Kanazawa's most famous attraction, the Kenroku-en, is one of Japan's three finest garden.
It was laid by the Maeda rulers between the 1620's and 1840's and its name refers to the six attributes from a famed Sung-dynasty Chinese garden, namely : seclusion, spaciousness, abundance of water, broad views, artificiality and antiquity.
Unfortunately Kenroku-en suffers from its popularity, and flocks of eager tourists assail the garden almost everyday. Better get their early (it opens from 7 am) to savour the tranquillity it deserves.
The Seison-kaku Villa (成巽閣) within the precincts of the garden was erected in 1863 by daimyo Maeda Nariyasu for his mother. The well-decorated and elegant residence has the particularity of having glas windows, a rarity at that time in Japan, which were imported from the Netherlands.
Opening Hours & Admission
The garden is open everyday from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm from 1st March to 15th October, and from 8.00 pm to 5.00 pm the rest of the year. Admission is ￥310 for adults, ￥100 for children (6-17 years old) and free under 6 and over 65 years old. The Seison-kaku Villa costs an additional ￥500.
How to get there
Kenrokuen is located immediately south of Kanazawa Castle, about 30 minutes walk from Kanazawa Station. You can also take a bus from the station (16 minutes, ￥200).