Once the outer garden of the grand Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen is one of Japan’s three most beautiful landscape gardens and is located in the heart of Kanazawa City. Developed as a strolling garden over the course of 170 years, Kenrokuen was initially founded and placed over Kanazawa’s central heights during the Edo Period. Its name means “garden of six elements,” incorporating six specific attributes of spaciousness, tranquility, artificiality, antiquity, abundant use of water, and broad views, to design the perfect landscape garden. Spread over 11 hectares, water features, ponds, viewpoints, hidden nooks, and different flowers and trees achieve this goal elegantly. Changing with the seasons, Kenrokuen is a popular attraction for viewing the fall leaves, while its trees are wrapped during winter to be protected from heavy snow. The garden features tea houses serving green tea and traditional sweets, enjoyed with beautiful garden views. Outside of the Katsurazaka Gate, a quaint pedestrian street with restaurants and souvenir shops offer ice creams and traditional meals. Kenrokuen is surrounded by museums and galleries beyond the grounds, notably the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.
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