If you get the chance to go to Ishikawa Prefecture, make sure you stop into downtown Kanazawa City. Kanazawa, home and power base of the Maeda Clan, dates from the mid 17th Century in its prime. Much of the city center of Kanazawa is devoted to this history, and the star attraction Kenrokuen Garden, an 11.4 hectare garden park, has come to be known as one of the three most beautiful scenes in Japan. As a result of this exalted national designation, I recommend going there on a cool, cloudy weekday so the massive hoards of tour buses don’t make navigating the pathways around the park impossible!!
The picture above shows the Kotojitoro Lantern overlooking Kasumigaike Pond, a very charming landmark just inside the park entrance but there are countless other places likely to attract crowds of day-trippers posing with their cell phone cameras! It really is a nice place and there are many excellent restaurants and souvenir shops in the area.
Across from Kenrokuen Garden is the Ishikawamon, the rear gate to Kanazawa Castle. Built in 1788, this gate is one of the original structures and ranks as an Important Cultural Property. Surrounding both the garden and castle grounds are several museums worth a visit as well.
About a kilometer from Kenrokuen Garden is a temple of particular interest. Myoryuji Temple, commonly known as Ninja Dera, is a site not to be missed. The 3rd Lord of the Kaga clan, Maeda constructed this truly unique relic of Japanese history. From the outside it looks like a small, simple temple, but once inside it expands into 4 floors, 7 tiers, 23 chambers and 29 staircases. There are a total of 29 contrivances specifically designed to fool the invading enemy. Hidden chambers and stairs, reversible doors, completely unexpected reversible trap doors, floor escape traps and escape pits all make for a very interesting visit. Reservations for a tour are required in advance. (076) 241-0888.
Martin W Zander
Smith’s School of English Fukushima Osaka Umeda
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 福島 校 大阪 市 梅田 校
Smith’s School of English Kotoen Nigawa Nishinomiya
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 甲東園 校 仁川 校 西宮 市