Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekend in Kanazawa

This past weekend we went to Kanazawa, a city on the Sea of Japan. One of the city's highlights is Kenroku-en, one of the three great gardens in Japan. The garden is lit up a couple times a year, and we just happened to visit on the first day of the Autumn Light-Up.

Kanazawa can get a lot of snow in the winter, and yukitsuri was already in place on many of the trees in anticipation of this. Yukitsuri is a technique for protecting trees from heavy snows by giving the tree extra support with a bamboo pole, and then connecting limbs to the pole with rope. Although designed to be functional, the result was really lovely to look at too.

We also saw the oldest fountain in Japan - it operates by natural water pressure!

Kenroku-en is also famous for Kotoji-tōrō, a stone lantern with two legs - it is featured on the manhole covers around town, and is emblematic of both the park and the city.