7 days in Japan- 10/20/2023-10/26/2023

Day 4- Kanazawa -10/23/2023

Kanazawa Castle park

Located on the highest point in Kanazawa between the Sai and Asano rivers, Kanazawa Castle was the base of the powerful Maeda clan who ruled over the Kaga domain (most of modern day Ishikawa Prefecture) for 13 generations and almost 300 years. The original Kanazawa Castle was built in 1583 in order to serve as the residence for Lord Maeda Toshiie. From here, the Maeda clan governed the surrounding areas for more than 280 years. Sadly, most of the original building has been damaged over the years due to fire and freak accidents (in 1602, part of it burnt down after it was struck by lightning), and although the complex has been repeatedly rebuilt, locals regard it as somehow less impressive than Japan’s other, more ancient castle complexes. The park’s oldest object is the Ishiwakamon Gate, which was rebuilt in 1788. The Gojikken Nagaya, or warehouse, followed when it was repaired in 1850s. Both these buildings still remain, and they are, as the guesthouse owner advised me, the only things worth viewing at the Park.

To get to the castle ground from Omaya Jinjja Shrine all we had to do is to cross over the Nezumitamon bridge which opened in 2020


The Nezumitamon bridge is the largest wooden bridge ont the castle ground.


Gate to enter castle ground.  This gate existed by the early 17th century and was spared from fire from 1759 fire that destroyed many of thee buildings on the castle ground.


Entering the Castle park ground.


Upon entering the ground there is a is huge park.


Beautiful giants trees along the way....


Gyokusen inmaru garden lost its former appearance and was reconstructed in 2013 following a design process based on the result of a five year excavation suryvey that began in 2008. 


Islet in the garden


A boat parked under a covered wooden roof.


Potted flowers on one of the walkway in the garden.


Continuing our walk....


Shikishi Tanzaky Zumi Stone Wall made with square and rectangular stones.


This stone wall, incorporating square and rectangular stones adn V shaped stone gutter is the msot distinctively patterned at Kanazawa Castle.

Excarvation surveys determined taht there was once a waterfall dropping sone nine meters from this stone wall.


A beautiful stairway going up the hill.


The area is really beautiful!


The Kahoku-mon gate serves as the main gate of Kanazawa Castle.  The gate was restored to its former condition after 130 years


The gate was designed as a defensive purpose and is referred to as one of the 3 majors gated of Kanazawa Castle .


This a picture of the 3 gates.


This is the second gat Ni-no Mon .


View of the first gate on the right and the second gate on the left.


Entering the 2nd gate.


Imori Moat


The Imori Moat was once an outer moat surringing the southwest part of Kanazawa Castle.


View of the outer wall of the castle.


Hishi-Yagura (Diamond Turet) is a 55 ft. tall 3 story building


Closer view of the exterior of the castle.


Panoramic view of the castle and the inner compound


The first building to be constructed were the two turrets (Hishi and Tsuzuki Yagura) and a long storehouse (Gojukken Nagaya) that connects the two turrets. The buildings were rebuilt to their original 1850s appearance using traditional techniques and materials. They were opened to the public in 2001 and contain excellent displays on traditional carpentry. The turrets and the storehouse are the only part of the castle where an admission fee is charged.



Lots of constructions in front of the castle.


Most of Kanazawa Castle Park is free, but the central-most complex of the turrets, storehouse and central gate require a ticket of just a few hundred yen.


Buying tickets to get in inside.


The Castle is one of the largest wooden structures surving since the Meiji era.  


 It’s constructed entirely using traditional wooden joint techniques, without a single nail or bolt!


Most of the wood used to restore the castle was lumbered locally. Each piece of timber is fitted with tongue and groove joints and without any use of metal, following the original carpentry techniques of the era.


View from the second floor of the warehouse looking down at the Imori moat.


This model is in 1/10 scale reproduction of the original buildings.


A scale model of the original stucture of the castle and it was used by carpeters to plan the reconstruction process.


This building has 7 separate "ishi-otoshi" or stone dropping bay windows.  Windows are attached to 3 sides of each dashi bay windon


By opening the floor space next to the window, the slots could be used by dropping stones to precent enemy soldiers from climbing ups the stone walls during times of battl.e


Ishikawamon gate. We are now headed to Kenrokuen Garden


NEXT... Day 4-Kenrokuen Garden




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