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10 Picture-Perfect Views In Kanazawa, Japan

Melynie
Published Jan 18, 2017

With the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line, the Hokuriku area of Japan has been getting much more attention from tourists. Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture is especially popular, with its abundant nature and rustic feel that is beautiful in every season. Here are 10 picture-perfect views that you can find only in Kanazawa.

Top 3 activities to book in kanazawa

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Getting to Kanazawa

From Tokyo, Kanazawa can easily be accessed by the Hokuriku Shinkansen. The two trains that go from Tokyo to Kanazawa are the “Kagayaki” and “Hakutaka”. From Tokyo Station it costs 13,600 JPY (117 USD) for free seating and 14,120 JPY (121 USD) for reserved seating. The trip by shinkansen takes about two and a half hours.

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1. Right off the train! The gates of Kanazawa Station

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Right outside of Kanazawa Station is the larger-than-life Tsuzumi Gate. The design is based on ‘tsuzumi’, or traditional Japanese hand drums. Directly behind the gate is the glass “Welcome Dome”, a sharp contrast of modern and traditional. Acting as the grand entrance to Kanazawa, a trip is not complete without a few pictures in front of the Tsuzumi Gate!

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2. Kanazawa Castle Park - home of the Kaga clan

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No trip is complete without a castle visit, and Kanazawa castle does not disappoint. Kanazawa castle is the former home of the Maeda family of the Kaga clan. The castle tower was burnt down and never rebuilt, but the remaining buildings offer many spots for photo opportunities. The surrounding castle park also features a variety of intricate rock walls, all built in different periods.

Kanazawa Castle Park

Address: 1-1 Marunouchi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

Price: Free

Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm (8 am to 5 pm from October 16 to end of February)

Access: 1-minute walk from Kanazawajo bus stop

Contact: +81 76-234-3800

Kanazawa Castle Park

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3. Kenroku-en - Enjoy all of Japan’s seasons

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Known for being one of the most beautiful parks in Japan, Kenroku-en Garden is a must-see attraction for any visitor to Kanazawa. The park is located right across from Kanazawa Castle and is beautiful in any season. One of the most popular seasons at Kenroku-en is fall, when the autumn leaves are illuminated and reflect in the water.

Kenroku-en

Address: 1 Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

Price: 300 JPY (2.60 USD)

Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm (8 am to 5 pm from October 16 to end of February)

Access: 1-minute walk from Kenroku-en-shita bus stop

Contact: +81 76-234-3800

Kenroku-en

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4. Time slip to Edo in Higashi Chaya District

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Kanazawa is home of many “chaya” districts, or tea house districts. The most popular is Higashi (East) Chaya District. Visitors can slip back into the Edo period and enjoy tea in one of the weathered tea houses. Some may even be lucky enough to see a maiko performance at night. Higashi Chaya District can be accessed from the Kanazawa Loop bus Hashibacho (Koban-mae) bus stop.

Higashi Chaya District

Address: 1 Chome Higashiyama, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

Price: free

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Duration: around 1 hour required.

Access: Kanazawa Loop bus Hashibacho (Koban-mae) bus stop

Higashi Chaya District

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5. Peaceful pictures at Nishi Chaya District

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For those who want to enjoy the feel of the Edo streets without the crowd, Nishi (West) Chaya District is strongly recommended. Although slightly smaller than Higashi Chaya District, Nishi Chaya District is much less crowded than its eastern counterpart. Nishi Chaya District is a short walk from Hirokoji bus stop.

Nishi Chaya District

Address: 2 cho-me, Nomachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

Price: free

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Duration: around 1 hour required.

Access: a short walk from Hirokoji bus stop

Contact: +81 76-232-5555

Nishi Chaya District

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6. Kanazawa’s “kitchen” - Omicho Market

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The smell of fresh fish invites visitors at Omicho Market. Popularly known as “Kanazawa’s kitchen”, Omicho Market has been Kanazawa’s largest fresh food market since the Edo period. Walk down the narrow streets of vendors, or enjoy lunch at one of many restaurants that offer fresh fish bowls and sushi.

Omicho Market

Address: 50 Kami-omicho, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa prefecture

Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. (Individual shop hours and business days vary)

Access: 1-minute walk from Musashigatsuji bus stop

Contact: +81-076-231-1462

Omicho Market

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7. Zen at D.T. Suzuki Museum

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Escape the crowds and find inner peace at the D.T. Suzuki Museum. The museum celebrates the life work of Daisetz Taitaro Suzuki, a Buddhist philosopher. Visitors can see the work of D.T. Suzuki, as well as enjoy the simplistic architecture that is said to reflect his philosophical views. Particularly breathtaking is the Water Mirror Garden, pictured above.

D.T. Suzuki Museum

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

Price: 300 JPY (2.60 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm. Closed on Mondays.

Access: 5-minute walk from Hondamachi bus stop

Contact: +81 76-221-8011

D.T. Suzuki Museum

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8. Optical illusions at the 21st Century Museum

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A sharp contrast to Kanazawa’s old Edo atmosphere, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art offers modern design and optical illusions that adults and children alike can enjoy. There are a mixture of public spaces and exhibitions in the unique, circular structure. One of the most famous attractions is the swimming pool, which gives the illusion that you are actually underwater. The museum is also very children-friendly, and there are many families during the weekends.

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art

Address: 1-2-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa prefecture

Price: Free. Other prices vary by museum exhibitions.

Opening Hours: 9am - 10pm. Exhibitions 10am - 8pm. Closed on Mondays

Access: 1-minute walk from Hirosaka bus stop

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art

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9. Walk through Kanazawa’s samurai district - Nagamachi

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Near Kanazawa Castle is Nagamachi, a restored samurai district. Popular attractions include Nomura-ke, a restored samurai residence, as well as the Shinise Kinenkan Museum, a restored shop. The Nagamachi district is a 5-minute walk from the Korinbo bus stop.

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10. Home of ninjas? Ninja Temple

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Although at first glance it seems like any other temple, Ninja-dera, or Ninja Temple, is popular because of its unique nickname. The real name of the temple is Myoryuji Temple, but the temple earned the nickname Ninja Temple because of its “deceptive” defences. According to sources, there were no actual ninjas living at the temple, but it’s a fun place to take a picture at! All tours are reserved, so be sure to make your reservation in advance.

Myoryuji Temple (Ninja Temple)

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

Price: Adult 1,000 JPY (8.60 USD) / Child 700 JPY (6 USD)

Opening Hours: 9am - 4:30pm. Closed January 1 and Buddhist holidays.

Duration: around 30 minutes

Access: 5-minute walk from Hirokoji bus stop

Contact: +81 76-241-0888

Myoryuji Temple

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Kanazawa - Hokuriku's crown gem

Kanazawa offers picture-perfect views for any visitor. Whether you are interested in history, want to find peace in nature, or enjoy modern art, Kanazawa is the perfect getaway for pictures and a great vacation.

Fifth-generation Japanese-American adventuring around Japan. Born in Hawaii and based in Tokyo, Melynie is a recent graduate of Waseda University. Likes cute coffee shops, handicrafts and...Read more

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