15 Things You Have To Do In Kanazawa

Kanazawa, which has popular dining and sightseeing spots, has many visitors from both inside and outside of the country. We’re introducing some particularly recommended sightseeing and eating spots so if you ever visit Kanazawa, be sure to reference this list!

Kanazawa

Things to Do

1. Kenrokuen

Kenrokuen is one of Japan’s 3 famous parks along with Kairakuen in Mito and Korakuen in Okayama. It got its name for the 6 “winning aspects” that the park possesses; its vastness, it’s quiet seclusion, man-made elements, classic aesthetic, water spring and view. You can enjoy the atmosphere of the garden in all four seasons. Kenrokuen is full of things to see, such as their famous bamboo lanterns, Karasaki pine with branches hanging with snow during the winter and Kasumi-ga-ike, the largest pond in the park.

2. Kanazawa Castle Park

Kanazawa Castle Park is a public park created by maintaining the grounds of Kanazawa castle. On the park grounds, there are many restored historic buildings like the Gojukken Nagaya (a weapons storehouse), Hishi Yagura watchtower and Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura. You can also see designated important cultural properties like the Ishikawa Gate, Sanjikken Nagaya and the Tsurumaru Storehouse. It’s a park with many highlights.

3. 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art has the concept of being a “museum that is like a park open to the city”. Leandro Erlich’s “swimming pool” which from the top looks like people are submerged inside a swimming pool is particularly popular. The building itself is a stylish art piece and in the paid exhibition area there are 14 exhibition rooms as well as permanent installments with many projects on display.

4. Higashi Chaya District

Even now, there are still old town houses with beautiful bay lattice windows remaining in Higashi Chaya District, which still has traces of the olden days. In 2001 it was selected as one of the national important cultural structures to be preserved by the district as a “cultural property townscape” and preservation plans are being pushed forward. You can hear the sounds of shamisen and taiko in the streets and in that lovely atmosphere, you can experience the feeling of going back to the olden days.

5. Ninja Temple

Myoryuji, popularly known as Ninja Temple, has absolutely no relation to ninjas but somehow it mysteriously became associated with them. Field trips are strictly on a reservation basis and the guide will explain everything in detail while showing you around. With trap staircases, concealed stairs, labyrinth stairs, the traps, lookout areas, a trick offering box and more, the traps and interior design really seem like they were used by ninjas and is quite surprising. Photography is prohibited during tours.

6. Yamasan Sushi

Yamasan Sushi is famous for their seafood bowls with 18 kinds of fish on top. On top of the rice, there is eel, herring roe, crab, tuna, scallop, squid, shellfish, crab legs, shrimps, tai (sea bream), yellowtail, salmon and octopus and there’s always a line of customers waiting for it. It’s an extravagant rice bowl where you can boldly savor fresh, top-quality seafood.

7. Akadama Honten

Kanazawa is Japan's number 1 area where you can eat oden and Akadama Honten, established in 1927 is particularly popular. The soup is Kansai-style and it uses Kanazawa soy sauce making a dish with a high quality flavor. The oden pot is in the center of the long counter surrounded by the ingredients so you can take your time and eat at your leisure. It’s a perfect companion with alcohol.

8. Kanazawa Washoku Ikkon

Kanazawa Washoku Ikkon is a popular Japanese cooking restaurant in Kanazawa. It uses Kanazawa seafood and other high-quality ingredients and you can savor the reserved, grown-up atmosphere inside the restaurant. There are only 8 counter seats available in the restaurant so it’s recommended that you make a reservation early.

9. Otome Sushi

You can have your fill at the relaxed, grown-up atmosphere at Otome Sushi which uses only fresh, high-quality toppings. This is a hugely popular sushi place in Kanazawa where you can eat rare items that you can’t find anywhere else and for a reasonable price. The head chef carefully selects all the highest quality toppings which are exquisitely matched with sun-dried rice from the Noto Peninsula. The level of deliciousness will surely surprise you. It’s recommended for lunch.

10. Shizenha Ramen Kagura

Shizenha Ramen Kagura gives you dishes that are exquisite and kind on your body. The soup which is carefully prepared without any chemical seasonings or additives is lightly flavors and has 15 kinds of amino acids that are good for the body. The noodles are springy and easy to swallow, matching extraordinarily well with the soup. Toppings like the pork fillet and boiled egg are also delicious, making this a popular ramen shop in Kanazawa. This is particularly recommended for those who prefer their food healthier.

11. Ohmicho Syokudo

Ohmicho Syokudo is a veteran eatery that has been in business in Ohmicho city since 1930. You can eat reasonably-priced, delicious regional food like glass shrimp, raw rice crackers and more. The most popular menu item is the seafood bowl (kaisen don) that is packed with fresh seafood. In addition to that, there are over 100 options on the menu like sashimi, grilled fish, boiled fish, an a la carte menu, snacks for alcohol and more. It’s a shop popular with the locals and the tourists.

12. Nakadaya's “Kintsuba”

Nakadaya no Kintsuba is so popular that it’s often said that “If you’re talking about Nakadaya then you must mention Kintsuba, and if you’re talking about Kintsuba then you must mention Nakadaya”. Their dainagon azuki beans are carefully selected and the thin fried skins, the softly-cooked bean paste and the salt seasoning that boosts the sweetness all combined to create an exquisite, high-quality product. It’s so delicious that you will become addicted after just one bite and many people buy these to bring home as souvenirs.

13. Enpachi’s “Ankoro Mochi”

Enpachi’s “Ankori Mochi” is made with carefully selected azuki beans along with mochi rice cultivated in Hakusan Roku and water that flows from Hakusan. Without being too sweet, the ample anko is truly delicious and is a Japanese sweet that is sure to please everyone from kids to adults. This is an ideal souvenir for anyone who likes sweets. Because it’s so popular, it sells out quickly so be sure to get there at an early time to buy. 

14. Miyakoya “Kaki no hazushi” “Sasa Sushi”

Miyakoya’s “Kaki no hazushi” and “Sasa sushi” are widely known as popular souvenirs from Kanazawa. In addition to seafood like turnip with salmon or tai fish, you can also savor pickled vegetables like eggplant, cucumber and more. The appearance is also quite lovely and they’re bite-sized so it’s a souvenir that will also please children.

15. Kawamura “Amanatto”

The cute packaging makes Amanatto even more popular. It comes in many varieties including dainagon azuki, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, soybeans, black soybeans and more. The packaging differs for each one based on which kind is inside. You’ll become addicted to the moderate sweetness and eat it every day for sure. It’s so popular it may be a bit difficult to get your hands on some.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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