Must-see Spots in Kanazawa

by Fujio

Main sightseeing spots in Kanazawa

Kanazawa’s main sightseeing spots are all located around Kanazawa castle which was built in the center of the city in the 1580’s are mostly within 10-minute walking distances from one another.  Most roads in the old urban area are designed to be winding and narrow intentionally to make it difficult for you to find where you are.  This feature assures a very efficient tour if you are with a long-experienced local tour guide.  

Kenrokuen garden

The highlight of any visit to Kanazawa is Kenrokuen garden, which was constructed as the outer garden of Kanazawa castle over two centuries beginning in 1676.  As you might know, Japanese Landscape gardens are reproduction of natural scenery within a given space, where trees, stones, paths, streams, ponds, etc. are laid out as they appear in nature.  

Must-see Spots in Kanazawa

Omicho market

You will find various food stuff sold in the Omicho market that you usually don’t find in your country, such as wasabi, lotus roots and burdocks as vegetables and sea urchin, sea cucumbers, squids, kelp as marine products.  

Time required for sightseeing and Cultural Experience in Kanazawa: Usually it takes one full day for the sightseeing.  Another day will be required for enjoying hands-on cultural experiences and a home-visit.  One day tour of combining sightseeing of must-see spots and some cultural experience is also available.  


One of the frequently asked questions is what the difference is between Kyoto and Kanazawa in terms of historical background and culture. Founded in 794, Kyoto had been the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years placing the imperial palace in the center of the city and developing a courtly culture, whereas the city of Kanazawa had been made as the foremost samurai warrior’s town since 1583 with a castle in the center of the city and a highly developed samurai culture for nearly 280 years. Both cities virtually ended their influential political roles at the time of Meiji restoration in 1868, and they have become modern flourishing cities making use of their own cultures that have been handed down over many generations. They also escaped the bombing of world war Ⅱand have preserved intact their attractive traditional quarters.  

Tips for travelers

A total of approximately 2 hours of intermittent walking per day is required on mostly paved/gravel, flat surfaces. So, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Shoes must be removed before entering a Japanese home (the samurai villa); seating will be on tatami mats during tea ceremony. Japanese yen (cash) will be needed for personal purchases at the market if you chose.    



17 Aug 2014

National Certified Guide

(2) Reviews

Contact Fujio

Born and having spent most of my life in Kanazawa, I went into the export business for a major high-speed and automatic loom maker, where I worked for 38years.
When I was a university student in Kyoto, I occasionally worked part time as an English speaking guide. I have guided foreign tourists in Japan especially in my hometown for over 13years starting soon after my retirement.
I joined Kanazawa Good-will Guide Network in 2000and had been its coordinator for 6years from 2002, currently being its senior adviser.
Furthermore, I organized Kanazawa Home-visit Association in 2003(HP: **********) that has received over 8,000visitors from overseas, among whom 1,900enjoyed experiencing Japanese culture in my own home.
In 2012, I established, with my friends, Licensed Interpreter-guide Net Kanazawa (LINK) and currently I am its coordinator.
I am therefore very familiar with historical, cultural and industrial backgrounds of Kanazawa and its surrounding regions.
My hobby is golf and my current official golf handicap is 15.

Tour Guide Services:
Sightseeing tours with explanations of historical and cultural backgrounds of Ishikawa prefecture including Kanazawa city and Noto peninsula, and the surrounding prefectures such as Gifu (with Takayama city and Shirakawa village), Toyama (with Gokayama village) and Fukui (with Eiheiji Zen Temple)

Sample Itineraries:
Model Plans in Kanazawa:
Full-day tour (7~8h)
Higashi Chaya (Geisha) District including gold-leaf shops → Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castle Park → 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art → Nagamachi Samurai District → Omicho Market
Half -day tour (4~5h)
Higashi Chaya (Geisha) District including a gold-leaf shop → Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castle Park → Nagamachi Samurai District
Other popular spots are also available as options: Myoryuji (Ninja) Temple, D. T. Suzuki Museum, Oyama Shrine, Kaga Yuzen Traditional Industrial Center, Nishida Family Garden (Gyokusen-en), Kazuemachi Chaya (Geisha) District, Ohi Pottery Museum, Kutani Porcelain Kiln, etc.

Home-visit (2hours)
Visit a local home to enjoy talking with the host family over tea and to learn the distinctive Japanese lifestyle firsthand, where you might experience traditional culture such as a tea ceremony, flower arrangement, kimono dressing, calligraphy and/or paper folding.
Model Plans of 1-day round trips by highway bus from Kanazawa
1. Noto peninsula (Wajima Morning market, Wajima Lacquerware Center, Sojiji Zen Temple, Ganmon and Chirihama Beach Driveway), etc.
2. Takayama city (samurai town), Shirakawa village (world heritage) and/or Gokayama village (world heritage)

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Tours by Guide

Kanazawa Full-day Tour

(2) Reviews
by Fujio
8h $ 267 up to 3 people

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