JR Kanazawa station（11:30am）= Kenrokuen garden(from 11:50am / 70min)=Lunch in Kenrokuen garden（from 1:10pm / 60min) ＝Kanazawa castle garden(from 2:20pm / 70min) ＝Oyama shrine(from 3:50pm / 40min)＝Hotel in Kanazawa city（5:00pm）
Hotel in Kanazawa city（9:00am）＝Myuritsu temple(from 9:20am / 70min)＝Samurai residence(from 10:50am / 60min)＝Lunch in Higashi Chaya district(from 12:10pm / 60min)＝Higashi Chaya district, a tea store named “Shima” & Kazue machi Chaya district(from 1:20pm / 100min)＝Oumimachi market(from 3:30pm / 60min) = JR Kanazawa station(5:00pm)
I would like to introduce Kanazawa where I recently visited and had an impressive experience by watching the remains of castle town established by a local feudal load of Samurai worriers, Toshiie Maeda who did enormous role during Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573~1600).
Toshiie Maeda had survived as one of top Samurai worries and local feudal load of Kanazawa castle during the Warring states period.
He had served to his load such as Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi and great role for them to unify Japan.
Also his son Toshinaga Maeda had served to his load of Ieyasu Tokugawa who had established Edo area (1603 ~ 1867).
Due to above historical effort by the successive load of Maeda family, they could have kept the load of Kanazawa castle as number one crop yield of
1 million among the loads in Japan as the servants to Tokugawa Shogunate. The ancient atmosphere of current Kanagawa city such as Nagamachi Samurai residence, Higashi chaya, Kenrokuen garden, Kanazawa castle and so-on come from the heritage of Maeda family.
Following photo shows Maeda Toshiie.
Kanazawa is called “Little Kyoto” and promoting it as a town having traditional beauty like Kyoto.
Following are the main tour spots in Kanazawa city.
1. Kenrokuen garden
This garden is one of the most famous landscape garden in Japan. There are three artificial hills , two beautiful ponds and bipedal stone lantern which is a symbol of the garden that stands with one foot in the water and the other on an islet.
1) Kotoji-Torou (garden lantern):
This lantern has forked-foot whose height is 2.67meter and create beautiful scenery combined with old trees of autumn and rainbow bridge on a meandering stream.
The front bridge of the lantern is called “Rainbow bridge”.
2) Karasaki-matsu / pine tree:
This pine tree was raised by 13th generation feudal load, Nariyasu by getting the Seeds of Karasaki-matsu grown by Lake Biwa.
This pine trees are the best shape of a tree in Kenroke-en garden.
Yukitsuri to place ropes or wires stretched from the top of a tree to the lower branches to prevent their breaking under heavy snow is the things that reminds one of a particular season during winter.
Neagarimatsu (pine tree) in Kenroku-en garden is famous for its’ roots which consists of 40 pieces with large and small ones and gradually are rising up to the height of 2 meter. The figure impress people by its’ powerful strange spectacle.
11 numbers of stone are lined up which look like wild geese fly away in a queue. It is said that if you walk through this bridge, you will live longer.
At present, due to the bad wear, the walking on this bridge is prohibited.
This pond is located on the center of Kenrokuen-garden whose size is around 5800 square meters which is the largest size in this garden. You can see and experience different type of landscape depending on the angle you see. In this pond, wildduck and snowy heron usually take a rest and several fish such as carp are swimming which let you be relaxed.
I recommend you to walk to see this garden along with this pond.
6) Meandering stream:
In this Kenrokuen garden, the Meandering stream of 570 meter are set around in this garden. The water are pulled down from Tatsumi-service water gained from upper stage of Saigawa-river about 10km distance from this garden.
This fountain raises water by a water pressure which are created by the difference of elevation between Kasumigaike-pond and the fountain position with the water coming from Kasumigaike-pond. The height of the fountain is around 3.5meter.
It is said that this fountain was built in the late of 19th century and is the oldest one in Japan.
8) Bairin (plum forest):
This plum forest was developed in 1968 as the memorial project of 100th Anniversary of Meiji restoration by gathring plums from all over Japan cooperating with Kitano-Tenmangu, Dazaifu, Yushima-Tenjin, Kairakuen and so-on. 20 kinds of plums with total 200 pieces are planted at present and beautiful flowers colored by red and white are in full bloom in March every year.
In this small mountain, deciduous broad-leaved forest such as maple, Japanese horse chestnut and so-on are planted.
Those flowers change color beautifully to red and yellow in autumn. The water flow out among rocks on the foot of the mountain are poured into Kasumigaike-pond by creating 570 meter meandering stream.
10) Tea houses in the garden:
In this garden, there are several tea houses set both on inlet of a pond and on the pond. These houses have people felt much better landscape in the garden.
You can enjoy foods and Japanese tea only in the house of inlet side.
2. Kanazawa castle:
Nationally- Designated Historical Site Kanazawa castle is located at the edge of a hilly area, between two rivers that run through the city. Its total area is approximately 30 herctares and the central enclosure has an elevation of 60 meters, around 30 meter above the castle town. In 1583, Maeda Toshiie became the load of Kanazawa castle, after that it became home to the Maeda clan who had ruled over Kaga domain, a large region covering most of modern day Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures through the Edo period. In 1759, most of the castle’s building were lost in the largest fire which the castle town had ever seen, but Ishikawa main gate and Sanjikken Nagaya storehouse were both reconstructed and have been preserved since Edo area.
Kanazawa castle with its well preserved and accurately re-created grounds , and its stone wall built with advanced stone working techniques is an excellent example of modern Japanese castles.
1) Ishikawa gate:
Ishikawa gate which is registered as important cultural properties in Japan are located in the back gate of Kanazawa castle which are very important strategic position. The gate was built in 1788 as a square shape which consists of two turrets, turret connecting two buildings, houses in a row and so-on. The building has been survived up to now.
2) Stone wall of Ishikawa gate:
The stacking pattern are different between right side that is rare case and this stone wall was tacked in 1795.
The way of stacking of right side is called “Ashlar masonry” and that of left-side is called “Rough processing masonry”.
3) Gojyukken house in a row & Hishi-Yagura (turret)
This houses in a row is a store house where lots of weapons are stocked.
This house is built on stone walls.
Hishi- turret are built with using diamond shaped materials such as pillars.
The shape of this turret is also diamond -shaped and the tallest building in Kanazawa castle park as the symbol of this park.
This gate is a front gate of Ninomaru-Palace (outer citadel) and the higest rank gate which consists of two gate and a square shaped area.
This gate was burned out in 1881 and rebuilt in 2015.
This bridge connects between Ninomaru-Palace and Main-Palace which no longer exists at present. The main palace area used to be a Kanazawa temple where lots of worship visitors had walked through this bridge while praying to Amida Buddha.
They returned back after they prayed for them to reach peaceful death while worshipping to setting sun in the evening.
6) Sanjyusangen turret:
This building is two stories turret which is registered as important cultural properties and rebuilt in 1865.
This palace is located on the center of the park and surrounding distance is 530m. The top load and his family used to live in Main Palace area and his vassals had lived in Ninomaru-Palace and other palaces.
After main keep in main palace burned out by a big fire in 1602, the top loads and their family moved to Ninomaru-Palace house which had been renovated.
These Palace houses had continued during 120 years. After a big fire occurred in 1759, almost all building inside the castle area had been burned out. Up to now, Ninomaru Palace has been re-built through several fires and it has become the center of this Kanazawa castle park.
3. Oyama Jinjya shrine
This shrine deify Toshiie Maeda who was a local feudal load of Samurai worriers and did enormous role as one of the top feudal loads during Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573~1600). There are three types of building method as Japanese, Chinese and Western.
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