Cherry Blossoms are Open in April’s Kenrokuen
ISHIKAWA – In April, the cherry blossoms are almost all gone in Tokyo. But in the Hokuriku District, located in northwest Japan, flowers are open until the end of April due to the region’s temperature and high humidity. Many tourists, from both inside and outside Japan, have come to in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture to visit Kenrokuen, one of The Three Greatest Gardens in Japan. This garden, with its magnificent view, is said to have been created during the Edo Period (1603-1868) by the Maeda daimyo (feudal lord) family. It took the Maedas a long time to sculpt the landscape seen today.
There are about 40 kinds of cherry trees in Kenroku-en, meaning you can enjoy just as many kinds of cherry blossoms here. When we visited one early-April Sunday, it was raining. Still, many cherry blossoms, including weeping ones, were elegantly in full bloom. Because of the way the varieties open at different intervals, visitors can enjoy the flowers for a long time in spring.
It was after the 19th century that the name of the garden was changed to Kenroku-en. “Ken” means to be compatible, “roku” means six and “en” means a garden. So what are the “six compatible elements” to this garden? A historical theory says, “vastness and depth; artistry and antiquity; and many meandering streams and panorama.” These six potentially-conflicting elements brought together and situated in harmony within this garden, giving it its name.
For a limited period in April, admission is free for both day time and evening light-up events, when you will be impressed by a dream-like atmosphere.
Text by Motomi Takahashi
Photos by Koe Suzuki