In a previous article we introduced places to visit in the Chubu region, but I think we might have missed one!
In this article I will introduce the city Kanazawa and things to do there.
Kanazawa is one of my personal favourite places in Japan and it is full of things to do, and it is a place where you can experience both traditional and modern culture.
1. Kanazawa station
The entrance to Kanazawa would have to be Kanazawa station!
With the opening of the Hokuriku shinkansen last year, it has become a lot easier to access.
This monument is called the Tsuzumi-mon gate. It is an icon of Kanazawa, which symbolises hand drums used in Noh theatre in the region.
This station was even selected as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world (as published by US magazine Travel + Leisure).
Also there is Motenashi Dome, a glass dome in the shape of a huge umbrella, where you can take a rest or pick up guides for the city.
2. Kenrokuen Garden
Well known as one of the 3 most beautiful gardens in Japan, Kenrokuen is a must visit in Kanazawa.
The scenery in this garden is different in any of the four seasons, from the lush green of summer, red and orange leaves of autumn, snow in winter and sakura in spring.
Coming up soon is the season for autumn leaves, which is from late October to November.
There is also a unique flower called the Juugatsu Zakura (October Sakura) which as its name says, flowers in autumn!
If your timing is right, you could be able to enjoy sakura alongside the autumn leaves.
1 Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa
Ishikawa prefecture 920-0936
March 1 to October 15 – 7 am to 6 pm
October 16 to end of February – 8 am to 5 pm
3. Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contempory Art
Next up is the Kanazawa 21st Century Museum in the city centre.
With exciting architecture exhibitions, this museum was created as a place to create new culture and show off the modern town.
Out of the many exhibitions, the most famous is the fake swimming pool.
From above it looks like any other pool, but it is filled with air rather than water, so you can actually get inside without getting wet!
It is particularly beautiful on a sunny day where the light hits the pool from above.
This really is a town where old meets new.
Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
1-2-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa
Ishikawa prefecture 920-8509
Exhibition zone – 10am to 6pm
(Until 8pm on Friday and Saturday)
Public zone – 9am to 10pm
*Opening hours of each exhibit may vary. For more information please check the official website.
4. Higashi Chaya District
The castle town, formed in the late Edo period, can still be experienced in the Higashi Chaya district.
Kanazawa is famous in Japan for Noh theatre.
From a long time ago, not only samurai and merchants but even middle class gardeners enjoyed the theatre, In the present day, entertainment such as shamisen, song and dance by Geisha continue to be enjoyed.
At twilight, you can hear the sound of shamisen and drums, further deepening the atmosphere of the area.
This district is also known as being one of the best places in Japan to buy traditional sweets, along with Kyoto and Matsue.
The area is filled with long standing Japanese sweet shops (wagashi-ya), with cafes as well, so you can enjoy your time here with a relaxed pace.
5. Omicho Market
With its close proximity to the Sea of Japan, Kanazawa is known in Japan for its fresh seafood.
With close to 180 shops, Omicho market is a place you can eat fresh sushi and try the seasonal Kaga vegetables of the region. Exploring the vibrant market is an activity in itself! The market has not only food, but also an assortment of souvenirs.
Kanazawa is a beautiful city with a lot to offer.
With the convenience of the Hokuriku shinkansen, it has become much more accessible, so why not taste the culture of Japan in Kanazawa?
Source from like-world magazine, Photos provided by Kanazawa City.