Kenrokuen is a place to stroll and enjoy the image of a beautiful landscaped garden typical of the Edo period (1603-1868). Originally, the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle was located on the slope in front of this building. In 1676, the fifth feudal lord Maeda Tsunanori moved the house from the garden to the castle. He built a rest house called “Renchiochin” and began to design the “Renchi-tei” garden in the surrounding area.
However, the rest house and garden burned down in 1759. The 11th Lord Harunaga restored the garden, creating the Midori-taki Waterfall and the Yugaotei Tea Room in 1774. In 1822, the 12th Lord Narinaga erected the magnificent Villa Takezawa in the Chitosedai plateau southeast of the castle, although there were the houses of seven servants and the clan school. He developed the garden by creating meandering streams with water from the Tatsumi System and building stone bridges across them.
In the year of completion of Villa Takezawa, the garden got its name because it was the combination of the six attributes of a perfect landscaped garden: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, waterways and panoramic views. The name derives from a gardening book written by Li Gefei, a famous Chinese poet.
The feudal lord Narinaga died two years after the completion of Takezawa Village. The village was subsequently destroyed and there, the thirteenth feudal lord Nariyasu expanded the Kasumigaike Pool, adding some meandering streams that harmonized with the Renchi-tei Garden. This completed the basic structure of the current extensive landscaped garden, designed for walking.
On May 7, 1874, when the domain system was abolished, the Kenrokuen Garden was opened to the public. Then it was declared a National Asset of Landscape Beauty on March 8, 1922 and as a National Asset of Special Landscape Beauty on March 20, 1985.
Some of the most important points of the garden are:
The Karasakinomatsu Pine; the cherry chrysanthemum Kenrokuen; meandering streams; the Ishikawamon Entrance; the Yugaotei building; the Funsui fountain and the bridge of the wild geese flying, among many other things.
Kenrokuen Garden is listed as one of the three most beautiful gardens in all of Japan, and it is undoubtedly the symbol of Kanazawa Prefecture.