too big to call it a garden. It is pretty reasonable that the entrance fee is only 310 yen!

Japanese gardens are often expressed as a “miniature gardens,” and that is exactly right. Rocks covered in moss, small bridges, falls, ponds, lanterns, and mountains in the back… Every position is carefully calculated as if to create a small world.

Irises at Kenrokuen Garden

In general, people say that Kenrokuen Garden is the most beautiful when the cherry blossoms bloom or in the snowy winter, but some people say that they love May the most, when the Irises by the river bloom.

Famous trees at Kenrokuen Garden

This is the large tree that represents Kenrokuen Garden. It is a 200 year old pine tree.

The name of the tree, “Neagarimatsu,” means “a pine tree with its roots going up.” When we saw the root ascending 2 meters, it felt super powerful.

Japanese cedars, hinoki (Japanese cypress), and cherry blossoms… There were many kinds of trees, not just pine trees. Just looking at the roots or the moss, we felt the long past of this collection of trees.

Cherry blossom in Kenrokuen Garden

Now, we can’t leave out the cherry blossoms when we talk about Kenrokuen Garden! We went to the garden hoping to see cherry blossoms, but too bad. It was a little too late! Although cherry blossoms that are about to fall are beautiful, we imagine it would be even more beautiful when they are at full bloom.

This is another famous tree from Kenrokuen Garden called “Asahi Sakura.” It is so amazing, isn’t it?

This is a stone bridge… we think? Having these complicated shaped objects seems very Kenrokuen-like. It feels like we came to an open art museum.

Oh! These cherry blossoms still got it!

It was a very pink cherry blossom variety.

Kasumigaike Pond at Kenrokuen Garden

When Kenrokuen Garden is introduced in picture form, this open view of Kasumigaike Pond is always featured.

This angle from Kotoji Stone lantern is also popular.

This lantern is made to shine on the surface of the water, and this mysterious silhouette of two legs standing on top of the water creates an even stronger atmosphere.

Let’s go see Kanazawa Castle after Kenrokuen Garden

Kenrokuen Garden is basically the outside part of Kanazawa Castle. Of course you want to stop by at the castle too!

Although you cannot enter the main tower, you can see the beautiful gate and the appearance from “Kanazawa Castle Park.” The entrance fee is 310 yen, the same price as Kenrokuen Garden.

Most of the castle is a restoration, but the beautiful pattern on the outer wall is worth a look.

Since it is lower than other castles in Japan, it is nice that you can feel the castle right in front of you.

Even in Japan, a Japanese garden in the size of Kenrokuen is really rare, so there were many moments even we Japanese were inspired. We felt the delicateness of Kanazawa from the well calculated and elaborate structure of Kenrokuen Garden.

If you are interested in Japanese gardens even a little bit, please visit Kenrokuen and create a lasting impression of the amazing views in your mind.

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Written by Ayaka

Born and raised in Hakodate. I drive around Sapporo often too. I love fashion, sweets, and beautiful scenery. I work at a hotel in Hakodate.