Kanazawa is the capital city of Ishikawa prefecture, located by the Japanese sea, not far from the Japanese Alps. The old city, developing around the castle park and the famous Kenrokuen garden, is the witness of the traditional Japanese artistic craftwork and feudal architecture.
With its 460,000 inhabitants, Kanazawa is renown for its trio of touristic attractions gathered in the same area:
- the Kenroku-en Japanese garden, one of the three most beautiful in Japan;
- the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art;
- and the city castle.
Hokuriku: a faster way of reaching Kanazawa
Kanazawa used to be not so convenient to access, therefore the city launched a vast advertising campaign to develop it tourism (specifically towards foreign tourists), forecasting the new Shinkansen line, inaugurated on March 14th, 2015. The line reduces from 4h to 2h30 the necessary travel duration from the capital, and allows to forget about the changing at Maibara, required to reach Kanazawa until then.
This new line, named Hokuriku, cost 83 billions of yen (~US$ 830,000,000.00) of construction work between Nagano and Kanazawa. The local authorities expect 5 millions visitors each year coming from Tokyo, including 10% foreign visitors (twice more than before Hokuriku).
A third travel class (in addition to the “standard” and the “Green car”), called the “Gran class”, offers a more luxury service to the travelers having the consequent budget.
Things to do in Kanazawa
Kanazawa by Kanpai community
Must see around: Chubu attractions
From Tokyo, about 2h30 of JR Hokuriku Shinkansen train (around 16,000¥ / ~US$ 160.00 or free with the Japan Rail Pass).
From Kyoto, between 2h and 2h30 of JR Limited Express train (around 7,000¥ / ~US$ 70.00 or free with the Japan Rail Pass). Note that there are only one to two departures each day.
An airport for domestic flights is accessible at Komatsu, around 40 minutes away from the city by bus (1,130¥ / ~US$ 11.30).
Official Kanazawa tourism website (in English)
7 days = US$ 259
14 days = US$ 413