Kanazawa Travel Guide

  • Kenrokuen Garden
    Kenrokuen Garden
    by Rabbityama
  • Things to Do
    by hebaemam
  • Things to Do
    by dancinbudgie

Kanazawa Highlights

  • Pro
    Mr.Sparkle profile photo

    Mr.Sparkle says…

     Lots to do in a central area. 

  • Con
    ClareyD profile photo

    ClareyD says…

     A bit off the beaten track, and snowing in March! 

  • In a nutshell
    Tomoe profile photo

    Tomoe says…

     Beautiful place with plenty to see - if you do it yourself 

Kanazawa Things to Do

  • you might see Geisha here

    well I have a believe that Its easier to see some one of your country walking in the streets of japan more than a geisha girl. In kanazawa chaya district is were Geisha performs, so you can go and I hope you would be lucky to meet one. it was a short street with vintage japanese houses, and there is around 3 green tea shops where giesha performs i...

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  • Kenrokuen Garden

    Kenrokuen Garden is one of Japan's official top three gardens (along with Korakuen in Okayama and Kairakuen in Mito). It was built by the ruling Maeda to accompany Kanazawa Castle. The garden's construction began in 1774 after a previous garden burned down. Much of the garden was constructed in 1822 by lord Narinaga, although some of the garden's...

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  • Myoryuji Temple

    More popularly known as Ninja-dera (Ninja Temple), Myoryuji is a fascinating temple full of hidden doors and traps. The temple was moved here to be near Kanazawa Castle by the Maeda Lord (Toshitsune) in 1643. During that time, the shogunate had tried to decrease the power of local lords and also dictated that no building could be higher than 3...

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  • 21st Century Museum

    The 21st Century Museum is a museum featuring very modern art by very modern artists (21st century as the name states). There are some exhibits that you can visit without paying. All of the outside exhibits, including the tri-colored Colour Activity House, which appears to change colors depending on where you view it from. Inside, "The Swimming...

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  • Kanazawa Castle

    Kanazawa Castle is the former home of the Maeda family who ruled over the Kaga Domain (modern Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures). From the Meiji Period to the end of World War II the grounds were used as a military base, and they were then made a part of Kanazawa University. In 1995 it became a public space for the first time in its history.Today,...

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  • Oyama Shrine

    Oyama Shrine is part of the former Maeda villa, built in 1599, and moved here in 1873. The shrine is most famous for its gate, built in 1875 by a Dutch architect. You can easily see the Chinese and European influences in the shape and stained-glass windows. It's definitely unique among Japanese shrines.Within the shrine grounds is also a nice...

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Kanazawa Hotels

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Kanazawa Restaurants

  • okonomiyaki in forus mall

    I love the experience of doing my own yakisoba and okonomiyaki in the cooker built in the table. the taste was very good.... Yakisoba is noodles with soya sauce, cabage, onionokonomiyaki is the same but with eggs instead of noodles. yaki soba seafood

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  • Seriously the best coffee in Kanazawa

    The plus side, an incredible selection of coffee. All drinks are just 400 yen. Every cup is freshly brewed. they have real cream... quite rare in Japan.the negative side, they don't speak any English, the menu is all in Japanese all that being said, its well worth your while to make it out to this great coffee shop. I would rate it best in Japan...

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  • Best Udon in japan

    Hand made udon (thick noodles) full of herbs and spices, which is quite unique. They serve out huge wooden bowls with local seafood, dumplings and chicken. This places is local family run affair, so their days off are random. they don't speak english and the menu is only in Japanese, but they are quite nice there. there is section on the menu with...

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Kanazawa Nightlife

  • Izakayas

    Wind round the narrow backstreets where small eateries and drinking holes (izakaya) pop up now and then for the real dining experience. If you don't want to get lost in the backstreets, try the izakayas in the few buildings around the Hotel Econo (about 3 minutes walk from the JR station). There one's across the junction from the hotel where...

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  • Best bar in Katamachi

    Hands down, the best bar in Katamachi is the vibrant Viva Antipolo. The bar is run by Mama Red who is chipper, attentive and able to cook up a mean plate of Philippine food. Mama Red also provides karaoke, if you so desire. A word of caution though, the place is only as fun as you make it. I have rarely seen many other people coming in, which means...

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  • Stay Bar Fun

    This is a quiet little place in the heart of Katamachi. I wouldn’t really go out of your way to make it here, but I know the owner so I like to drop by now and again. There is a cover on the door, which is pointless and annoying. Expect to pay at least 1000 yen for just walking into the joint. They will charge you at the end. Like I said, its kind...

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Kanazawa Transportation

  • Kanazawa City Buses

    The sites in Kanazawa are not a long distance away but they are far enough to make it worth considering at least taking a bus to your first destination and then walking from there.The buses here run quite frequently, at least in the tourist areas and downtown, so you should never have to wait long. At the station, the buses come and go even more...

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  • Getting to Kanazawa

    If you look at a map, Kanazawa is quite far from Kyoto so it doesn't seem possible to do as a daytrip but actually, thanks to Japan's excellent railway system, Kanazawa is just 2 hours away so it's definitely possible to have a daytrip here from Kyoto.There are no Shinkansen lines north from Kyoto however, the Thunderbird is a special high-speed...

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  • colouful bus 100 en

    when u see this bus, know it only costs 100 en and it goes around major areas of kanazawa. i took it from keneruken gareden to my hotel.

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Kanazawa Shopping

  • Giant Book store

    3 floor book store, and as a foreigner it's my favorite in ishikawa area cause english books are plenty. Buy a book and spend a friendly time with your new book friend in tullys coffeshop in the 1st floor. Also Very nice display for kids books.Heading their in the early morning gods willing. Boooooooooooks and tullys cafe 500 en ~

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  • shopping street

    its a long street with a lot of brand shops, like zara and others. nice to walk in. everthing to wear japan is expensive but i see kanazawas prices acceptable

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  • addidas outlet

    good priced addidas products sporty clothes and shoes i bought a training suit for 60 dollar and my husband bought one for about 80 dollar.

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Kanazawa Local Customs

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    by Mr.Sparkle Updated Mar 23, 2007

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    You might be wondering why Kanazawa is the best place to see cherry blossoms. There are two reasons. One, the amazing Kenroku-en garden as well as the newly built Kanazawa castle next the garden make a for an atmospheric place to see the true beauty of the blossoms. Two, Kanazawa certainly gets its fair share of visitors but its nothing compared to Kyoto or Tokyo, where you’re bound to see more people than flowers. Of course, you’re lucky if you get to see them anywhere.

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Kanazawa Warnings and Dangers

  • No Smoking Please

    Around many tourist spots in Kanazawa, you would find signboards advising us to be responsible smokers or not to smoke. As some of these districts (Teramachi temple, Higashi and Nishi chaya district) contain many wooden structures, we would not want to start mini bonfires with stray stubs.Even if you don't smoke, go read the signs. Some are almost...

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  • Zoo people

    Yes it’s true, there is a zoo near Kanazawa, but it’s a bit far from the city center and really not worth it. Honestly, I really hate zoos cause the animals are usually miserable and this is no exception here. Yeah, the zoo is new and much bigger than their previous effort (that is extremely sad) but it’s still just a tragic experience. All in all,...

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  • Slippery when wet - or just damp....

    I don't know why Kanazawa's streets should feel so unsafe but they do. Even in sensible Berghaus walking shoes I nearly slipped over on countless occasions, and it wasn't pouring with rain, just drizzling and damp under foot.

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Kanazawa Tourist Traps

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    Garden at Samurai House

    by Tomoe Updated Aug 5, 2003

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    Maybe I've been spoilt by the many wonderful Japanese gardens I've seen, but I found this one to be a rip-off. It was 500 yen to get in (Kenroku-en is only 300), taking green tea and a sweet was 700 yen (Hama Rikyu in Tokyo only charges 400). The staff were dull and the gardens were poorly maintained. Maybe I caught them on a bad day, but I wuldn't recommend spending the time walking here, or spending the money to try and enjoy its limited appeal

    Fun Alternatives: The garden at the Nomura Family Samurai house is much prettier, the staff friendly and it's easier to get to (no steep hill).

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Kanazawa What to Pack

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    by Mr.Sparkle Written Oct 7, 2007

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You would be well advised to take an umbrella with you. Generally speaking, weather in the whole Hokuriku area (Toyama/Ishikawa/Fukui) is unstable at best. I would also advise a rain coat and water proof boots, especially if you’re coming in the winter. The streets have kind of sprinkler system that shoots water, sometimes 3 to 4 feet high, so they can clear snow and ice. The result is a very slushy mess and unhappy pedestrians. You most unhappiest moment will be when a car drives at 50mph covering you in ice cold wet slush.

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Kanazawa Off The Beaten Path

  • Senmaida Rice Terraces

    We hired a car and took a drive along the west coast of Noto Hanto. This is a spectacular drive. We really enjoyed the views of the rugged coastline. The children's main aim was to see a UFO...part of the drive involves the Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, a strech of beach between the towns of Chirihama and Hakui, where UFO sightings are apparently at a...

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  • Hakusan #3

    If you're hiking any mountain, you should be prepared for rain. Hakusan, being on the sea of Japan makes it even more probable. Make sure to bring rain gear and water proof your stuff.Mountain weather can change quickly, so be ready.

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  • Hakusan #2

    If you're going to make the trip to Hakusan, you might as well as do it the Japanese way and try to see the sunrise. You can camp on the mountain. there are camp sites and cabins.

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Kanazawa Favorites

  • If you're in need of help

    If you need a helping hand in Kanazawa check out the tourist information center inside Kanazawa station. It’s right near the main doors of the station. They have English speaking staff, maps and a solid knowledge of the city (of course). They will have you on your way to adventure in no time. They may even be able to provide a free guide around...

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  • Volunteer Guides

    One way that you get to see a place through a local person is to organise a volunteer guide. We did this in Kanazawa for an afternoon and were able to find out a lot more about the Samurai and Geisha districts in Kanazawa. The guides are volunteers and their command of English and knowledge varies. We made sure we had a couple of small gifts for...

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  • Samurai

    There are beautiful temples and a famous garden in Kanazawa, but the most interesting thing about Kanazawa are to see the old Samurai-houses and the Geisha-houses. This is a Samurai-House. Some of them you can visit as they now are a museum.

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