Japan – Kanazawa

Kenrokuen Garden – Kenrokuen (兼六園)



The name Kenrokuen literally means “Garden of the Six Sublimities”, referring to spaciousness, seclusion, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water and broad views, which according to Chinese landscape theory are the six essential attributes that make up a perfect garden. A stroll around Kenrokuen will help with understanding this landscape theory as the grounds are teeming with water features, bridges, teahouses, trees, flowers, stones, viewpoints and hidden nooks to discover.

Karasaki pine tree with winter protection against heavy snow

In spring, visitors can see plum blossoms in the southern end of the garden as they bloom around mid February to the end March, just before the cherry blossom season begins. Cherry trees, which usually bloom around Kenrokuen around mid April, can be found along the streams through the northeastern side of the garden. There are also other varieties of flowers that grow in the garden during the warmer summer months when visitors can expect to see a lot of greenery as well.

In autumn you can see fall colors, which are mainly provided by the cherry and maple trees and usually change colors from around mid November to early December. The orange and red maples are mostly found near Yamazakiyama on the garden’s eastern side near the Kodatsuno Gate. In the same general area, visitors will find a large bronze statue of a legendary prince, called the Meiji Monument. The statue is dedicated to the soldiers who died in the Seinan War, a civil war that followed the Meiji Restoration.

Kenrokuen is also a stop along the tourist oriented Kanazawa Loop Bus (stop numbers LL9 and RL8) and the Kenrokuen Shuttle Bus (stop number S8). The one way ride from Kanazawa Station takes about 20 minutes and costs 200 yen (100 yen on weekends/holidays in the case of the Kenrokuen Shuttle Bus).

Alternatively, frequent Hokutetsu buses run between Kanazawa Station (East Exit bus stop number 3) and Kenrokuen (15 minutes, 200 yen one way). Get off at Kenrokuen-shita bus stop, which is a short walk from the castle park. Furthermore, there are 1-3 JR buses per hour from Kanazawa Station (East Exit bus stop number 4), which are covered by the Japan Rail Pass.