Kanazawa, best known for the stunning Kenroku-en Gardens, is one of Japan's best kept secrets. Ruled first by Buddhist monks and then by the powerful and wealthy Maeda clan, Kanazawa was once one of Japan's richest cities. It was also one of only a handful of cities to escape damage during the Second World War, and Kanazawa's older districts are consequently remarkably well preserved. Kanazawa's treasures reflect its rich and varied history, with geisha districts rubbing shoulders with temples and the newly reconstructed castle. The Kenroku-en Gardens are considered to be the most impressive of Japan's three most beautiful gardens, and features ponds, hills, and a number of buildings and tea houses. Kenroku-en famously combines all six principles traditionally desirable in a Japanese strolling garden, with spaciousness and seclusion, artifice and antiquity, and water courses and panoramas.