The Shigure-tei teahouse might just be my favourite thing in the Kenroku-en garden.
It was originally built in 1676 and has been continually renovated ever since. That’s a curious idea for us in Europe, where a building’s authenticity is measured by how long it managed to stand still, its hard stone defying the centuries. There is no such logic in a country where traditional architecture is of wood, paper and straw. This is why these buildings -pretty much like the Japanese themselves- are ageless. They might look sharp and have been built 300 years ago, or feel a bit beaten even if they’re only 50 years old. Either way, this looks like remarkable time-bending to the eyes of a Westerner.
Surely, here, in this exceptionaly pure and quiet space, mesmerized by the red of the carpet and the immobile landscape, there is a striking beauty that never grows old.
The Kenroku-en in Kanazawa is one of the most important gardens in Japan.