Tours and Attractions

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Kanazawa Castle across the moat during cherry blossom blooming

Kanazawa Castle

While regularly beset by fire with many rebuilds over the centuries (though not the main castle), Kanazawa Castle Park is lovely to stroll around on your way to Kenrokuen Garden. Only the turret interiors are open (for a small fee) but feature gorgeous carpentry.

Modern red torii gate at Kanazawa Station

Kanazawa Station

It’s not often a train station is an attraction in itself but this one is architecturally stunning, has fabulous shops, great food, facilities and hints at the wonderful time you’re going to have in this lovely city.

The old temple in the forest black and white

Daijoji Zen Temple

Daijoji is a 700-year-old monastery nestled in the forested hills of Kanazawa and, while a little far from the city centre, its worth visiting to either enjoy the tranquillity or even participate in their Sunday meditation with the 20+ monks who live there.

The old cobblestone streets of Kanazawa have earnt the area the Kyoto of the West

Chaya Geisha Districts

One of the highlights of Kanazawa are the 3 gorgeous Chaya districts (geisha tea-house areas) - Higashi, Nishi and Kazuemachi. Its well worth treating yourself at either Shima or Kaikaro tea-houses in the Higashi district or, if low on time, at least enjoy a famous gold leaf ice cream.

Snow covered rocks in the lake of the garden at dusk

Kenrokuen Garden

Established in the Edo period and developed over 2 centuries, Kenrokuen is rated as one of the top 3 gardens in Japan. For a couple of weeks in Jan and Feb it comes alive when the giant rope structures protecting the trees are illuminated.

The old ninja temple from the street

Myoryuji Ninja Temple

Built in 1643 to help protect Kanazawa Castle, Myoryuji is known as a Ninja Temple, due to a host of deceptive devices, illusions, traps, secret passages and hidden stairs. Reservations are recommended but English is rare so ask at your hotel or tourist information centre.

Beautiful Natadera Temple bright red in the snowy landscape

Natadera Temple

Founded in 717 by a Buddhist monk, the extensive grounds feature multiple buildings, a pond garden, observation deck, hand-cut meditation caves and steps carved into the cliffside. In winter snow, this secluded temple can seem like a dream.

Tatami room opens onto the stunning garden at the Samurai House

Nomura Samurai House

This beautifully restored historic home is in Nagamachi, with its canals and cobbled streets, the area where Kanazawa’s samurai lived with their families. The house has a lovely serene atmosphere, some great antique artefacts and a gorgeous inner garden.

The atrium of the Ohi Pottrery Museum

Ohi Pottery Museum

Dating from 1666, Ohi Pottery has been made by just one family in Kanazawa for over 350 years. The gallery is housed in their old family residence and features gorgeous artworks, crafted by hand. You can select an original tea bowl when enjoying a green tea cuppa in the connecting café.

A traditional tatami room with some of the belongings of the original family who lived here

Seisonkaku Villa

Located in the corner of Kenrokuen Garden, this elegant villa, designated an Important National Cultural Asset, was built by a feudal lord for his mother. It features large tatami rooms, ceilings decorated with scenes of family life and a lovely collection of personal artefacts.