Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kanazawa's Kenroku-en's sights (Photo-essay)

Among the main reasons why I wanted to visit Kanazawa was because it's home to Kenroku-en, reputedly one of Japan's three most beautiful gardens.  And one of the chief reasons why I went to Japan in mid-May was because it's before the rainy season begins but after Golden Week.

However, when looking at the weather forecast in the days leading to my most recent Japan trip, I saw that it was supposed to rain on the third and fourth days that I'd be in Kanazawa even while being dry during my other vacation days.  So after I checked in at the extremely good-value-for-money Toyoko Inn Kanazawa-eki Higash-Guchi, I headed straight over to Kenroku-en (N.B. "en" is Japanese for garden) to spend a couple of hours taking in the sights at that beautifully laid-out -- and maintained -- 105,000 square meter-sized traditional stroll garden:-

From one side of Kenroku-en, one can get 
panoramic views of Kanazawa and beyond

...but in all honesty, the more up close views to be had
inside of Kenroku-en actually are more visually impressive!

 I must admit to finding the statue of Prince Yamato Takeru to be
goofy looking but nonetheless think its existence adds a special 
something to the garden which took over a century to complete

On a similar note, I think Puppet Ponyo's presence
enhances this photo taken inside of Kenroku-en :)

 It's still only spring but certain colorful leaves 
look more like what one'd expect to find in the fall

 Many a large tree at Kenroku-en have been
given supports for their undulating branches

This two-legged stone lantern is the symbol 
of Kenroku-en and even Kanazawa itself

However, I prefer the sight of the oldest fountain in Japan
-- especially viewed from those angles when one can get
the bonus sight of a rainbow :)

5 comments:

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, I love visiting Japanese Gardens. What a beautiful garden. And such a pretty setting for pretty Puppet Ponyo. Lovely photo.

Thanks so much for sharing.

YTSL said...

Hi Trekcapri --

I really loved Kenroku-en. Have to admit that I was underwhelmed the first few minutes there because there were tour groups all around me but once I realized that the garden's huge and one can easily find quiet sections in it, I could easily appreciate it -- and spend hours there!

And awww re your kind words re Puppet Ponyo. :)

Bill said...

Hi Yvonne,

Your photos capture the experience of being in this garden...I like the photo of the "undulating branches" because the wide-angle creates a 3-D effect - and you don't have to wear special glasses to experience the visual depth!...Posing front and center in your photo,Ponyo continues to bask in her exaltation as a perfect traveler's companion.

On my one and only trip to Japan way back when, I encountered a group of repeat visitors to Japan who insisted that Japanese gardens were superior to Chinese gardens. I disagreed, stating that Japanese gardens (and things Japanese in general) are more minimalist and manicured than Chinese gardens, which I think are outstanding for their convoluted rockery. Do you have an opinion about this?

Bill

sarah sbk said...

hi ytsl,

What a beautiful garden. And Puppet Ponyo looks so cute with the blossoms scattered on the ground behind her.

YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

I'm glad you noticed that 3-D feeling of the photo of the undulating branches. I also liked the redness of the tree's bark. And thanks, as ever, for your Puppet Ponyo appreciation. :)

Re Japanese vs Chinese gardens: Based on my limited knowledge of both, I think Chinese (rock) gardens are, at first glance, more visually impressive but really love how, with Japanese stroll gardens, different vistas can open up and even the same items can look so different when viewed from different angles.

Will also say that I'm sure I'd love Chinese gardens more than I do if they weren't so crowded when I visited them. But such is my lot because, well, some of the ones I've been to have been famous ones after all -- e.g., the one inside of the Forbidden City and that at Prince Gong's Mansion in Beijing.

Hi Sarah sbk --

I can definitely see why Kenroku-en is so highly rated by the Japanese (though, in truth, I ended up being lured into spending more time in Yokohama's Sankeien).

Re Puppet Ponyo: I took a few pictures of her in Kenroku-en and that's my favorite for sure. :)