kanazawa travel blog

Kanazawa – the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture is known as one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. Kanazawa is less known in Japan than Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto but once you came here, you will definitely love this land. Ancient streets, poetic natural scenes attract tourists from the first sight. Kanazawa also has many ancient castles and sacred temples with hundreds of years of age, beautiful parks, and attractive hot springs. So, is Kanazawa worth visiting? Let’s discover one of the beautiful ancient towns and top destinations in Japan through our Kanazawa travel blog (Kanazawa blog) with the fullest Kanazawa travel guide for a wonderful trip to Kanazawa for the first time from how to get there, best time to visit, and top things to do … to find out the answer!

kanazawa in spring
One of the top destinations in Japan
Kanazawa japan
Kenrokuen Garden in Autumn, must visit place in Kanazawa
Kanazawa japan
Higashi Chayamachi (Geisha District) at night.
kanazawa-sakura,kanazawa travel blog
Sakura season in Kanazawa
kanzawa travel blog
If you come to Tokyo to be busy, come to the ancient capital of Kyoto to immerse yourself in a golden past and ancient space, then coming to Kanazawa is to … love.

Kanazawa is located on the coast of Japan Sea, bordering the Japanese Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. Kanazawa city center is located between Saigawa River and Asanogawa River. Coming to Kanazawa, you are lost in an ancient world with many wooden houses along the two roadside, and the people walking calmly and gently. Going to Kanazawa city center, you will admire the ancient beauty of Kanazawa castle, that beauty does not seem to be lost in time. Located outside the gate of the castle is Kenroku-en garden that adorns the beauty here.

Kanazawa Higashi Chaya District
Tourists in Traditional Japanese Kimono Costume
Karasaki pine tree at Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Japan
Karasaki pine tree at Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Japan
Nomura Samurai House, Nagamachi District, Kanazawa
Nomura Samurai House, Nagamachi District, one of best places to see in Kanazawa,

Kanazawa has an area of about 468.6 square kilometers, showing up with ancient beauty with built wooden houses dating to tens, hundreds of years. The calm and gentle beauty has not been eroded over time.

things-to-do-in-kanazawa-untold-morsels
Kanazawa, the culture capital of Japan.
kanzawa travel blog
Beautiful traditional wooden houses
The building where the inn is located
The house where the inn is located. Kanazawa was one of the Japanese cities not bombed during World War II. Therefore, the typical architecture here is still intact.
A Cultural Capital Of Japan
Magic Kenrokuen Garden in winter.

Kanazawa is famous for its rich cultural traditions, especially tea culture. Also, traditional handicrafts such as Kutaniyaki pottery or Wajima lacquer are equally famous. Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts is a place where displays all 36 types of handicrafts of Ishikawa Prefecture are recognized by the state.

geisha district kanazawa higashi chaya street
Kanazawa is the origin of samurai and geisha, one of the few cities of the land of the rising sun that was preserved intact during World War II.
Geishas perform at the Nakanoya teahouse
Geishas perform at the Nakanoya teahouse
Interior of Chaya - a traditional Japanese Tea House at Higashi Chaya District
Interior of Chaya (a traditional tea house) at Higashi Chaya District
Kanazawa is famous for its gold-plated art.
Kanazawa is famous for its gold-plated art.
Kanazawa is famous for its gold-plated art.
24K Gold-Plated Ice-Cream
kaga cuisine
Kaga cuisine

Kanazawa blog: When is the best time to visit?

Kanazawa has rain all year round
Kanazawa has rain all year round

Kanazawa has mild weather even though there is a lot of rain all year round. The average temperature is usually slightly lower than Tokyo because it is near the sea. January average temperature is approximately 4 degrees Celsius, April is about 15 degrees Celsius, 25 degrees Celsius in July and August, 15 degrees Celsius in October, and 5 degrees Celsius in December. So, the best time to travel to Kanazawa will be in the Spring (from March to May). Visitors come to Kanazawa in this season will be opportunity to participate in many unique festivals both traditional and modern such as Cherry Blossom Festival at Kenrokuen Garden.

kanazawa travel blog
Kanazawa in Spring with cherry blossoms.
Kenrokuen Garden
Cherry blossoms at Kenrokuen Garden | kanazawa travel blog
kanazawa in springtime
Enjoy hanami
Full blossom at Kanazawa, Japan yesterday
Full bloom cherry blossoms in Kanazawa

In addition, you can come here in the autumn with yellow and red maple leaves, admire a transformed Kanazawa with a new appearance.

kanazawa in fall
Kanazawa in aumtumn | kanazawa travel blog
kanazawa autum fall,kanazawa travel blog (1)
A couple at Kenrokuen Garden in Autumn

kanazawa autum fall,kanazawa travel blog (1)

kanazawa autum fall,kanazawa travel blog (1)
The fall maybe the best time to go to Kanazawa.

kanazawa autum fall,kanazawa travel blog (1)

Kanazawa travel blog: How to get to and around Kanazawa?

kanazawa-bus-castle
Kanazawa Tourist Bus | kanazawa travel blog

Kanazawa is a small town located in the westernmost part of central Japan. Kanazawa has no airport, so to getting to Kanazawa you must fly to the nearest airport located in Komasu city, about 32km from Kanazawa (about 42 minutes drive). Kanazawa is more than 8 hours drive from Tokyo and 4-6 hours from Osaka and Nagoya (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka are places where there are many direct flights from major cities in the world). Perhaps because Kanazawa is difficult to reach, it is quite strange for international visitors.

kanzawa travel blog japan

From Tokyo: Before, if you wanted to go to Kanazawa city, tourists had to travel by train or plane. But now, the new Hokuriku Shinkansen high-speed train connecting Tokyo with the ancient city of Kanazawa will shorten the travel time between the two places to 2 hours and 28 minutes. You also can use JR Pass to save travel costs. You can check the schedule and tickets of Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kanazawa here.

Hokuriku Shinkansen
Hokuriku Shinkansen
Hokuriku Shinkansen route map
Hokuriku Shinkansen route map

From Osaka or Kyoto: In addition, you can getting to Kanazawa from Osaka (It takes 2 hours 30 minutes) and Kyoto (about 2 hours) with Thunderbird of JR West, a limited train runs between Osaka and Kanazawa via Kyoto. You also can use JR Pass to save travel costs. Check the schedule and tickets here.

JR West Thunderbird Express train
JR West Thunderbird Express train
inside JR West Thunderbird Express train
Inside the train | kanazawa blog
Limited Express Thunderbird train operation route
Thunderbird train route map

From Kanazawa Station you can go to the attractions by tram, taxi or bus. There are inner city bus routes running around popular attractions, so traveling is very convenient. These are bus routes of Kanazawa Loop Bus (Right Loop, Left Loop, runs every 15 minutes), Kenrokuen Shuttle (runs every 20 minutes) and Hokutetsu Local Bus. Details you can see here.

Kanazawa station
Kanazawa station
Kanazawa_sightseeing_bus-1024x726
Kanazawa sightseeing bus map
The Right Loop Bus
The Right Loop Bus | kanazawa travel blog
The Left Loop Bus
The Left Loop Bus
The Kenrokuen Shuttle
The Kenrokuen Shuttle | kanazawa travel blog
Bus Map For Kanazawa Sightseeing
Another Bus Map For Kanazawa Sightseeing
Kanazawa loop bus
Kanazawa Castle Bus

In addition, if you travel a lot and want to save more when traveling by bus, you should buy a day ticket (Hokutetsu One Day Pass). With this ticket there is no limited on the number of moves, validate for all kinds of buses for 500 yen/day for adults and 250 yen/day for children. You can buy it at the ticket bus counter as below. Find out more here.

Hokutetsu Bus Ticket Office
Hokutetsu Bus Ticket Office
Hokutetsu Bus One Day Pass
Hokutetsu Bus One Day Pass | kanazawa travel blog

Kanazawa travel guide: Where to stay?

Below we recommend some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels in Kanazawa with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa (Address: 2-20 Horikawashinmachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0849, Japan / Phone: +81 76-224-7755), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $42/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kanazawa

HOTEL MYSTAYS PREMIER Kanazawa (Address: 2 Chome-13-5 Hirooka, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0031, Japan / Phone: +81 76-290-5255), a 4-star hotel with room rates from $55/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

HOTEL MYSTAYS PREMIER Kanazawa
HOTEL MYSTAYS PREMIER Kanazawa

Hotel Nikko Kanazawa (Address: 2 Chome-15-1 Honmachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0853, Japan / Phone: +81 76-234-1111), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $111/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Hotel Nikko Kanazawa
Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Dormy Inn Kanazawa (Address: 2-25 Horikawashinmachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0849, Japan / Phone: +81 76-263-9888), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $42/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Dormy Inn Kanazawa
Dormy Inn Kanazawa

HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa Castle (Address: 10-17 Konohanamachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0852, Japan / Phone: +81 76-223-6300), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $39/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa Castle
HOTEL MYSTAYS Kanazawa Castle

Hotel Trusty Kanazawa Korinbou (Address: 1 Chome-2-16 Korinbo, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0961, Japan / Phone: +81 76-203-8112), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $58/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Hotel Trusty Kanazawa Korinbou
Hotel Trusty Kanazawa Korinbou

Kanazawa Saino Niwa Hotel (Address: 2 Chome-4-8 Nagata, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0043, Japan / Phone: +81 76-235-5111), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $58/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Kanazawa Saino Niwa Hotel
Kanazawa Saino Niwa Hotel

Emblem Stay Kanazawa (Address: 1 Chome-2-8 Owaricho, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0902, Japan), a top rated 2-star hotel with room rates from $19/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Emblem Stay Kanazawa
Emblem Stay Kanazawa

Hotel Pacific Kanazawa (Address: 46 Jikkenmachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0906, Japan / Phone: +81 76-264-3201), a top rated 2-star hotel with room rates from $45/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Hotel Pacific Kanazawa
Hotel Pacific Kanazawa

Kanazawa Hakuchoro Hotel Sanraku (Address: 6-3 Marunouchi, Kanazawa, Kanazawa, Japan, 920-0937), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $109/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Kanazawa Hakuchoro Hotel Sanraku
Kanazawa Hakuchoro Hotel Sanraku

Hotel Resol Trinity Kanazawa (Address: 1-1-18 Musashimachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0855, Japan / Phone: +81 76-221-9269), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $47/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).

Hotel Resol Trinity Kanazawa
Hotel Resol Trinity Kanazawa

You can find more, check rates, availability & book for Kanazawa hotels on Agoda.com or Booking.com or Airbnb.com.

Kanazawa travel blog: What to do?

Not striking with modern beauty, there are no skyscrapers, but Kanazawa still attracts tourists by its own beauty. Let’s discover the top places to visit and top things to do in Kanazawa below to not regret when traveling to this beautiful ancient city.

Kenroku-en Garden

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)

Kenroku-en Garden is the first place not to be missed when you travel to Kanazawa. Kenroku-en Garden is one of the three most famous and large gardens of Japan’s top gardening art (the other two gardens are Koraku-en in Okayama and Kairaku-en in Mito). The name of the garden itself expresses its special: Kenroku-en means “garden made up of 6 elements”, that are: vastness, tranquility, reverence, elegance in design, perfection in natural scenery and refreshment.

KenrokuenGarden

KenrokuenGarden

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Iris flowers

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)

Kenrokuen Garden
Cherry blossoms at Kenrokuen Garden

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)

kanazawa travel blog
The garden in Spring with cherry blossoms.

Kenrokuen is the most important area of Kanazawa. It was originally built as a garden outside the castle. It was built in 1676, and it took 180 years to complete and open to the public since 1875. In the garden there are many beautiful scenes such as Kotoji-toro stone lantern, Ganko-bashi bridge, Lake Kasumiga … Visitors can admire the beautiful scenery all year round.

kanazawa autum fall,kanazawa travel blog (1)
A couple walking in the garden
kanazawa in fall
Kenrokuen Garden in autumn

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)
| kanazawa travel blog

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)

Kenrokuen garden with lots of trees, plants, many lakes, streams and flowers spread over an area of 100.000 square meters. If spring is the ecstasy with cherry blossoms, summer is the brilliance with iris flower, autumn is the enchantment with red and yellow maple leaves, winter is the vibration with Yukitsuri (snow suspenders) conical straw rope towers that are erected to protect pine trees from snow falling, but create a wonderful beauty from nature.

Kenrokuen garden japan
One of the most beautiful gardens in Japan.
Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Located in the city center next to Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen once belonged to the Maeda family – the Kaga clan ruler from the 16th to the 19th century.

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)
A must see-place in Kanazawa
Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Kotojitoro Lantern

When you arrive here, you can immediately feel the fresh air, which is impossible to find in a bustling and crowded city. Everything like sinking into silence gives you a strange feeling of peace. Spend your time to enjoy the beauty of the waterfalls, fish ponds, grass.. and walk on the stone bridges because it will be difficult to get this special feeling when you come back to life.

Kenroku-en Garden,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Best corner for virtual living

Karasaki pine tree at Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Japan
Karasaki pine tree at Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Japan
KenrokuenGarden_EN-GB10400915119
Magical Kenrokuen Garden in winter

Address: 1 Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0936, Japan
Phone: +81 76-234-3800
Hours: 7am – 6pm
Admission: 310 yen

Kanazawa Station

Kanazawa Station,kanazawa travel blog (1)

The first place you set foot in is the Kanazawa station. Kanazawa Station has a wooden structure, which can be considered as the most unique modern station of Japan. With Tsuzumi-mon Gate (“Tsuzumi” is a traditional Japanese wooden drum while “mon” means gate.) and Motenashi Dome in the back, voted as the most beautiful architecture in the top 14 stations in the world by TravelandLeisure travel magazine.

Kanazawa Station,kanazawa travel blog (1)

Kanazawa Station,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Motenashi Dome

Kanazawa Station,kanazawa travel blog (1)

JR Kanazawa Station
JR Kanazawa Station
Kanazawa Station,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Yuuyou Monument & Exit Monyument

What is special about Kanazawa Station is the giant glass dome called Motenashi Dome. It is not so much when we call Kanazawa is the land of rain because the rainy season lasts all year. For this reason Motenashi Dome was built in the shape of an umbrella. Kanazawa people often say that Motenashi umbrella is a symbol of hospitality of the locals here.

Kanazawa Station,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Tsuzumi-mon Gate
Yuuyou Monument
Yuuyou Monument

At this station you can also find many utilities such as money exchange service, Tourist Information Counter, convenience store, ATMs, post office .. In the western side of the station is a garden.

Inside Kanazawa Station
Kanazawa Station,kanazawa travel blog (1)
Tsuzumi-mon Gate At night

Address: Japan, 〒920-0858 Ishikawa, Kanazawa, Kinoshinbomachi, 1番1号
Opened: April 1, 1898
Phone: +81 570-002-486
Url: https://www.kanazawastation.com/

Kanazawa Castle

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)
In spring season

Right next to Kenrokuen Garden is the ancient castle of Kanazawa. The castle is located at the top of Hirayam Mountain, built in 1583 during the Azuchi-Momoyama era and for centuries it has become the feudal Maeda Clan headquarters. It is full of historical evidence and becomes an attractive tourist attraction in Kanazawa.

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)
The moat

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)
The roofs

Kanazawa Castle of Warlord Maeda Toshiie is still considered the ancient castle of Japan even though the castle was restored after a big fire. Ishikawamon Gate and Sanjikken Nagaya – a 50-meter-wide house, has been designated as Japan’s cultural property. This place was used as a base of the Japanese army then the campus of the university and opened to the public in 1996.

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)
Entrance gate

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)

Kanazawa Castle, kanazawa travel blog,kanazawa travel guide (1)
A must-visit place in Kanazawa | kanazawa travel blog

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