Japan Kanazawa Kenrokuen Gardens Sunset
A City Gilded in Gold

Cruise to Kanazawa, Japan

Home to the Maeda Clan in the 16th century, Kanazawa used to rival Kyoto and Edo (ancient Tokyo) in culture and prosperity. These days, the city continues to thrive and it's thanks to the business-minded Maeda samurai that almost all the gold leaf in Japan is made by Kanazawa craftsmen. Because most of the original architecture is still preserved, you can expect an eclectic mix of samurai streets, teahouses graced by geisha, thought-provoking modern museums and delectable foodie trends (gold-leaf ice cream anyone?). The crowning jewel of Kanazawa is the sensational Kenrokuen Garden, where locals and tourists visit to soak up the ever-changing seasonal beauty.
National Language Japanese
Currency Accepted Japanese Yen (JPY)

Things To Do in Kanazawa

Japan Kanazawa Kasumiga Ike Pond Kenrokuen Garden

See The Most Magical Garden

Japan Kanazawa Kasumiga Ike Pond Kenrokuen Garden

Japan Kanazawa Kasumiga Ike Pond Kenrokuen Garden

See The Most Magical Garden

Kenrokuen Garden is one of the best gardens in Japan and is home to the iconic and unusual Kotojitoro Lantern. It's stunning in all seasons, and you'll see plum flowers in March and cherry blossoms by April. In autumn, prepare for a striking display of fiery foliage. Also visit the nearby Seisonkaku Villa, which is one of the most elegant samurai villas that's still standing.

Japan Kanazaw Buddhist Temple Ninja Dera

Play Samurai Versus Ninja

Japan Kanazaw Buddhist Temple Ninja Dera

Japan Kanazaw Buddhist Temple Ninja Dera

Play Samurai Versus Ninja

Head to Myouryuji Temple, also known as Ninja Temple, to discover the many hidden traps, secret rooms, escape tunnels and deceptions within its walls. Surprisingly, ninjas have nothing to do with this temple – it was built by Maeda lords as a disguised military outpost to warn the castle of attacks. How sneaky!

Japan Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Higashiyama Teahouse
Japan Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Higashiyama Teahouse

Meet a Geisha and Sip Tea

In past centuries, samurai got their entertainment at high-class teahouses. Here, geisha performed elegant dances and songs for their customers. While three 'Chaya' (teahouse) districts exist in Kanazawa, Higashi Chaya is the largest. Head to the Shima Teahouse museum or Kiakaro Teahouse to experience an authentic tea service for yourself.

Japan Kanazawa Ice Cream Topped Gold Leaf
Japan Kanazawa Ice Cream Topped Gold Leaf

Local Cuisine

Cuisine in Kanazawa is dominated by mountain-grown ingredients and fresh seafood. Head to Omicho Market, where 200 stalls sell everything from king crabs to on-demand sushi. For dessert, get a taste of opulence at the Gold Leaf Sakuda store by tucking into gold-leaf ice cream.

Japan Kanazawa Gilded Chopsticks
Japan Kanazawa Gilded Chopsticks

Shopping

Pick up popular gold-leaf souvenirs at the Hakaza shop in the Higashi Chaya district. You'll also find a number of craft goods in the surrounding shops, such as kimono and lacquerware. To get your hands on some Japanese fashion, head to Apita Town shopping centre, a 15-minute walk from Kanazawa port.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 If you need some 'me time', there are four high-quality hot water springs within a one-hour drive of Kanazawa.
2 Kanazawa is a compact city with an organised train and bus system, so visiting multiple attractions in one day is easy.
3 In June, you can experience the Hyakumangoku Festival parade, complete with 16th-century costumes and 2,000 locals playing notable samurai warriors.

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