Kenroku-en Japanese Garden in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa
Kenroku-en is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan, alongside Mito Kairakuen and Okayama Korakuen. Successive lords of the Kaga Clan created the representative Daimyo garden of the Edo period over the years. Located in the center of Kanazawa City, many people have visited this garden from throughout the country and from all over the world. The garden shows the different impressions every season and visitors will never get bored.
Kenrokuen is a comprehensively created garden by incorporating the elements of the “strolling style” and making full use of garden techniques of various times. It’s not a garden where you can enjoy seeing from a temple or a residence.
You can enjoy the whole area of the garden by walking around. The garden makes the most of the land by creating a large pond in the garden, building a miniature mountain, planting various trees, connecting some ponds with water, and so on. You can stop by tea houses and residences and admire the splendid views.
Many lords in the Kaga Clan had formed Kenrokuen garden for many years. But the basic idea of the garden seems to be consistent. The idea is Shenxian thought (ancient Chinese folk belief in the existence of mountain wizards). A large pond is used to resemble the sea, and islands, where immortal hermits live, are placed there. The lords projected longevity and eternal prosperity in the garden.
Kenroku means having six elements that cannot coexists in a garden.
Six elements are the followings; spacious and secluded, man-made and old-fashioned, waters(falls and ponds) and distant view.
The garden cannot combine six amazing landscapes. If you try to represent a spacious, you will lose silence and depth. Human-made areas and things lose the old taste. Also, the more the waterfalls and ponds are created, the less the distant view will be seen from the garden. Only the garden that succeeds in having these six elements are said to be Fu-en Garden, a famous garden in China. Kenrokuen Garden is resembled Fu-en and named “Kenroku,” which has six crucial elements.