A Stroll Through Kenrokuen Garden

As part of our ongoing series of the best gardens in Japan, today were going to take a stroll through Kanazawa’s premier treasure – Kenrokuen Garden.


Kenrokuen Garden is an old private garden developed from the 1620s to 1840s by the Maeda clan. The Maeda clan was one of the most powerful and wealthy families in Japan, reported to be only second to the ruling Tokugawa clan.

From Wikipedia:

Perhaps the most famous member of this clan was Maeda Toshiie (1538-1599), son of Toshimasa. Toshiie was one of the leading generals under Oda Nobunaga, and later fought against the late H?j? clan under the command of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Oyama Shrine, dedicated in his honor, can be seen in Kanazawa.

The garden is located just outside Kanazawa Castle, which although it didn’t make our list of top 5 castles to visit in Japan, it is still a most impressive castle.

Kanazawa Castle

Kanazawa Castle

Although the garden was destroyed by fire in 1759 (not sure how well a green garden burns?), it was restored in 1774 by the 11th lord Harunaga, who added some of its current features like the Emerald Waterfall and a teahouse.

The garden wasn’t fully completed until the late 19th century when the 13th lord Nariyasu added more streams and expanded the Kasumi Pond. With these last touches, the garden was complete and it opened its doors to the public on May 7, 1874.

A Walk Through the Garden

Kenrokuen features a wide variety of delights including ponds, waterfalls, bridges and teahouses.

From Japan Guide:

The name Kenrokuen literally means “Garden of the Six Sublimities”, referring to spaciousness, seclusion, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water and broad views, which according to Chinese landscape theory are the six essential attributes that make up a perfect garden.

Garden bridge

Garden stroll

Stone lantern


How to Get There

Kenrokuen is located in Kanazawa about 4 hours from Tokyo on the west coast of Japan.

park map

garden map

Photo Credits: Splash photo by: sleepytako, Kanazawa Castle by: Kanpeki Yume, Bridge by: MShades, Garden by: Francesco_G, Stone lantern by: bthomso, Teahouse by: tristanf, Stream by: sleepytako, Room with a view by: Francesco_G, Mother & Daughter and Night Blossoms by: Kanpeki Yume.

Leave a Reply