Legends are loved in Japan, and here is one of them: a long time ago, a peasant Togoro lived in the very heart of the country. He grew potatoes and kept them in his well, carelessly washing off the golden dust from the tubers, lurking in the bowels of the earth. His descendants founded the settlement of Kanazawa, which means “golden swamp”. Later, between the sea and the Japanese Alps, framed by the Saigawa and Asano rivers, a large city grew up that competed in power with Tokyo and Kyoto. He was miraculously spared by bad weather and wars, so that the newest skyscrapers and shopping centers coexist with ancient castles, temples and parks, and the same atmosphere from the movie about brave samurai and beautiful geishas reigns everywhere. According to populationmonster, Kanazawa is one of the largest cities in Japan.

How to get to Kanazawa

The most convenient way to get to Kanazawa is from Tokyo. Komatsu Airport is a 40-minute drive from the city center and mainly handles domestic flights. The average ticket price is 25,000 JPY, but carriers regularly arrange sales: with Japan Airlines you can fly from Haneda for 15,000 JPY one way (air time is 1 hour), with ANA – for 11,000 JPY.

Comfortable buses (tickets for 1130 JPY) and taxis (10,000-12,000 JPY depending on the time of day) are transported from the airport to the city.

An alternative to an airplane is the Shinkansen high-speed train (official site in English): you have to spend 2.5-3 hours on the way, ticket prices start from 10,000 JPY one way. Buses travel from the capital to Kanazawa in 7-10 hours, the journey costs from 3500 JPY.


There are several regular buses running around Kanazawa, but it is more convenient for visitors to travel by special tourist Hokutetsu (off. site in English), connecting the Central Railway Station with the main attractions. Tickets are sold at the station for 200 JPY, it is more profitable to buy a day pass for 500 JPY and ride at least the whole day without restrictions.

The most popular mode of transport is a bicycle, which can be rented from any of the 20 Machi-nori offices for 900 JPY for the whole day.

It is easy to find taxi ranks in the center, a standard trip costs 2500-3500 JPY; at night and on holidays – 20% more expensive.

Kanazawa Hotels

There are no problems with housing in Kanazawa: guests are welcomed by budget hotels, solid business hotels and traditional Japanese ryokans. True, there is only one “Five” – authentic Kinjohro with national-style rooms, impeccable service and amenities, the price of pleasure is from 97,000 JPY per day for two. There are also more modest ryokans – you can feel the flavor for 9500 JPY per day. A double room in a standard “treshka” will cost from 3700 JPY, in 4 * – from 7000 JPY per night.

The cheapest way is to rent a bed in a hostel for 1800 JPY per day, and if funds allow, we recommend renting an entire one of the century-old villas starting from 24,000 JPY per day.

What to bring

The city has several shopping areas with large malls, boutiques, souvenir shops, handicraft and food markets. The most popular is located right at the railway station: fashionable clothes, craft, books, music. Luxury brand stores are concentrated in Daiva and Atrio department stores, democratic ones in Tokyu Square (all in the Korinbo area).

Musashigatsuji has a bustling fresh fruit, vegetable and seafood market, and across the street is one of the best shopping malls for handmade and confectionery.

After a trip to Kanazawa, the house will be full of Japanese art objects: the world-famous kaga-yuzen kimono, hand-painted according to ancient technologies, as well as the most beautiful dishes – Kutani porcelain, decorated with enamel in strictly adjusted colors, wooden and lacquered objects everyday life. But the main thing is souvenirs covered with the finest gold leaf: in some places, visitors are even offered to cover a box or a cup with precious metal with their own hands – a “golden swamp”, after all.

What to see

Kanazawa is famous for its quality seafood (especially crabs and shrimp), sweet white rice grown on mineralized waters, and unusual vegetables from Kaga province (sweet chestnut pumpkin, daikon, lotus root, kinjiso).

A lunch set in a fashionable ryokan will cost from 7500 JPY for two excluding drinks, dinner in a restaurant – from 3000-4000 JPY.

A must for tasting sushi – they are good even in supermarkets, and even in restaurants like Maimon Sushi – they are completely beyond praise. Another local specialty is a thick jibuni broth with thinly sliced ​​duck and mushrooms. Ryokans serve traditional Japanese dishes, while shojin ryori canteens serve modest but tasty vegetarian food made from vegetables, beans, mushrooms and tofu. And it is better to try sake in specialized bars with dozens of varieties of local production.

Landmarks in Kanazawa

Over the 500 years of its existence, Kanazawa has acquired attractions: temples, samurai residences, spectacular parks and museums. The architectural dominant is the castle of the same name, built by Prince Maeda in the 16th century, later burned down and reconstructed: only the monumental gate of 1788 has survived.

Opposite the castle is Kenroku-en, one of the three most beautiful parks in Japan, along with Kairaku-en in Mito and Koraku-en in Okayama. Its name means “The Garden of Six Virtues”: a spacious area, privacy, amazing landscapes, the flow of streams, a touch of antiquity and a demonstration of the limitless possibilities of man merged into a single harmonious whole.

Nagamachi is a samurai district with cobbled streets, colorful mansions and silk dyeing workshops using the traditional yuzen technique. And Higashi is a historic geisha quarter with wooden buildings, operating tea houses and museums.

The most revered temple is Ninja-dera, belonging to the Nichiren Buddhist school. It is connected to the castle by an underground tunnel and is generally full of surprises: from the street – an ordinary two-story building, but inside – 4 floors with 7 levels and 29 stairs. The Ishikawa Prefectural Art Museum (off. site in English) houses artifacts from 5 centuries, from samurai swords and kutani-yaki ceramics to fresh watercolors and sculptures. And in the Museum of Art of the 21st Century (off. site in English) – entirely ultra-modern provocative art.

Kanazawa, Japan

Kanazawa, Japan
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