With good reason, Kanazawa is sometimes referred to as “little Kyoto” because it is brimming with world-class attractions like one of the best gardens in the nation, fantastic museums, and a number of beautifully maintained neighborhoods. I’ll outline the 7 Things To Do In Kanazawa that I believe are essential here. The best additional Things To Do In Kanazawa in the city will then be highlighted.
- 1 Top 7 Wonderful Things To Do In Kanazawa You Should Try
- 1.1 1. Visit Kenrokuen, Japan’s Most Celebrated Garden.
- 1.2 2. Check out Kanazawa Castle
- 1.3 3. Go skiing and rip some powder!
- 1.4 4. Visit the D.T. Suzuki Museum and relax
- 1.5 5. Discover the former Samurai district of Kanazawa
- 1.6 6. Check Out A Silk Painting Workshop
- 1.7 7. Trip for one day to the Noto Peninsula
- 2 Conclusion:
Top 7 Wonderful Things To Do In Kanazawa You Should Try
1. Visit Kenrokuen, Japan’s Most Celebrated Garden.
Kenrokuen, formerly the outside garden of Kanazawa Castle, is one of Japan’s top three landscape gardens. It was built by the Maeda family, who controlled it throughout a time span of almost two centuries, and it was made public in 1871. The phrase “Garden of the Six Submilities,” which refers to the six crucial characteristics that, according to Chinese landscape theory, define the ideal garden, is how the name Kenrokuen is literally translated.
These qualities include openness, isolation, artificiality, age, plenty of water, and panoramic views. As you go through the Kenrokuen, it’s simple to understand this notion of the terrain. A wide variety of trees, flowers, vistas, ponds, water features, bridges, teahouses, and little, secret corners may be found throughout the grounds.
The garden, one of the top Things To Do In Kanazawa has a changing appearance depending on the season thanks to its assortment of flowering trees. In order to supply water to Kenrokuen’s numerous streams and ponds, a sophisticated water system that diverted water from a distant river was built in 1632. This connects to Kasumigaike and Hisagoike, the garden’s two largest ponds.
Under Kasumigaike Pond, one of Japan’s oldest fountains shoots water 3.5 meters into the air thanks to the elevation change. The best time to visit Kenrokuen is first thing in the morning when it’s still calm and you can take in the scenery without being bothered by other people.
2. Check out Kanazawa Castle
From 1583 until the end of the Edo Period, the Maeda family resided in Kanazawa Castle. The castle has experienced numerous fires over the years. Only two storehouses and the Ishikawa-mon Gate, which faces Kenrokuen, survived the most recent fires in 1881. For numerous decades up until the college was relocated to the city’s outskirts in the early 1990s, Kanazawa University was housed in the former castle.
The castle has been gradually restored since then. Today, the majority of the principal structures are standing once more, and the Kahoku-mon Gate, the castle’s ancient main entrance gate, has also been rebuilt. More of the castle is repaired every year, and it remains one of the most popular Things To Do In Kanazawa.
3. Go skiing and rip some powder!
The most daring Things To Do In Kanazawa is skiing on the neighboring slopes in the winter. Japan is an underappreciated location for winter sports, despite having twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Most people are now only aware of a handful of the most well-known ski resorts. Iohzan, a modest ski hill inside the limits of Kanazawa City, is ideal for skiers just learning the sport, nonetheless.
The ski area, officially known as Kanazawa Shiei Iohzan Ski-jo, features two lifts and is open from about the end of December until the beginning of March. Although lift tickets are fairly inexpensive and reasonable by international standards, the lower slopes are free for beginners and children. Public transportation can be used to get to the resort, and ski and snowboard equipment can be rented there. Other ski areas in the Ishikawa area provide greater vertical meters and challenging lines for those seeking more challenging skiing. These resorts are accessible by vehicle.
4. Visit the D.T. Suzuki Museum and relax
Born in Kanazawa, Suzuki Daisetz Teitaro (1870–1966) was a well-known Buddhist philosopher. He gained notoriety for introducing the western world to Japanese Zen philosophy. In addition to Japanese, Suzuki was also fluent in English, Chinese, and Sanskrit. He primarily wrote on Zen Buddhism and how it affected daily living. A must-do in Things To Do In Kanazawa for anyone with an interest in philosophy or architecture is a visit to the museum.
The Suzuki Museum honors Suzuki’s existence and his creative output. While the museum’s architecture offers an insight into his life and religious scholarship, the galleries present his writings. The open areas have clear, straightforward lines and are intended to encourage people to pause for thought.
The Suzuki Museum exudes an air of calm and harmony while feeling quite simple and basic. The Contemplative Space, a sizable space with openings on all sides that stretches out into the Water Mirror Garden, is one of the principal highlights of the Suzuki Museum. While admiring the view of the sea, guests can take some time to contemplate and meditate.
5. Discover the former Samurai district of Kanazawa
At the base of the former Kanazawa Castle, there once stood the samurai neighborhood of Nagamachi. Samurai and their families once lived in the region. With its intact samurai homes, private entrance gates, winding pathways, canals, and earth walls, the neighborhood still exudes a sense of history. Nomurake and Shinise Kinenkan Museum are Nagamachi’s two top sights.
Nomurake is a rebuilt samurai home that showcases the way of life and objects from the period when samurai were well-to-do. On the other hand, the Shinise Kinenkan Museum is a renovated pharmacy that illustrates the development of the merchant class and their prosperous lives as the samurai class began to collapse.
6. Check Out A Silk Painting Workshop
Visit Kaga Yuzenkan, a structure that is located on the site of a historic samurai home, while you are in Nagamachi. You may witness the complete process of silk painting here if you’re a fan of textiles and are wondering what to see in Kanazawa to spark your artistic side. The museum’s first room provides an overview of the silk painting process, outlining each step in both Japanese and English.
A selection of excellent examples of painted screens and kimonos are on show in the museum’s second chamber. A hand-painted kimono is frequently reserved for important events like weddings and can cost up to several thousand dollars. The modest gift shop inside the museum also sells some hand-painted products.
7. Trip for one day to the Noto Peninsula
The Noto Peninsula, which juts out into the Sea of Japan for nearly 100 kilometers, is renowned for its breathtaking coastal vistas. Since there are few public transit options in the area, a day excursion from Kanazawa is best done by vehicle. Wajima City and Wakura Onsen are the primary tourist destinations. People who wish to get away from the city go to these tranquil, rural locations.
Even though it takes many hours to drive there, the Noto Peninsula is well worth the trip if you have the time. You can reserve a private tour on Get Your Guide if you don’t want to rent a car and would like to spend a little more money on one.
Kanazawa rapidly won my affection. Kanazawa in central Japan is a fantastic place to consider if you’re searching for Things To Do In Kanazawa a little different on your next vacation to Japan, anything other than the typical Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, or Sapporo.