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Kanazawa gardens

Kanazawa, sometimes called Little Kyoto, is a town where you can experience history and culture as you enjoy the townscape.It is accessible that spending 2,3 hours from Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo by train.Speaking of typical tourist spots in Kanazawa, it has to be Kenroku-en. As one of the three outstanding gardens in Japan, Kenroku-en is well known. But there also many gardens with a long history in kanazawa either. We will introduce the best information to deeply enjoy gardens in Kanazawa.

The Best gardens to visit in Kanazawa

Kenroku-en

Kenroku-en is one of the three great gardens in Japan. It's a garden that was made by the Maeda family who were the feudal lords of Kaga domain, and was formed over around 200 years by successive generations of the family. It is representative of the type of park developed during the Edo period (1603~1867), centered around a pond and the surrounding paths. The vast inner grounds are dotted with ponds, Tsukiyama (artificial hills), and tea rooms, and you can enjoy a change in scenery with each visit, thanks to the year-round seasonal changing of its natural beauty.

Kenroku-en

Gyokusen-en

This area is in Kabukicho, and has around 200 small restaurants and bars lining the narrow alley. Most of them are small and hold ten or fewer customers. It was once known as an area where intellectuals like famous artists, filmmakers, and people in the theater scene frequented. These days, there are still restaurants and shops with that sort of atmosphere, but there are also many genres such as bars, ramen, and Italian restaurants. You can feel like you've traveled back in time to a bygone Japan, but it has a lively bustle with an atmosphere that lets you relax and enjoy time with everyone. Hanazono Jinja Shrine is nearby, so why not sight-see there before or after going to Goldengai?
Entrance fee for main shrine: 300 JPY for adults

Gyokusen-en

Nomura-ke Samurai Residence Garden

This is the garden to the only samurai residence open to the public in Naga-machi, the residence of Nomura, a mid-level samurai family. It is small compared to Kenrokuen, but is known for its quality and the harmony with the building. In 2003, it placed third in a ranking of Japanese gardens by an American gardening magazine. It is beautifully balanced with 400-year-old mountain peach trees and a large stone suspension bridge. The water comes right below the nure-en deck, creating great harmony between the building and garden. Sit down to look at the garden from the nure-en deck and you may forget the passage of time. There is a tearoom on the second floor where you can have matcha green tea (300 JPY) with a view of the garden.

Nomura-ke Samurai Residence Garden

Oyama Shrine Gardens

This is a famous garden in Oyama Shrine, known for its Shinmon gate. It was built more than 300 years ago as part of the Kanaya Goten gardens. It is a beautiful chisen kaiyu shiki style garden with deftly designed bridges to a small island in the pond and a tiered waterfall. It is sometimes referred to as the "garden of musical instruments" because ancient musical instruments such as koto (Japanese zither), biwa (Japanese lute), and sho (a free-reed instrument) are represented in key parts of the garden, such as the Kotobashi bridge, Biwajima island, and Hoshojima island. It is considered to be a well-kept secret with fantastic foliage in the fall.

Oyama Shrine Gardens

The Old Site of Mr. Kurando Terashima's House

This garden is in the old site of a house that belonged to Kurando Terashima, a mid-level samurai during the Edo period (1603-1868), where the main house, storehouse, and earthen walls remain. There is a chisen kaiyu shiki (style of garden that features a path around a pond) garden that is centered on a pond to the north and east of the house, presenting a different view each season. It is particularly beautiful in the spring, when the dodan-tsutsuji (Enkianthus perulatus) that are more than 300 years old bloom, and when the foliage turn colors in the fall. There are more than 200 trees that present beautiful views to the visitor throughout the year. If you ask, you can also enjoy matcha green tea (300 JPY) in the teahouse. Don't forget to check out the exhibition room where you can see impressive works of art, including paintings by Kurando, who was known as a painter.

The Old Site of Mr. Kurando Terashima's House

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*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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