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Memories of Japan VIII: Kanazawa

In this new installment of my Memories of Japan series, we're going to Kanazawa where we'll visit its castle and Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan's most beautiful parks!

Kanazawa hides two big treasures: the first one being Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan’s most beautiful parks. It spans 11.4 hectares and it’s located in the highest part of the downtown.

The name Kenroku-en means “6 characteristics”, it was given due to the 6 sublime qualities to which a perfect garden must have: space, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water springs and a wonderful view.

At the entrance, you will find tourist guides — I highly recommend getting one! They are retired Japanese people who didn’t charge a thing, and it was a pleasure walking along the gardens with them. It was impossible to give a tip to the good man; the only thing he accepted was a soft drink.

How can a garden be so breathtaking? It’s so well-kept, simply amazing.

Photo by susielomovitz

The second treasure of Kanazawa is its castle, which is fairly close to the garden. The building has several uses: in 1583, the Maeda family lived there and reigned over Kaga. Later, it was used as a base for the Japanese army. Then, the University of Kanazawa used it as part of its campus.

Renovations to turn this into a park started in 1996 and in 2001, the park opened its gates to the public.

Apart from walking along these two beautiful places, I also recommend getting lost in Kanazawa! It’s a city with many markets and interesting places where you can shot interesting pictures. I fell in love with a laundromat, and I didn’t hesitate to photograph it!

I hope to come back soon with another memory of Japan and a breathtaking corner of this fascinating country!

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written by susielomovitz and translated by ladyfromthepast

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The original version of this article is written in: Spanish. It is also available in: Italiano.