Twenty-first century Kanazawa presents an extraordinary union of unblemished old Japan and a modern, trendsetting city. More than 300 years of rich history have been preserved in the earthen walls and flowing canals of the Nagamachi, the former samurai quarter; the cluster of Buddhist temples in the Tera-machi; and the wooden facades of the former geisha district. The Maeda clan ruled this area of Japan during the Edo period. Much of their wealth they used to fund and encourage cultural pursuits such as silk dyeing, ceramics, the production of gold-leaf and lacquerware - traditions that continue to this day. Kanazawa also is home to Kenroku-en, considered one of the three best gardens in Japan.