Kenrokuen has been described as one of Japan’s three great gardens, though it is actually six different gardens. They were originally part of the neighboring Kanazawa Castle, which was built by the Maeda clan (second in power only to the Tokugawa clan, who controlled the shogunate). The gardens are beautiful at any time of year but especially in the spring, when their many cherry trees bloom, and in winter, when the pine trees are covered in snow. The castle itself dates back some 400 years and was last restored in 2001. The two sites together make up one of Kanazawa’s most popular attractions.