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Outside of Kanazawa Castle at night

Kanazawa is located in Ishikawa Prefecture and it is the heart of Hokuriku Region. Kanazawa city was formed in the Sengoku Jidai between 1467 and 1600. It was part of the Kagahan which encompassed modern day Echizen which includes parts of Fukui prefecture, Kaga region of Ishikawa prefecture and modern day Echuu Regions which includes Noto peninsula of Ishikawa prefecture and parts of Toyama prefecture.

Kanazawa Castle was built sometime in the 1540s, to the modern day this castle has had a very turbulent and interesting history. Kanazawa was built around a rich tea house and food culture. The regions is full of traditional festivals dating back to the 1500s. Kanazawa was also hub for trade with the capital Kyoto during the Sengoku, Edo, and Meiji periods and was one of the wealthiest cities in Japan.

In the 20th Century Kanazawa was spared by bombing during the Pacific war between the United States and Japan leaving intact almost all of its traditional architecture dating back to the Meiji and Edo periods.

Today most Japanese who visit Kanazawa refer Kanazawa as a second Kyoto but locales refer Kyoto to be like Kanazawa. It has a great coffee house, craft beer, and tea culture. The produce, sea food, and rice of Ishikawa prefecture is always fresh and has a great taste. Compared to the Eastern part of Japan the taste of food in Kanazawa is much lighter, sweeter, and better tasting over all. Most dialects spoken in Ishikawa prefecture use a Kansai dialect that is spoken slowly and it is similar to the Kyoto Dialect. If you enjoy traditional cities in Japan as I do, you really need to visit this beautiful city. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. Ishikawa prefecture especially Noto Peninsula is the most beautiful and traditional area of all of Japan on of the reasons way I chose to buy a home on Noto Peninsula.

Kanazawa is in the heart of the Hokuriku Region

Kanazawa City. Kanazawa city is easily accessible from the Kansai area by highway, train, and National route 8.

How to get to Kanazawa by train

Kanazawa is easily accessible by train from Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya. If your coming from Kyoto. Take the サンダーバード特急 (Thunder Bird Limited Express Train) from Track 0 in Kyoto Station. Its about a 2 hour from Kyoto to Kanazawa. The cost is 7,020 Yen for a reserved seat.

Not a good picture but this is the Thunder Bird Express train from Osaka, leaving at Kyoto and going to Kanazawa.

The Thunder Bird Express stopped at Kyoto Station.

From Osaka the Thunder Bird Limited Express Train is located on track 11 in Osaka station. It takes about 2 hours 44 minutes to arrive in Kanazawa. It costs 7,790 yen for a reserved seat.

If your coming from Nagoya Take the しらさぎ (Shirasagi Limited Express Train) from track 4 in Nagoya Station. It takes about 3 hours from Nagoya to Kanazawa. The cost is 7,460 Yen for a reserved seat.

By car you have two options from Kyoto

Take Route 1 to Yamashina. Take route 161 bound for Takashima and Tsuruga. Pass Takashimi and enter Fukui Perfecture. Take route 8 from Tsuruga to Kanazawa. From Kyoto its about 275 Km.

By 高速道路, Express way from Kyoto. (Its much more cost and time effective if you avoid taking the expressway directly from Kyoto, through Maibara and to Tsuruga).

This is the best route by Express way from Kyoto:

Take Route 1 to Yamashina. Take route 161 bound for Takashima and Tsuruga. Pass Takashimi and enter Fukui Perfecture. Take route 8 to Turuga Interchange and get on the express way. If you go this way its about 3,400 yen depending the size of your car. K car is the lowest price and regular sized cars are full price when you use highways.

Some of sites of Kanazawa

Kanazawa at night

香林坊 (Korinbo) or Ishikawa Yokou Memorial Park

Kanazawa Culture exchange center.

The Kanazawa culture exchange center has an interesting history, it was once a high school that was converted to a culture exchange center.

Ishikawa Memorial Reception Hall

This building was once the Ishikawa Prefectural office but now it is the Kanazawa memorial reception hall.

Yokou Memorial Park is home to many events throughout the year including a craft beer festival in September.

ひがし茶屋街 Higashi Chaya Gai Developed in 1820

東茶屋街 ひがしちゃやがい

There are three chayagai's in Kanazawa. Higashi Chayagai. Nishi Chayagai, and Kazuemachi Chayagai. Traditional Tea houses, restaurants, cafes, suvenior shops, stores, and homes this is a very popular destination in Kanazawa.

Kanazawa is less crowded than Kyoto and Higashi Chayagai is a great place to visit on the weekdays when less people travel.

Traditional homes in Higashi Chaya Gai.

Streets of Kanazawa near Higashi Chaya Gai.

This is the Ono Canal.

Kanazawa has many picturesque canals and a great place to take walks.

近江町商店街(Oumi Chou Shoutengai) or Oumi Chou shopping street. This is located in the heart of Kanazawa.

尾山神社 Oyama Shrine

Oyama Shrine Gate, the shrine gate was built in 1873, it was built Japanese, Chinese, and western styles during the Meiji period. This style was suppose to convey the image of strength of the Kaga Dominion.

The Oyama main shrine building

The gardens of the Oyama shrine near Kanazawa Castle.

The bridge in the gardens of the Oyama Shrine

These are just a few of the destinations in Kanazawa. There are many cafes and restaurants in Nagamachi and other areas all around Kanazawa. Many of the restuarnts and cafes are family owned and ran. There is also large department stores such as Daimaru Korinbo Department store and Kanazawa Mza Department store. Kanazawa is also a great place to take a walk at night. Enjoy Kanazawa.

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