Kenrokuen Garden was originally the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle. It was located on the slope facing the castle. In 1676, the 5th lord Maeda Tsunamori moved the construction administrative institution on the slope to the castle, and built a rest house called "Renchitei" in the surrounding area.
However, the rest house and garden burned down in 1759. The 11th lord Harunaga restored the garden with the creation of Midoritaki waterfall and the construction of Yugaotei in 1774. In 1822, the 12th lord Narinaga constructed the gorgeous Takezawa Villa on Chitosedai plain to the southeast of the castle, even though seven retainers' houses and the clan school were located there. He developed the garden by creating winding streams with water from Tatsumi Water system, and building stone bridges over them.
In the year of completion of Takezawa Villa, Lord Narinaga asked Shirakawa Rakuo to name the garden. He named it "Kenrokuen" after a garden combining the six attributes of a perfect landspcae garden: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, watercourses and panoramas. The name derives from a gardening book written by Li Gefei, a famous Chinese peot.
Lord Naringa died two years after the completion of Takezawa Villa. On the site where the villa was subsequently destroyed, the 13th lord Nariyasu expanded Kasumigaike Pond and added some winding streams the harmonized with Renchitei Garden.
The Basic Structure of the present spacious strolling-style landscape garden was thus completed.
... was built in 1774. It is the oldest building in this garden.
This majestic pine tree is one of the best known tree in the garden. The 13th lord Nariyasu obtained the seed from Karasaki, near Lake Biwa, and it has grown from that seed to its present side. On the November 1st, gardeners begin setting up Yukizuri to protect the branches from heavy snow. The ropes on the trees are a winter sight that is characteristic of Kanazawa.
... the Japanese plum forest is also famous in Kanazawa.