As we drove into Kanazawa 金沢, it feels like we’ve entered a different realm. The buildings have grown larger. Malls start to sprout all around us, like mushrooms.
This is the tell-tale signs of a city!
Indeed, Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. It holds plenty of historical value, especially during the Edo period. Kanazawa flourished well as a castle town, having produced a large amount of rice. The Kanazawa Castle 金沢城 was the seat of the Maeda Clan which was second only to the Tokugawa in terms of wealth. The city was the second-largest city in Japan to be spared from bombing during World War 2, hence that is why a lot of architecture in Kanazawa are preserved.
The first thing we want to see in Kanazawa is the famed Kenrokuen Garden.
Walk around @ Kenrokuen Garden
〒920-0936 石川県金沢市兼六町１[Google maps link]
Hours: 7am-6pm (Mar-Oct15), 8am-5pm (Oct16-Feb)
Admission fee: ¥310
We parked at self-service parking [Google map link] which is across the road from the northern entrance - the Kamisaka Gate.
Kenrokuen is regarded as one of Japan's top three gardens, alongside with Mito's Kairakuen and Okayama's Korakuen.
This is Neagari-no-Matsu whose name translates to "Raised Roots Pine". It is one of the largest pine trees in Kenrokuen Garden, with as many as 40 roots showing above ground. It is a sight to behold, especially with the sunset taking place behind.
We then walked across the Hanami-Bashi, Flower viewing bridge. In October, we didn't see much flowers. But the greenery made up for it.
The Meiji monument bears a tall statue of Yamatotakeru-no-Mikoto, a legendary hero and price. This commemorates the dedication of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Seinan battle.
This is the Gankou-bashi also known as the Flying geese bridge. The 11 stones are arranged such that it looks as if the geese are flying in formation, through the sky. Visitors used to be able to cross the bridge, but because the stones started to wear out from abrasion, the bridge is only available for viewing.
The peaceful Kasumiga-ike Pond. Pardon the photo quality - This is a screenshot from the video-clip I made with my phone. It doesn't do the pond justice.
As we spent the late afternoon at Kenrokuen Gardens, strolling down the quaint pathways, we felt a sense of peace. The gentle breeze blowing through our hair. The glowing sun setting. We wished that we could spend more time here, but the gardens was going to close. Maybe the next time we come, I would like to be here during winter when there is snow fall.