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Published on Sep 21, 2012
As the cool of autumn starts to descend over the city, the tops of Mount Haku and of the other mountains in the Kaetsu range lining the horizon are luminous with the first scattering of snow. The crimson and rust tints of autumn have crept over the wooded hills hemming the city. Everywhere there are sights and sounds of rippling water from the autumn rains that have returned to Kanazawa.
Spreading over two major rivers, Kanazawa is a city blessed with abundant water resources. Precipitation is stored in the roots, fallen leaves, moss and decaying wood of the headwater forests in the mountains, sinking through the soil to the underground sources of springs. Water reappears as streams and rivers, flowing through downstream fruit orchards, vegetable fields and rice paddies, and then through the city to the wetlands of the Kahoku lagoon and into the sea.
There is no wonder that Mount Haku, one of Japan's three sacred mountains and the source of four large rivers — the Tedori, Kuzuryu, Nagara and Sho — has long been worshipped as a deity of water.