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兼六園 Kenrokuen Garden

  • Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
  • Around Kanazawa
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Around Kanazawa
1, Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa 920-0936, Japan
  • Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
Opening Hours
[March 1-October 15] 7:00-18:00, [The last day of October 16-February] 8:00-17:00
Open Every Day
Date of post:2016/03/08

Cherry blossoms in a typical Japanese garden

  • Cherry Blossom Viewing

There are more than 40 species of cherry blossoms and 420 cherry blossom trees in Kenrokuen park. The following species are quite famous: "somei-yoshino", "higan-zakura", "yama-zakura", "ukon", "fugenzou", "shiogama-zakura", "jugatsu-zakura" etc. "Kenrokuen-kumagai-zakura" and "Kenrokuen-kiku-zakura" can only be seen in Kenrokuen park.

During the one week when cherry blossoms are in bloom, the admission to Kenrokuen park is free, and it is lit up at night. The main type of cherry blossoms is "somei-yoshino" which is the most typical cherry blossom in Japan. Although it depends on the year, it usually starts to bloom from the beginning of April. After the Japanese Meteorological Agency has announced the start of the cherry blossoms season, the first day is decided every year.
During this period, you can see many cherry blossoms near the Katsurazaka gate and the Mayumizaka gate. Besides, one of the best view points is "hanami-bashi" (literally, "flower view bridge") where you can see cherry blossom trees along a curving river. The area around "higosa-ike pond" is also a famous spot.

As for "Kenrokuen-kumagai-zakura" that can only be seen in Kenrokuen park, they are located near a stone bridge called "chitose-bashi" . They usually start to bloom one week later than "somei-yoshino". The age of the tree is 300 years old
and, as the flowers are also similar to peonies, these cherry blossoms are also called "botan-zakura", "botan" being the Japanese word for "peony".
"Kenrokuen-kiku-zakura" are also located near the upper stream of "chitose-bashi". They bloom from late-April to mid-May. A cherry blossom usually has 150-200 petals, but "Kenrokuen-kiku-zakura" has about 300 petals like a chrysanthemum.

"Asahi-zakura" is also a famous type of cherry blossom and one of the highlights near the bridge called "ganko-bashi". Kenrokuen is a typical circuit style garden which has about 28 points of interest. Therefore, you can enjoy seeing cherry blossoms together with a traditional Japanese garden. During the season, many people visit Kenrokuen park. If you would like to see cherry blossoms in a more relaxing atmosphere, you should visit in the early morning. Kenrokuen opens from 4 am, from April to August. The admission is free until 8:45 am.
Next to Kenrokuen, there is Kanazawa castle. There are also many viewing points of cherry blossoms near Kanazawa castle. Actually, during the season, you can see many cherry blossoms in various spots in Kanazawa.

(Photos courtesy of Kanazawa city and the Ishikawa prefecture)

Date of post:2015/07/03

A wonderful scenery in all seasons

  • Nature Walks
  • Special Recommendations

Kenroku-en is one of the three most famous and picturesque gardens of Japan, designated as a place of extraordinary scenic beauty.

Kenroku-en has loads of flowers during all four seasons so you will always be able to enjoy a great landscape.
In Spring there are about 40 kinds of cherry trees and you'll be amazed by the breathtaking scenery filled with full bloomed cherry blossoms.

Don't be disappointed, however, if the cherry season (normally from 4th or 5th April till the middle of April) ends and unfortunately you miss the cherry blossoms when you visit the garden.
There is also Kenroku-en chrysanthemum cherry that is the representative cherry tree of the garden blooming between the end of April and the beginning of May. This type of cherry tree is extremely rare and beautiful, where one flower contains over three hundred petals, and blooms like a chrysanthemum.

On 1 November of each year, starting with the Karasaki pine, the trees of the garden are decorated with yuki-tsuri supports. This helps the branches support the weight of the heavy snow during winter. Yuki-tsuri has become one of the seasonal charms of winter in Hokuriku region and yuki-tsuri of Kenroku-en is renowned all over the country for its incomparable magnificence.

In the garden, there is a tasteful tea room "Shigure-tei" which is a good place to rest and you can have special Japanese confectionery and fantastic green tea. The confectionery is made by Morihachi, which is an old shop that has been doing business for more than a hundred years in Kanazawa.

Address: 1-4 Kenroku-machi, Kanazawa 920-0936
Tel: +81 (0)76 234 3800

Opening hours
1 March - 15 October 7:00 - 18:00 / 16 October - 28 or 29 February 8:00 - 17:00
- Shigure-tei tea house:9:00 - 16:30 (last entry 16:00, closed between 29 December and 3 January)

Adults (18+) ¥310 / Children (6-17) ¥100
Free admission
- Under 6 and over 65 years old with ID
- 1 Mar - 31 Mar 5:00 - 6:45 / 1 Apr - 31 Aug 4:00 - 6:45 / 1 Sep - 15 Oct 5:00 - 6:45 / 16 Oct - 31 Oct 5:00 - 7:45 / 1 Nov - 28 or 29 Feb 6:00 - 7:45
- During the cherry blossom season, the first weekend of June, 14 August - 16 August, 3 November, 31 December - 3 January

Getting there
By bus
- Route bus: About 10 min from the Kenroku-en exit bus terminal at Kanazawa station. Get off at "Kenroku-en shita / Kanazawa-jo".
- Joka-machi Kanazawa Syuyu bus (Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus): About 20 min from the Kenroku-en exit bus terminal at Kanazawa sation. Get off at "Kenroku-en shita / Kanazawa-jo".
- Kenroku-en shuttle bus (Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Bus): About 20 min from the Kenroku-en exit bus terminal at Kanazawa sation. Get off at "Kenroku-en shita / Kanazawa-jo".
- Machi bus (bus services limited to weekends and holidays): About 20 min from the Kenroku-en exit bus terminal at Kanazawa sation. Get off at "21st Century Museum / Kenroku-en".

By taxi
About 10 min from Kanazawa station.

Date of post:2015/07/03

A garden full of wonderful places to see

  • Nature Walks
  • Special Recommendations

Kenrokuen is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan. The other two gardens are Korakuen in the Okayama prefecture and Kairakuen in the Ibaraki prefecture.

In 1676, the 5th feudal lord of the Kaga domain, Tsunanori MAEDA created a garden commonly called Renchitei. It was the beginning of Kenrokuen. The garden reflected hopes of longevity and prosperity and was used in order to welcome important guests.Then, the garden was improved gradually.

In 1822, the garden was named Kenrokuen. Kenrokuen literally means "a garden combining six gardens". And, the six is derived from six features; space, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water-courses and panoramas. These six features are written in a garden book of ancient China.

In the Meiji period (1868-1912), Kenrokuen opened to public. A monument called "Meiji kinen"was added too.
After 1995, different parts of the garden were restored and other were improved.

There are about 28 points of interest in Kenrokuen. For instance, Kotojitoro lantern, Kasumigaike pond, Gankobashi, Karasakinomatsu, a fountain, an observation deck, Hanamibashi, Neagarimatsu and so on. You can get an English map at the entrance.

There are mainly two types of traditional gardens in Japan. One is Karesansui (dry landscape garden). The other is Kaiyuushiki (circuit style garden). Kenrokuen is the latter type. You can enjoy walking around the garden as it is a little similar to contemporary art.

Next to Kenrokuen, there is “21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa”. The combination of both is very interesting. You can compare both old and new aspects of Kanazawa.
Last time I visited the museum, there was an exhibition "In our time: Art in post-industrial Japan" that was taking place.We are facing environmental issues and need to think about harmony with nature. In that sense, a garden is sometimes more suitable rather than a gallery space.

In winter, "Yuki tsuri" takes place every year in Kenrokuen. "Yuki tsuri" is the process of pulling the pine branches with ropes in order to keep the branches from being broken by snow. You can see the combination between functional beauty and nature.
In spring, you can see Kenrokuen cherry blossom. It is a type of cherry blossom that can only be seen in Kenrokuen.
The four seasons can be enjoyed in Kenrokuen!

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
Other Sightseeing Spots of Kanazawa, Noto (Ishikawa)

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