Kenrokuen Garden

Kenrokuen Garden: A Historical Masterpiece in Kanazawa


Kenrokuen Garden, located in Kanazawa, japan, is one of the country’s most famous gardens and holds a significant place in Japanese history and culture. With its long and celebrated history, the garden attracts visitors from all over the world. Created by the Maeda family over several hundred years, Kenrokuen Garden is considered one of the best examples of a strolling-style Japanese landscape garden. It combines six characteristics that make it truly unique and captivating – spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water sources, and magnificent views.

A Garden of Distinction

Kenrokuen, which translates to “garden that combines six characteristics,” lives up to its name by seamlessly integrating these six elements into its design. Not many gardens in Japan can boast of such a harmonious blend, making Kenrokuen a true masterpiece. Visitors to the garden can expect to be mesmerized by its beauty, regardless of the season they choose to visit.

Don’t Miss

There are several highlights within Kenrokuen Garden that should not be missed. One of these is the naturally-powered water fountain below Kasumigaike Pond. This impressive fountain reaches a height of 3.5 meters and is a captivating sight to behold. Another must-see attraction is the Seisonkaku Villa, known for its two distinct styles of Japanese architecture. The villa was built in 1863 by Lord Nariyasu Maeda as a retirement home for his mother and offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Maeda family. Lastly, the Kotojitoro Lantern, with its unique two-legged design, serves as the symbol of the garden and is an iconic feature that should not be missed.

How to Get There

Kenrokuen Garden is easily accessible by bus from Kanazawa Station. The bus ride takes approximately 20 minutes and costs 200 yen. Alternatively, JR Rail Pass holders can take the JR buses bound for Korinbo using their passes. The garden’s central location also makes it convenient to visit other main attractions in Kanazawa.

The Garden’s Evolution

Kenrokuen Garden has a rich history that dates back centuries. Originally a private garden belonging to the Maeda family, who ruled over the Kaga domain from Kanazawa Castle, the garden has evolved over time. Construction of the garden began in 1676 with the creation of Renchitei, a landscape garden. It wasn’t until 1822 that the garden took on its present name, and in 1874, it was opened to the public, allowing visitors to appreciate its beauty and serenity.

Experience the Mindfulness of Samurai Times

A visit to Kenrokuen Garden offers a unique opportunity to experience the mindfulness of samurai times. Every feature of a traditional Japanese garden can be found here, including ponds, stone lanterns, waterfalls, stone paths, bridges, streams, tea houses, and artificial hills. The tranquil environment of the garden was designed for meditative practices during the feudal era, and visitors can easily spend hours immersing themselves in the peaceful surroundings.

Enjoy Kenrokuen Whatever the Season

Kenrokuen Garden is a sight to behold in every season. In spring, plum blossoms and cherry blossoms paint the garden with vibrant colors. Summer brings a variety of flowers, such as azaleas, to bloom. In fall, the garden becomes ablaze with the stunning red leaves of Japanese maple trees, offering a spectacle known as “momijigari.” Even in winter, the snow-covered pine trees along the pond create a romantic atmosphere. Additionally, during January and February, the trees are illuminated, adding a magical touch to the garden.

Yukitsuri: Strung-Up Trees

One unique feature of Kenrokuen Garden during the winter months is the yukitsuri. These are conical arrays of ropes that are set up to support the branches of pine trees, preventing them from breaking under the weight of heavy snowfall. This traditional practice ensures the preservation of the garden’s beautiful pine trees, some of which are over 200 years old. The yukitsuri can be observed from November 1st to around March 15th.

Magnificent Traditional Japanese Villa

At the southeast end of Kenrokuen Garden stands the Seisonkaku Villa, an enormous two-story structure built in 1863. Lord Nariyasu Maeda constructed this villa as a retirement home for his mother. The villa showcases two distinct architectural styles. The main floor, known as buke-shoin, features a formal setting for receiving guests, while the second-floor design, called sukiya-shoin, offers a more playful and relaxing atmosphere with its red, blue, and purple color scheme. Visitors to the villa can also explore its museum, which displays dolls, kimono, and paintings.

Around Kenrokuen

Kenrokuen Garden is not the only attraction in the vicinity. It is connected to Kanazawa Castle, and a simple bridge crossing leads visitors to the Ishikawa gate. Outside the Katsurazaka gate of the garden, visitors will find a pedestrian road lined with small restaurants and cafes offering casual lunch dishes, tea, and even ice cream covered in gold leaf. Kanazawa is known for its gold leaf production, accounting for 99% of all domestic gold leaf production. The city is also home to several museums, such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region.


Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa is a historical masterpiece that showcases the beauty and elegance of Japanese garden design. With its six characteristic features, the garden offers a unique and captivating experience for visitors from around the world. Whether it’s the naturally-powered water fountain, the magnificent Seisonkaku Villa, or the vibrant beauty of each season, Kenrokuen Garden never fails to leave a lasting impression. A visit to this iconic garden is a journey through time and an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of Japan.

Address And Maps Location:

1 Kenroku-machi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken

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