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兼六園 Kenrokuen Garden

  • Historical sites
  • Around Kanazawa
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Around Kanazawa
1, Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa 920-0936, Japan
  • 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 the typical Japanese garden

  • Cherry Blossom Viewing

There are more than 40 species of cherry blossom and 420 cherry trees in Kenrokuen. We can see Somei-yoshino, Higan-zakura, Yama-zakura, Ukon, Fugenzou, Shiogama-zakura, Jugatsu-zakura and so on. There are also Kenrokuen-kumagai-zakura and Kenrokuen-kiku-zakura only to see in Kenrokuen.

During one week of cherry blossoms in bloom, admission to Kenrokuen is free, and it is lit up at night. The type of cherry blossoms is mainly about Somei-yoshino which is the most typical cherry blossom in Japan. Although it depends on the year, it starts to bloom from the beginning of April. After the declaration of cherry blooming by Japan Meteorological Agency, the fist day is decided every year. The forecast of this year is around April 3rd.

During the period, we can see many cherry blossoms near Katsurazaka Gate and Mayumizaka Gate. Besides, one of the best view points is Hanami-Bashi (Flower Viewing Bridge) which we can see cherry trees along a curving river. The area around Higosa-ike Pond is also a famous spot.

As for Kenrokuen-kumagai-zakura only to see in Kenrokuen, it is located near a stone bridge, Chitose-Bashi Bridge. After one week later of Somei-yoshino blooming, it starts to bloom. The age of the tree is 300 years old. As it is similar to a peony, it is also called Botan (peony)-zakura.
Kenrokuen-kiku-zakura is also located near the upper stream of Chitose-Bashi Bridge. It blooms 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.

There is also a famous cherry tree, Asahi-zakura which is one of highlights near Ganko-Bashi. Kenrokuen is a typical circuit style garden which has about 28 points of interest. Therefore, we can enjoy seeing cherry blossoms with the traditional Japanese garden. During the season, many people visit Kenrokuen. If you would like to see cherry blossoms in the 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, we can see many cherry blossoms in various spots in Kanazawa.

(Photos courtesy of Kanazawa City and 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 points of interest

  • Nature Walks
  • Special Recommendations

Kenrokuen is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan. Other two gardens are Kourakuen in Okayama prefecture and Kairakuen in Ibaragi prefecture.

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

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

In the Meiji period, 1874, Kenrokuen was opened to public. Meijikinen Monument was added. After 1995, Funanoochin and Shiguretei are restored. And, some parts of the garden were improved.

There are about 28 points of interest in Kenrokuen. If we check each point, the tour will be more interesting. For instance, Kotojitoro Lantern, kasumigaike Pond, Gankobashi, Observation Deck, Karasakinomatsu, Fountain, Hanamibashi, Neagarimatsu and so on. We 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 latter. We can enjoy walking around in the garden. It is a little similar to contemporary art.

Next to Kenrokuen, there is 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. The combination is very interesting. We can compare both old and new aspects of Kanagawa. When I visited this time, an exhibition "In our time: Art in post-industrial Japan" were taking place. And, one of the keys seems to be in old one. It is because we are facing enviromental 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, Yukitsuri takes place every year in Kenrokuen. Yukitsuri is ropes pulling Pine branches in order to avoid branches broken by snow. We can see the combination between functional beauty and nature.
In spring, we can see Kenrokuen cherry blossom. It is a type of cherry blossom only to see in Kenrokuen.
Actually, we can enjoy four seasons here. And, even if one day, depending on light, we can find something fresh 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.
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