Friday, 24 September 2010

Kanazawa - Kenrokuen

Kenrokuen, a legacy of the Maeda clan, is Kanazawa's premier tourist attraction.  Along with Kairakuen in Mito, Ibaraki and Korakuen in Okayama it is said to be one of the three most beautiful landscaped gardens in Japan.  Such lists are common place in Japan (in East Asia actually), and stimulate a modicum of cynicism - in part because once a list becomes considered a truth no amount of time enables additions or subtractions to it.
But... Kenrokuen is beautiful;  so lush and green, such a variety of different scenes and atmospheres.  It is also big, much bigger I think than Tokyo's Korakuen or Rikugien. There were armies of workers weeding, sweeping - including sweeping dirt built up on the stones in the streams, trimming and generally keeping things spick and span. It was also very busy with tour groups and getting there early in the morning or late in the evening may make for a more tranquil experience. That said though, you don't have to wait long for a tour group to pass through.  

sweeping mud from the stones

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