One of Kanazawa’s most famous landmarks located at the heart of the city, Kanazawa Castle serves as the grand symbol of Kanazawa. Burnt down and rebuilt over a number of centuries, the most recent fires of 1881 left only two original storehouses and the Ishikawa Gate, an important cultural asset dating back to 1788. The castle served as the headquarters of the Kaga Domain in feudal Japan, dominated by the Maeda clan for the final 300 years leading up to the Meiji Period. Covering 9 hectares of park, some of the castle’s original walls and moat remain intact, but the main keep was never rebuilt after it was destroyed during a fire in 1602. Connected to the breathtaking gardens and tea houses of Kenrokuen across the bridge (originally designated as the castle’s outer garden), Kanazawa Castle and its grounds make a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing with a picnic. A regional center of power since the 15th century, Kanazawa Castle has also served as an army base during World War II and the campus for Kanazawa University until 1995. Extensively rebuilt and renovated, Kanazawa Castle promotes the culture of Kanazawa, detailing designs of traditional Japanese castles and historical events.