Kanazawa flourished so much in the Edo period (1603 - 1868) that it was called "Kaga Hyakumangoku," a phrase used to signify that it was so rich in wealth that it became a major cultural center. The foliage in this ancient city is superb. Here are 5 recommended spots to check out in the autumn.
Kenrokuen is one of the world-famous three great Japanese gardens. In the Edo period, the Kaga daimyo (Kaga being an area of which the modern city of Kanazawa was part of; a daimyo was a feudal lord) continued to expand the garden over generations, so this garden was created over many years. This garden's distinguishing point is that it wasn't built to be seen from a sitting point inside a building but rather a garden made to be walked in so you can enjoy it completely. So when you go see the foliage, it might be really fun to walk around and find a spot that you like the best. Please find the sight that makes you happy.
This area has been reborn many times, since it was first built in 1822 as a school, then as a cultural center that included facilities like a university, and then in 1968 it became Chuo Park according to the wishes of Kanazawa residents. In 2014 it was renamed the Ishikawashiko Memorial Park, but it continues to attract many visitors. One of the reasons it's so popular is the street lined with beautiful American maple trees. American maple trees turn a deep red that covers the street, and the sight of the falling leaves will warm your heart. You should stop by when you need a breather while sightseeing in Kanazawa.
2. Ishikawashiko Memorial Park - Road of American Maples
This garden is one for the connoisseurs even within Kanazawa, thanks to its two-level construction around a pond, a pine tree said to be 350 years old, and various kinds of stone lanterns. It's famous for being built in a way that's rare even for Japan; there are few gardens with similar layouts. This garden that was built with care becomes even more fantastic when the trees begin changing color. There's a traditional Japanese restaurant there as well, so you can experience luxury by eating Kanazawa gourmet as you gaze out at the garden scenery.
3. Kanazawa Gyokusen-tei Garden Gyokusen-en
Taiyougaoka is a new residential area in the southern section of Kanazawa, and its symbol is its tree-lined street. Dawn redwoods, a type of conifer, were planted along this promenade, so the tall trees cover the street and in the autumn it becomes a foliage tunnel. It's a neighborhood where electrical lines run underground, not on poles, so you can happily enjoy the sight of the beauty of nature. This area holds dear the ancient culture will living a comfortable, modern lifestyle, and this is an airy spot where you can feel that as you look at the trees.
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
4. Kanazawa Taiyougaoka New Town's Tree-lined Street
This neighborhood is full of temples, as evidenced by the name ""Teramachi"" (written with the characters for ""temple"" and ""town""). This area of around 70 temples and shrines in Teramachi and Nomachi is called ""Jiingun"" (""a gathering of temples and shrines""). You can enjoy their history, such as Myoryuji which was known as a ninja shrine or Uho-in, a temple with connections to famous scholars. In the autumn, each shrine and temple becomes bathed in foliage and show off a different, charming side to them. It's an area with few parking lots so it's best to visit on foot. It's close to Katamachi, a business district, so you can take a leisurely walk from there. You might find a sight you've never seen before or even a new favorite shrine.
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
5. Teramachi Jiingun
Kanazawa is a city you should definitely pay attention to in the autumn, thanks to its foliage that highlights not just its long history but also the city's modernity.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.