Kanazawa City’s Top 7 Places to Visit!

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October 18, 2016

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Kanazawa City is located on the coast along the Sea of Japan, and is a city rich in both traditional and modern culture, and natural scenic beauty. Travellers to the city will find a wide variety of sights and experiences, and here we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 which are not to be missed!

Kanazawa Station

As a major transit hub located in the heart of Kanazawa City, and with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen rail line in 2015, many travellers to the city arrive through Kanazawa Station.

Stepping out from the station’s East entrance, the Motenashi Dome welcomes visitors into the city, as they pass underneath the soaring glass structure and out through the enormous wooden Tsuzumi Gate.

Address: 1-1 Kinoshimbo-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Kenrokuen Garden

Established in the 1600s by the ruling Maeda clan, Kenrokuen Garden served as an outer garden to the adjoining Kanazawa Castle. Its name, Kenrokuen, can be translated as “the garden of six attributes” and conveys what’s traditionally believed to be the six essential features of an ideal garden: spaciousness, tranquility, artifice, antiquity, water courses and panaromas.

It’s counted as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and visitors can stroll the pebble covered pathways interlacing the garden’s interior, noting the bridge covered streams, ponds, and teahouses. With the changing seasons so too is the beauty of the garden’s landscape transformed, throughout the year.

Open: Mar 1—Oct 15 7:00 - 18:00, Oct 16—end of Feb 8:00 - 17:00

Admission Fee: Adults 310 yen; children (6-17 years old) 100 yen

Address: 1-1 Marunouchi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Phone Number: +81 76-234-3800

Website: http://www.pref.ishikawa.jp/siro-niwa/kenrokuen/e/index.html

Higashi Chaya District

The beautifully preserved Higashi Chaya is the largest of Kanazawa’s three remaining historic teahouse districts. Historically, these were known as entertainment quarters and places of celebration, and visitors today will quickly find themselves lost in the charm evoked by the beauty of the latticed wooden teahouses and narrow alleyways.

A few of the teahouses have been preserved, and visitors can explore the interior as it was when built some 200 years earlier. Many others have since been renovated into cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, offering visitors a welcome respite during their stroll.

Address: 1 Chome Higashiyama, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Omicho Market

Omicho Market is the absolute shopping experience for visitors looking to find what’s fresh and seasonal.

With its origins as a morning market during Japan’s Edo Era, it now houses close to 200 shops and restaurants along its covered alleyways. In addition to seafood and produce, a number of shops also offer traditional Japanese pickels, dried goods, and seasonings.

There are also a number of restaurants located throughout the market offering a taste of the best in local cuisine that Kanazawa has to offer.

Open: 9:00 - 17:00 (may vary by shop)

Address: 88 Aokusamachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Phone Number: +81 76-231-1462

Website (Japanese):

http://ohmicho-ichiba.com/portal/servlet/ohmicho.index?tm=183812309

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Leandro ERLICH, The Swimming Pool, 2004
Owned by The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art,Kanazawa established in 2004, houses permanent collections and holds exhibitions comprised of international art, spanning art genres and media.

Designed by Sejima Kazuyo and Nishizawa Ryue of SANAA Architects, its unique circular design, and transparent outer walls and inner courtyards, combine to create a decidedly unique museum-going experience.

Open: Exhibition Zone (Tue-Fri 10:00 - 18:00 (20:00 on Fri, Sat), Public Zone (9:00 - 22:00)

Closed: Mondays

Admission Fee: Different by exhibition

Location: 1-2-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Phone Number: +81 76-220-2800

Website: https://www.kanazawa21.jp/en/

D.T. Suzuki Museum

Established in 2011, and designed by architect Yoshio Taniguchi, the museum introduces the life and works of Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, and his contributions in broadening awareness on Eastern and Japanese cultures in the West.

Suzuki’s scholarly writings, photos, and other published materials are on exhibit, as well as a library where visitors can learn about his life and philosphy. The museum’s Contemplative Space and Water Mirror Garden, also provide a place for visitors to perhaps pause in contemplation, as they look out across the stillness of the water, and beyond.

Photos taken with permission from D.T. Suzuki Museum

Open: 9:30 - 17:00

Closed: Mondays (When Monday is a national holiday, the museum is closed on the following day instead), New Year Holidays

Admission Fee: Adults 300 yen, senior (65 and over) 200 yen, children (High school student or younger) free

Address: 3-4-20 Honda-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Phone Number: +81 76-221-8011

Website: http://www.kanazawa-museum.jp/daisetz/english/about.html

Myoryuji Temple (aka, Ninja Temple)

Established by the ruling Maeda Family in 1585, this Buddhist temple was constructed as a place of prayer. Originally located near Kanazawa Castle, it was relocated in 1643 to its current location.

Although ninjas were never actually associated with the temple, Myoryuji Temple earned its nickname, Ninja Temple, due to its elaborate defences which were built in the case of an attack. Within the temple interior and with the help of a tour guide, visitors will be amazed to discover a number of hidden chambers and stairwells, trap doors, and even escape tunnels, one of which is said to connect to as far as Kanazawa Castle.

Note: Reservations are required. Check website for details.

Open: 9:00 - 16:30 (closed Jan 1st, Buddhist memorial service days)

Admission Fee: Adults/students 1000 yen; children (elementary age) 700 yen; infants not allowed

Address: 1-2-12 Nomachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Phone Number: +81 76-241-0888

Website: http://www.myouryuji.or.jp/en.html

John Lee


I've been here in Japan for 10 years now, and all of it in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. It's a relatively small, but amazingly rich cultural center, and surrounded on all sides by beautiful natural environs, all within a short striking distance!


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