Widely considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa began in the seventeenth century as a private garden for Kaga feudal lords. The garden first opened to the public in 1874 and was designated a National Site of Scenic Beauty in 1922 and upgraded to a National Site of Special Scenic Beauty in 1985.
In traditional Chinese gardening, there are said to be six attributes that make up the ideal garden landscape. Kenroku-en translates to ‘garden of six attributes,’ claiming to incorporate spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water features and panoramas into this single green space.
A 90-minute strolling course takes visitors past most of the park’s points of interest, including several ponds, an observation deck, a stone lantern, one of Japan’s oldest fountains and a couple of traditional tea houses. Each season brings a new look to the garden, with spring and its accompanying plum and cherry blossoms the most popular.
Kenroku-en Garden is open throughout the year and charges an admission fee. The garden is accessible via a 15-minute bus ride from Kanazawa Station.