Kanazawa, the capital of Ishi Prefecture, that's often only known as the transit place before visiting the famous Shirakawago, overshadowed by that UNESCO Heritage Site/ This city however holds a lot of things to offer and is well known for its preserved Edo style district thanks to its luck for being spared by World War II. This lets Kanazawa city still has a lot of historical and cultural places to be visited up to this point
I took speed train to Kanazawa from Osaka but Kanazawa has direct Shinkansen access to Tokyo, making it a great place to escape from the normal tourist path. I only had around 6 hours in Kanazawa as it was such a last minute. I boarded train at noon from Osaka and I had to catch a shinkansen to Tokyo later on because I didnt book any hotel there. However a friend of mine recommended me to visit Kanazawa again in the future for at least a night to really see Kanazawa
With 6 hours in Kanazawa, I only visited the famous tourist path and here are highlight things from Kanazawa
ー nishi chaya district ー
Nishi Chaya District is the most famous picture spot in Kanazawa, it's an area full of shops and tea houses. The vibe that I have from Nishi Chaya is similar with Gion area from Kyoto and it's not just because I know that Nishi Chaya is one of the 3 Geisha districts in Japan. I mean look at that beautiful traditional buildings and the total ambience. Dont forget to savour sweets and matcha as well when youre visiting this area
ー GOLD RELATED SHOPS ー
90% of japanese gold is produced in Kanazawa, that makes Kanazawa a gold city! They even have tea house that's all covered with gold and gladly let you see it. There are a lot of gold related shops including some interesting cafes with gold on their food. Look at that ice cream, frappe, and cake that has real gold on them, at it's only at a cafe in Kanazawa!
ー food with gold flakes ー
And as mentioned above, there's nothing that can stop the gold movement in Kanazawa. Even my sashimi bowl is sprinkled by some Kanazawa gold. There are other foods that has gold on top of them, and nothing beats luxurious dining when it's blended with gold
ー gold souvenirs ー
Although they also sell the conventional gold jewelry, there are other products that you can only find in Kanazawa such as Kanazawa gold flakes, and Gold Castella that is no 1 souvenir from Kanazawa. The price is quite expensive but I'm sure anyone who receive the souvenir would be delighted! There are also some interesting gold related items such as oil blotting paper, crackers, and furikake
ー kanazawa castle ー
It almost didn't make into my list but a tourist must do what a tourist do, visiting the normal route first before exploring off the beaten path. Especially since I would like to visit the Garden inside the Castle Territory. I didnt manage to get inside the castle though because it was closed by the time I reached it, but looking at the architecture even from the outside wowed me.
ー kenrokuen garden ー
Kenrokuen Garden is under top 3 best japanese garden to visit during autumn. However by the time I reached the garden, it seems most of the autumn leaves have withered down as I saw red carpet on the street more than on the sky. However the garden is pretty big and I saw so many local tourists and some local grandparents roaming around the garden enjoying the weather. Despite cant take good pictures of the Kenrakuen Garden, promise to come back and see the full momiji next time is the positive side
ー omicho market ー
Last but not least is their Omicho Market that sells a lot of fresh foods since 18th century. The market is famous for its seafood because Kanazawa is near Ishikawa's port, and the most popular dish is their seafood rice bowl which you can eat from restaurants above the market. It seems the popular one is their amaebi (sweet shrimp) and I had one of it from my Seafood Platter Rice Bowl that I showed before. The shrimp is the sweetest and the freshest shrimp I have ever had, and it's raw. I would die to come back just to eat that shrimp again
Kanazawa can be reached both from Tokyo and Osaka directly
From Osaka you use Thunderbird Limited Express train that takes 2,5 hours while from Tokyo it's Hokuriku or Kagayaki Shinkansen for 2 - 2,5 hours
Both trains are covered by JR PASS as well as Hokuriku Arch Pass
Once you reach Kanazawa Station, the best way is to buy a shuttle bus pass and pick your best route. There's tourist information center and luggage storage in the station so it's pretty helpful!
Hope this will make you have another off-the beaten path of Japan itinerary next time instead of just normal tourists cities! And let me know when you'll have visited it!
See you guys again on my next post