Kanazawa Tourist Attractions
Kanazawa, chief town of Ishikawa prefecture, lies on the northwest coast of Honshu at the point where the Noto Peninsula projects into the Sea of Japan and the River Asano reaches the sea.
It is the largest and finest city in the Hokuriku district and its cultural center. Many features of interest survive from its brilliant past, including one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, the Kenrokuen Park in the heart of the city.Kanazawa is now an industrial center and a university town, with a college of art. Local products are hand-colored silks (kagayuzen) and elegant porcelain (kutani-yaki) with colorful decoration.HistoryThe little village of Tamazaki developed towards the end of the 15th C, under the leadership of the Buddhist priesthood, into a center of political power which came under the control of Sakuma Morimasa in 1580 but three years later, during the civil wars, passed to Maeda Toshiie. During the subsequent three centuries of rule by the princely Maeda family, masters of the province of Kaga and the second most powerful dynasty of the Edo period, Kanazawa prospered as a center of culture and craft production.
Kenrokuen Park, the largest (25ac) of the three most famous Japanese gardens. The park, attached to the residence of the Maeda family, was completed in 1837. As its name indicates, it incorporates six (roku) qualities - dignity, festiveness, spaciousness, artistic form, coolness and scenic harmony.At the north end of the park are the information bureau and car park. Going south from here, we come to two small lakes, Hisagoika to the right and Kasumigaike to the left. At the east end of Hisagoike is a small waterfall and beside Kasumigaike a stone lantern, Kotoji-toro. Farther east is a bronze statue of the legendary hero Yamato-takeru. Southeast of the lake grows a cherry tree famous for its magnificent show of blossom.At the south end of the park stands the Seison-kaku, a house built in 1863 for the Daimyo's mother, and to the east of this is the Museum of Art, with works by the artist Ninsei and a fine collection of Kutani-yaki porcelain. To the southwest is the Kanazawa Shrine.
Oyama Shrine was dedicated to Lord Toshiie Maeda, the first lord of the Kaga Clan. It was first built on Mount Utatsu in 1599 by order of the second Lord Toshinaga Maeda and moved to its present location by later lords. The grounds include a garden designed by Enshu Kobori with islets and bridges shaped like harps and lutes. Its gate, was designed by a Dutch architect named Holtman and built by Yoshinosuke Tsuda.
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is a unique circular building that has no front or back. The galleries vary from glass ceilings with abundant light to darkened rooms with no natural light. The collection features Japanese artists born after 1965.
Seisonkaku Villa was built in 1863 by a Maeda lord for his widowed mother. The interior is noted for the delicate carvings and painted shoji screens.The Maeda family preserved an extensive collection of dolls, which represent their wives and daughters.
Myoryuji Temple, of the Nichiren sect, was famous for its labyrinth of rooms and passages. The temple was also designed as a place of refuge, with an underground passage, which is said to lead to the banks of the nearby River Sai.