Kenrokuen resides in the center of one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. Kanazawa, also known as 'Little Kyoto' is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. It is filled with tasty restaurants serving kaiseki ryori, Kanazawa Castle, Myoryuji Temple, streetscapes straight from the pre-modern period, a samurai quarter, Gyokusen-en garden, and, of course, Kenrokuen.
When thinking of this garden, the average Japanese person will immediately call to mind the supporting ropes, known as 'yukitsuri', that hold up the branches of the vegetation during the heavy winter snows that are common along the Noto Pennisula, but the garden has many other attributes to recommend it including: wide open spaces, spectacular architecture, and outstanding examples of native trees.
The name Kenrokuen has a particular meaning. The roku, literally 'six', refers to the six important attributes for gardens as set out in 11th century Chinese literature: vastness, solemnity, coolness (water and rocks), careful arrangement, age (strength) and beautiful views. Kenrokuen has all of these in abundance.
I would not paint a face, a rock,
nor brooks, nor trees. Mere semblences
of things, but something more than these.
That art is best to which the soul's range
gives no bound. Something besides the form,
something beyond the sound.