Japan: 10 Best Places You NEED to Visit in Kanazawa

Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. Kanazawa was another city to escape the destruction of Second World War. It remains an important city in its region. Many parts of the old castle town, such as the Nagamachi samurai district and chaya entertainment districts remain unchanged. This city has many historical attractions as well as modern museums for its visitors.

1. Kanazawa Castle

During Edo Period the Kanazawa Castle was ruled by the powerful Maeda Clan. Kanazawa Castle was built by Maeda Toshiie in 1583.This castle has lots of historic significance to it. Over the centuries the castle burnt down several times and rebuilt in its place. Traditional construction techniques were used in the renovation. In Kanazawa Castle only the Ishikawa Gate and the Sanjikken Nagaya, samurai warehouse survive from this fire.


Kanazawa Castle

2. Kenrokuen Garden

With over 11 hectares of area the Kenrokuen Garden is located near Kanazawa Castle. Kenrokuen Garden is one of the most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan. The word Kenrokuen literally translates to “Garden of the Six Sublimities”, according to Feng shui the six essential attributes make this garden a perfect garden. Kenrokuen garden has its unique symbol with two legs and two meter tall Kotojitoro Lantern. This garden has one of Japan’s oldest fountains below Kasumigaike Pond.


Read more about Kenrokuen Garden

3. Ninjadera Temple

During the Edo Period Ninjadera Temple was built by the Maeda lords. Ninjadera Temple is also known as Ninja Temple. However this temple is not associated with ninja, with its many illusory defenses the temple earned its nickname. It serves as a disguised military outpost. This temple is situated in the Teramachi area in the south of the city, populated by many other temples.


The Ninjadera Temple is just 5 minute walking distance from Hirokoji bus stop.

4. Nagamachi Samurai District

Nagamachi samurai district was the place where samurai and their families used to live. This district is located near the Kanazawa Castle. This district preserves the historic atmosphere of samurai age. Nomura-ke a restored samurai residence is one of the main attractions of the district. The district has a few other museums and restored structures like ShiniseKinenkan Museum, AshigaruShiryokan Museum, KagaHanshi.


Nagamachi samurai district is just 5 minute walking distance from Korinbo bus stop.

Nagamachi samurai district remains open 24 hours a day.

5. Omicho Market

Omicho Market was established during the Edo Period. Currently it is Kanazawa’s prime fresh food market. This market has been supporting the gastronomic culture of Kanazawa for more than 280 years. In this market most shops specialize in the excellent local seafood and produce. The market is most exciting during the morning hours, but the market is crowded with residents and tourists during the season.


Omicho Market is just 15 minute walking distance from Kanazawa Station.

Omicho Market opens at 09.00 A.M and closes at 06.00 P.M.

6. The 21th Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

The 21th Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is a popular museum. It’s shape and structure is unique and the walls are made up of glass. It is a round shaped building and had been opened in 2004. It is situated in the center of Kanazawa and is very close to Kenroku-en garden and the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art.


The 21th Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

7. Higashi Chaya district

Out of three chaya districts in Kanazawa Higashi Chaya district is the best and largest district to enjoy traditional feasts, Japanese classic performances like dance, music etc. The atmosphere at this place is incredible as you will get to see true traditional colors of Japan over there.


Higashi Chaya district

8. Kanazawa Station

The Kanazawa Station has very unique architecture and that’s the reason it is a popular attraction among visitors. It is known as one of the prettiest railway stations in the world. Spectacular glass dome and wooden gate structure feature this beautiful railway station. The wooden gate is known as Tsuzumi-mon.


More about Kanazawa Station

9. Kanazawa Noh Museum

Located near 21th Century Museum of Contemporary Art; the Kanazawa Noh Museum is a small but worth visiting place. It is all about traditional Japanese culture- Noh. It is a good place to have a glimpse into the Japan’s classic theater style. The visitors can also try Kimono and Noh mask inside the Museum.


Kanazawa Noh Museum

10. Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama

These villages are one of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The site has three historic mountain villages. It is a sightseeing location with gorgeous climate and you will also get to see ancient towns and homes. This place has a lot to offer to the visitors so they should never miss it.


Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama

Kanazawa is the best-preserved major Edo-period city in Japan. The literal meaning of the word Kanazawa is marsh of gold. The cuisine of Kanazawa is famous all over Japan, specially its seafood. There is a local proverb says “you can forget your lunchbox, but don’t forget your umbrella”. However the weather is very beautiful in spring and autumn, and winters are very cold.

Featured Image Courtesy: Marufish

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