A castle without a castle tower
Kanazawa Mido Hall, which was once a Pure Land Buddhist temple, was invaded and taken over by General Morimasa Sakuma under orders of Nobunaga Oda. Afterwards, building of a castle began from 1583 under Toshiie Maeda, the head of the Kaga clan. However, following the loss of the castle tower from fire due to a lightning strike in 1602, only the watchtower and palace were re-built. But then another fire occurred which led to more re-building without the castle tower ever being resurrected, and even now it (inner citadel) exists only as remains of a demolished site. Currently, Kanazawa Castle is undergoing restorative construction so that it can be passed onto future generations as an important historical cultural property. In 2001, restoration of the Hishi Yagura watchtower, the Gojikken Nagaya warehouse and the Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura watchtower and command post was completed to become symbols of Kanazawa Castle which boasts an area of 1894.23 sq. meters. These buildings were protection against enemies during war, so there were latticed windows for stone-throwing and guns, mortared walls painted in white, and walls covered in square tiles jointed with raised plaster constructed against fire which were seen everywhere as a protective function. In addition, the Ishikawa-mon Gate and the Sanjikken Nagaya warehouse have been designated as Important Cultural Properties.
Kanazawa Castle as a stone wall museum
One attractive point about Kanazawa Castle is its diverse stone walls. Because of the different uses of the stone walls depending on the place and the repeated reconstruction, you can view completely different types of stone wall within the vast grounds so that the castle has also been called a stone wall museum. You can walk and observe at your own pace through the large site and can also tour the adjacent Kenroku-en, one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens, which was also constructed by the same head of the Kaga clan.