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Kenroku-en

Kanazawa’s beauty is commonly attributed to policies instituted under the Maeda clan, which ruled over Kanazawa for 300 years. This garden is often touted as the Maeda clan’s greatest accomplishment. The garden’s origins can be traced back to the 17th century, when the fifth Maeda lord wanted to spend his leisure time on the hill on the opposite side of the castle. The garden evolved with each new generation and each new lord until it received its present-day name, the Kenrokuen, from the Shirakawa lord, Matsudaira Sadanobu, in 1822. The Kenrokuen garden translates literally into the garden of the six attributes, namely spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, waterways, and panoramas. According to an old Chinese tradition, the confluence of these six attributes is required for a perfect garden. The Kenrokuen garden is an example of a personal objective enacting abstract values.

A stroll through this garden with its rich surroundings leads to its heart, the great pond Kasumi-ga-ike. This pond was created with an ocean scene in mind, combined with eternal symbols of prosperity. The Kenrokuen, which has been open to the public since 1874, reflects how powerful the Maeda clan was. The ideal of eternal continuality that the Maeda tried to achieve is still apparent today in the way the Kenrokuen maintains its appeal regardless of the season. One of the garden’s most remarkable aspects is yukitsuri, the traditional technique of using rope to support the trees’ branches to prevent them from collapsing under the weight of snow in the winter. The garden is filled with flowers in the spring, the green of the grass in the summer, and maple trees that turn red in autumn.