Wednesday 31 March 2010

Kenroku-en garden at cherry blossom time

On this dreadful day when the north of the UK is battling with snowstorms and the south coast is being whipped by gales, it's wonderful to have a foretaste of spring in the Kenroku-en Garden, which is just outside the gates of Kanazawa Castle.  It is one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, the other two being Kairaku-en and Koraku-en.

Kenroku-en literally means a garden which has six features.  These six features are, according to the ancient  Chinese book of gardens, spaciousness and seclusion; artifice and antiquity; water courses and panoramas.  These are the six qualities to which a garden can aspire.  Kenroku-en has all six.

It is laid out to be enjoyed by walking around it, rather than by viewing it from specific points.  Spaciousness is provided by the tranquil views throughout the 25 acre site; seclusion in the quiet corners which can be found anywhere or everywhere.

Artifice is everywhere because the whole garden is, in effect, artificial.  The trees are carefully trained for best effect.  But they have aged and grown together to give a natural look, and the thoughtfully placed rocks and sculptures have weathered as you can see from the image on the card.

Water is all around: fountains, waterfalls, pond and streams; and views of hills and dunes give you panoramas.

But that's not all - there is the two-legged Kotoji Lantern, the Kasumi Pond with Koi, Karasaki pine planted from seed in the 19th century, the Kaiseki Pagoda, the Komon Bridge.  The list seems endless.  Finally, this card was posted to me from Komatsu City, a twin town of Gateshead in the north of England.

K for Kenroku-en Garden (and many other things).  A post for ABC Wednesday.

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  1. Mentally I could really use a Kenroku-en garden today! Cherry blossoms are beautiful, as is this postcard.

  2. Sheila, this is beautiful. We have a lovely Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco in Golden Gate Park and, in fact, we have a whole Japan Town, with cherry blossom trees, Japanese businesses, hotels, restaurants, groceries, etc.

  3. How very lovely! I learned something today I did not know. Thank you!

  4. The cherry blosdsoms in Washington, DC are blooming this week. I love it!

    On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you!

  5. Japanese gardens are a thing of wonder. Looking forward to blossom watching time.

  6. We have a Japanese Gardens in Kildare, Ireland. This card and your interesting post will inspire me to visit it (when our returned Winter decides to let Spring return).

  7. I've never really been fond of Japanese gardens - they're too cultivated for my taste - but there are certainly a lot of Ks in there!

  8. I adore gardens like this. So serene and Zen. Every plant and flower is exactly where is should be placed.

  9. According to your great description of this garden it must be heaven on earth! Thanks for sharing! Have a great easter!

  10. This must be paradise! Thanks for sharing! Have a happy easter.

  11. What a lovely garden! It looks like a peaceful place in which to wander around.

  12. Howdy Sheila
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful postcard in honor of the letter K.
    Our weather has been rather strange here in Texas.
    I keep wondering when Spring will stick around instead of making random visits.
    I am ready for beautiful days filled with sweet blossoms.
    Have a wonderful Easter.
    Happy Trails

  13. Lovely! After living in Kanazawa for two years, I visited Kenrokuen more times than I can count! It truly is a gorgeous place and has all the best qualities of a Japanese garden.


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