The 10 Best Things to Do in Kanazawa, Japan

July 31, 2017 Alida England

Kanazawa (金沢市, Kanazawa-shi) is a city located in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 January 2018, the city had an estimated population of 466,029 in 203,271 households, and a population density of 290 persons per km². The total area of the city was 468.64 square kilometres (180.94 sq mi). It is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture.
Restaurants in Kanazawa

1. Kenrokuen Garden

1-1 Marunouchi, Kanazawa 920-0937, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-234-3800
Excellent
55%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Kenrokuen Garden

This beautiful park contains one of the top three celebrated Gardens in Japan. The name Kenrokuen literally translates to “garden combining six”, referring to the six attributes all Gardens should have: seclusion, antiquity, spaciousness, human ingenuity, water and scenic views.

Reviewed By Peeter P - Toronto, Canada

Even in mid-March, without all the trees in bloom, the Garden was a wonder to behold. We were blessed with a picture-perfect sunny day with calm winds. This made the reflections on the various ponds magical. We wandered the various trails. Even on a Monday, the congregations of visitors told us of important vantage points. There were also plenty of benches to sit on and several shops where treats and coffee/tea could be purchased. Kimono-clad ladies were plentiful and most were more than appreciative of having their photos taken, especially if you offered a group of 2-5 the opportunity to have their photo taken as a group. (Otherwise, it was rotating selfies!) A definite must for any visit to Kanazawa.

2. D. T. Suzuki Museum

3-4-20 Hondamachi, Kanazawa 920-0964, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-221-8011
Excellent
62%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 317 reviews

D. T. Suzuki Museum

Reviewed By Joan C - Melbourne, Victoria

Simply Zen gorgeous. Walking to it after alighting from the bus, we walked on a peaceful gravel path through a forested area - part of the vast park next door. The Museum building and surrounding pool will de-stress and amaze you - why don't more buildings look as good as this?

3. Kanazawa Station

1-1 Kinoshinbomachi, Kanazawa 920-0858, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-262-7605
Excellent
38%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Kanazawa Station

Reviewed By [email protected] - Geelong, Australia

I had a three day stay in Kanazawa! The station itself is a wonderful piece of architecture! It’s very easy to navigate around with some great shopping and food options attached to the station.

4. Kanazawa Station Tourist Information Center

1-1 Kinoshimbomachi | JR Kanazawa Station, Kanazawa 920-0858, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-232-6200
Excellent
46%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 199 reviews

Kanazawa Station Tourist Information Center

Reviewed By kissane - Perth, Australia

Inside the station and very easy to find. Staff were very helpful (e.g. phoned up and booked a tour of the Ninja temple for me). Good supplies of maps and advice, and lots of staff there so very little waiting time. A good service for visitors. Thank you.

5. Nomura Family Samurai House

1-3-32 Nagamachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-221-3553
Excellent
35%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 599 reviews

Nomura Family Samurai House

Step inside this traditional Japanese home, complete with tea-ceremony room, a small, enchanting garden, artifacts from the Edo period and personal belongings of the Nomura family, who lived here for 10 generations.

Reviewed By SLRS5 - Cambridge, Massachusetts

This house was at the end of a very long and wonderful day. We got there too late to go in. Even so, just looking through windows, into the garden, and around the area was interesting. It would be interesting to compare the samurai house with the geisha house, they reflect very different aspects of Japan.

6. Myoryuji - Ninja Temple

1-2-12 Nomachi, Kanazawa 921-8031, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-241-0888
Excellent
50%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Myoryuji - Ninja Temple

Reviewed By B L - Denver, Colorado

This very interesting building is one of many temples built by the Maeda lords around the Kanazawa castle. Although it is not technically associated with the ninja it contains many hidden rooms, trick staircases, alcoves hidden from view that contained guards and other features to increase it ability to resist attackers.
The temple gives a glimpse into the history of Japan and the power struggles that went along with the consolidation of power.
The tours are given in Japanese, but the English language guidebooks are coded to go along with the tour guides explanation. We certainly got all of the high points of the tour and the building.
Some visitors have complained of the many rules, but they are not out of the ordinary and are designed to enhance the overall experience of the majority of the visitors.
The admission price seemed very reasonable.
We visited in the winter and it was snowing, but about half of the rooms on the tour were heated.
Shoes and backpacks are not allowed on the tour, but there are shelves and coin operated lockers for both.

7. Shima

1-13-21 Higashiyama, Kanazawa 920-0831, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-252-5675
Excellent
40%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 236 reviews

Shima

Reviewed By Roger T - London, United Kingdom

I thought that this was the best historic Geisha tea house that I saw. It is brilliantly maintained and explained, and one can get a real feeling of how it must have felt, looked and sounded when it was a Geisha house. Even the wooden balcony overlooking a small courtyard at the rear is lovely. There are also several rooms with cabinets full of artefacts.

8. Tsuzumi Gate

1-1 Kinoshinbomachi, Kanazawa 920-0858, Ishikawa Prefecture
Excellent
35%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 392 reviews

Tsuzumi Gate

Reviewed By davidmgeer - Sydney

Kanazawa station is a modern architectural gem in its own right. This fascinating gate set in front is like a crown. Looks a bit underwhelming in poor light, I.e. Rain or overcast days as you need strong reflected light to see the way the offset timbers support the roof. Can't be missed if you are exiting the station on the city side unless you really aren't looking ahead and upwards!

9. Seisonkaku Villa

1-2 Kenroku-machi, Kanazawa 920-0936, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-221-0580
Excellent
45%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 149 reviews

Seisonkaku Villa

Reviewed By libica - Pretoria, South Africa

The interiors of this Villa are beautiful, although it is very sparsely furnished, so I was quite happy that I visited. The entrance fee does seem a little expensive, I would assume the cost of upkeep must be very high.

10. Higashichaya Old Town

1 Higashiyama, Kanazawa 920-0831, Ishikawa Prefecture +81 76-220-2194
Excellent
30%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 2 reviews

Higashichaya Old Town

Reviewed By Peeter P - Toronto, Canada

Upon our arrival in Kanazawa, we headed straight to the Higashi Chaya District. It was a Sunday, and despite periods of rain and sun, we were blessed with many women dressed for the day in kimonos. They were quite accommodating about having their photos taken. The Old Town offers superb back-drops for such images. The old streets, storefronts, a few old lanterns, really do convey the Kanazawa of yesteryear. There are numerous shops for all sorts of gifts, many coffee and sweets sellers, and some nice restaurants. Definitely worth a few hours of strolling.

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