Kanazawa Castle (金沢城, Kanazawa-jō) is a large, well-restored castle in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.  It is located adjacent to the celebrated Kenroku-en Garden, which once formed the castle's private outer garden.

The castle was founded in 1583 when the Maeda family moved to Kanazawa to establish the Kaga Domain.  It was greatly reconstructed in 1592 after the Battle of Bunroku, at which time its moats were dug.  It was burned down and reconstructed in 1620-21 and again in 1631-32, then almost completely gutted in the great Kanazawa fire of 1759, and rebuilt in 1762 and 1788 (Ishikawa-mon Gate).  After several minor fires and an earthquake, it was again destroyed by fire in 1881.

What remains, including the 1788 Ishikawa Gate, is now part of Kanazawa Castle Park.  The Sanjukken Nagaya (an Important Cultural Asset) and the Tsurumaru Storehouse are two additional remaining structures.

The Hishi Yagura turret, Gojikken Nagaya warehouse, and Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura turret were faithfully restored in 2001 to their 1809 form, using traditional construction methods.  Today's pillars are Japanese Hinoki Cypress with massive American cypress as ceiling beams.  It is such a large structure within that in the late 1700s it was called "the palace of 1,000 tatami".  The castle's distinctive, whitish roof tiles are made of lead.  The reason for that is not only that they are fireproof, but also that in times of siege, the tiles could be melted down and cast into bullets.

Most of the day included a dark sky, but I think it made for some neat pictures.

A progression of the walls that were used in building castles in Japan.

The many layers of the outside walls ...

and an explanation.

A garden on the castle grounds, not as large as Kenroku-en, but still pretty none the less.

A model of how the castle used to look ... it covered a lot of area, there are only a few walls and buildings that remain.

A view of the Japanese garden we took our picture at earlier.

The roof line.

As we were leavig God opened up the sky and gave us a chance for few pictures with blue skys!


On our way to Kanazawa we stopped at a parking area and finally got to see the Sea of Japan!

The Sea of Japan!

It was very windy and our camera almost got knocked off the ledge ... the ledge wasn't in the picture when I set the timer!

Lots of wind and waves as rain was headed our way for most of the day.