One of Japan’s three most beautiful gardensStrolling in Kenrokuen
Kenrokuen Garden was built by the Maeda Clan nearly 350 years ago as the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle. As one of the “three most beautiful gardens in Japan” (the others being Korakuen in Okayama and Kairakuen in Mito), it has been designated as a special place of scenic beauty. With the improvement of transportation access in recent years, an increasing number of overseas tourists have come to visit the 24.5-acre daimyo garden. Here we advise you on how best to enjoy this world-class Japanese garden considered to be the pride of Kanazawa.Recommended plan list
There are seven entrances to Kenrokuen Garden.
It is possible to enjoy all of the features of the garden during a one-hour walk, but your impressions will differ greatly depending on the entrance that you use. The most commonly used entrance is Katsurazaka Gate, which is the closest one to the “Kenrokuen-shita/ Kanazawa-jo (Kenrokuen Garden・Kanazawa Castle Park)” bus stop, and is locacted right beside Kanazawa Castle Park and Ishikawa Bridge. Other entrances include Mayumizaka Gate, which offers easy access to Kanazawa’s 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and the Zuishinzaka Gate, which is close to the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art. Knowing about the various route options will enable you to sightsee more efficiently.
The route that begins at the Kodatsuno Entrance is mainly downhill and barrier-free, and guides secretly recommend it for being less crowded. It follows along the Tatsumi Yosui, one of Japan’s “three most beautiful canals”. Since it starts at Yamazaki-yama Hill, which is famous for its colored leaves, it is an especially recommended route during the fall.
Kenrokuen Park Map
Spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water cources, and panoramas
Cherry blossoms, fall colors, yukitsuri branch supports... seasonal beauty galore!
Kenrokuen is a rare daimyo garden that has satisfied the traditional six conditions for “outstanding scenery” since ancient times. These 6 qualities are bright spaciousness, quiet seclusion, artifice, antiquity, abundant water in the form of rivers and ponds, and a magnificent view. Various water features, including streams, meandering waterways, ponds and waterfalls, were created using water from the Tatsumi Canal, which was constructed to protect Kanazawa Castle from fires. Kenrokuen Garden’s design is based on the great sense of beauty and playfulness of successive generations of Maeda lords, and its flowers and trees embellish the four seasons. One can sense that the garden has been a part of the natural flow of history that has led to today’s peaceful society.
The landscape of Each Season in Kenrokuen
Early-morning and nighttime illumination
Admission is free until 15 minutes before opening time (7:00am or 8:00am depending on the season). From the beginning of April to the end of August, it is possible to enter the garden as early as 4:00 am. In the refreshing air, you can leisurely take in the superb view of the pond lit up by the rising sun. During the cherry blossom period, springtime, the Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Festival, summertime (August), and during the garden illumination events in the fall (middle of November) and in the winter (February). As the lamps are lit once the garden is closed, just as in the early morning, entrance is free — something to keep in mind!
An out-of-the-ordinary experience in a daimyo garden
There are over 8,000 trees, including the famous Karasaki and Neagari pine trees, as well as historical buildings to see, but the most charming feature of Kenrokuen Garden is its water. As you walk around the garden, the beauty of the oldest fountain in Japan, the waterfall without a basin, and meandering the streams will cleanse your mind.
The garden's resting places
There are many resting places in the garden to leisurely enjoy the garden’s six traditional features. At the time of the wedding of Princess Tamahime, the daughter of the second-generation shogun Tokugawa Hidetada, her 300 attendants from Edo lived on the street that leads from Katsurazaka Gate to Renchi-mon Gate, which was then called Edo-machi. Now the street is lined with tea houses, of which there are 12, including those that are in the garden. All of these tea houses serve as resting places for tourists. Depending on the shop, you will find items on the menu such as matcha, coffee, homemade dango, ice cream, light meals such as udon noodles, and even Kaga cuisine. Be sure to fully enjoy some luxurious time in this daimyo garden.
Implementation location MAP
Recommended plan list8 plans
Reservation possible on the dayTour no.32 1 Day trip from Kanazawa Echizen Bus Tour
5,900yen (tax included)
Reservation possible on the day Reservation requiredWorkshop no.117 You can experience if there are seats available! 【Kinpakuya Sakuda】 【3-minute walk from Higashi Chaya Street】Gold Leaf Embellishment Experience.
700yen (tax included)～Prices start from 700 yen (including tax + materials cost).
Reservation requiredTour no.20 Enjoy 1-Day Bus Tour Shirakawago and Takayama tour
11,000yen (tax included)Per adult
Reservation possible on the dayTour no.158 60 min from Kanazawa,Come to see the real Japan here in Nanto City, Toyama! The Kaga Lord's Road Unlimited Bus Ride Ticket
1,600yen (tax included)～Half price for children.( +plus Ticket; 3,800yen,half price for children)
Reservation possible on the day Reservation requiredWorkshop no.76 Kanazawa-Mizuhiki Workshop KINPU MAKING
3,300yen (tax included)per item
Reservation requiredWorkshop no.137 Let's try koji cooking! Making koji pastes with salt or soy sauce
1,600yen (tax included)Fee per participant
Event no.77 Let's go sightseeing in Kanazawa at night! Night Run Kanazawa
1,500yen (tax included)It is the price of one adult.(Free for children under 11 years old)
Workshop no.66 Authentic Kanazawa Meal Kanazawa Family Cuisine Cooking
5,500yen (tax included)aged 6 under will be free