Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, Ishikawa
Written by Ai Yoneda
Kanazawa is well-known as a traditional Japanese city, preserving the distinguished atmosphere of Japan from long ago. The elegant townscape, traditional crafts, and traditional performing arts have been passed on until now. We will be introducing four th
Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture is the central city within the Hokuriku region (*1). The Kanazawa station for the Shinkansen line opened in 2015, making transportation from Tokyo much easier.
Kanazawa is known as a well-preserved traditional Japanese city. The elegant townscape, traditional crafts, and traditional performing arts have been passed down for generations on until now. Today, we will be introducing four things you should do when sightseeing in Kanazawa.
For how to get to Kanazawa from Tokyo, check out this MATCHA article.
*1… Hokuriku region: A region located in the center of the Japanese archipelago, facing the Sea of Japan. It's known as an area with heavy snowfall. It's also known for its seafood.
1. Experience the Beauty of the Japanese Garden Kenrokuen
Kenrokuen is known for its beauty as one of Japan's three great gardens. It is a kaiyū-shiki garden, where you can walk around to admire its beauty.
Kenrokuen was created over a long period of time in the Edo Period by the Kaga feudal lord. Making use of its vast extent of land, there are large lakes and tsukiyama (artificially created hills), as well as fountains and teahouses. You can take your time to take a walk and enjoy them all.
Another appealing point about Kenrokuen is that you can enjoy the autumn leaves in the fall, a snow-covered view in the winter, and other beautiful views depending on the season.
2. Enjoy Seafood From the Sea of Japan at Ōmichō Market
Fish caught from all over Ishikawa prefecture is unloaded at Kanazawa's harbor. Vitamin and mineral-rich fish can be caught in spring, protein-filled white fish with low fat in the summer, nutritious fish ready for spawning in the fall, and seafood such as crabs can be caught in the winter.
Ōmichō Market is where all these nutritious and delicious seafood gather.
Here at Ōmichō Market you can enjoy sashimi bowls using the fresh fish. Ōmichō Market is a 15-minute walk from Kanazawa station. If you're ever hungry during your trip to Kanazawa, we recommend you stop by and fill your stomach with fresh seafood.
Read also: Try Kanazawa Omicho Market’s Fresh Foods!
3. Get Gorgeous Gold Leaf Products
Gold leaf was used to cover the walls of Kinkakuji Temple in Kyotoas well as for the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. Gold foil is made by stretching out a small piece of gold to a 1/10000 mm thinness. Almost 100% of the domestic production of gold leaf in Japan is in Kanazawa.
Gold leaf is used not only for the decoration of temples and shrines, but also for traditional crafts and tableware, as well as for accessories and other goods. In recent years, it's been used for beauty products as well, such as for gold leaf face masks and gold leaf mixed lotion.
In fact, this gold leaf is also used for food as well. It's used as a finishing touch by being sprinkled on the food to add an elegant feel.
Gold leaf products can be purchased at souvenir shops in Kanazawa, as well as at the train station and airport. How about taking home some Kanagawa elegance?
4. Walk through the Charming Townscape
Fortunately, Kanazawa hasn't suffered from war or natural disasters, preserving the beautiful townscape from the 16th century.
Especially the area called Higashiyama, about 2 kilometers from Kanazawa station, is famous for its Higashi Chaya District. It has been designated as an important area with historic buildings, preserving architecture from the early Meiji Period.
Kanazawa is an elegant historic city, where traditional crafts are still alive today. We recommend you to visit Kanazawa and travel back in time to experience the old Japan.