Kanazawa (金沢) is one of the major cities in central Japan, and is a good place to take a rest, fill up one some cheap food and continue on your adventure.

Wait! It also has the best Japanese garden we have ever been to. Spend a day here and take your time in this special city.

Budget travel tips

  • Get yourself a One Day Pass from the tourist information center in the station for unlimited use of the local bus network for one day (Adults 500 yen, Children 250 yen). Using this pass will mean you can probably do everything in one day.
  • Food options, especially at night, can be surprisingly limited for such as large city. Not many budget options are available, so pick up dinner from a supermarket or convenience store when you see one.
  • Pick up the free map from the tourist information center in the station

Things to do

Kenroku-en Garden

Considered one of the great three traditional Japanese gardens, this place just has to be visited. Stunning moss filled gardens, beautifully manicured gardens and rock formations…the list goes on.

Open: 7:00-18:00 (8:00-17:00 from Oct 16 to end of Feb)

Price: Adults 310 yen, Children 100 yen

Kanazawa Castle Park

A rather grand Japanese castle, with a large garden for a nice walk or two. Paying to go inside is not essential if you are visiting other castles in Japan.

Open: 9:00-18:00

Price: Free (310 yen to access inside areas)

Nishi Chaya District

Old Japanese tea street, full of many different restaurants, souvenir shops and cafes. Pop into a few to see if there are some free samples on offer.

Ninja Temple (Myoryuji Temple)

See how the cunning Ninja protected themselves from intuders in this interetsting temple, full of traps, secret escape holes and trick doors. Note English tour guides not available, but translated text is.

Open: 9:00-16:30 (16:00 in December to February)

Price: Adults 800 yen, Children 600 yen (preschoolers not allowed)

Teramachi Temple area (FREE)

This is where the Ninja Temple is located. There are dozens of other small temples around here to check out, most of which are free. A nice way to get away from the crowds.

Higashi Chaya and Kazue-Machi Chaya Districts

Traditional neighborhoods known for selling top quality tea. Lots of cool buildings to take photos of. You can even splash out on ice cream with gold leaves on top!

Omi-cha Market

Fascinating market, well known for selling top quality fish. Staff are very accommodating, even if you don’t have a clue how to eat things or what they are!

Naga-Machi Buke Yashiki District

Take a relaxing walk along an old-style canal and enjoy some samurai houses.

Recommended Hostels and Cheap Hotels

Guest House Ochakare

Very friendly and helpful staff and super clean rooms. Short walk from the station and a shared kitchen. Check prices at Booking.com.

More at Booking.com


Free Volunteer Guides

Kanazawa Goodwill Guide Network

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict

2 thoughts on “Kanazawa

  1. Loved your pictures and I came here through your interview on another site. I have Japan on my bucket list and have started studying, but I want to know one small thing from you, have you in your travels noticed the street side shops selling tatting shuttles called Clover? If yes, then what kind of shops sell these? What do they call them in Japanese? Will you please let me know here on your page itself, I have already blogrolled you so I can find you easily. thank you so much. If you wish to see India, you are welcome too.


    1. Hi there! Thanks for the message. I have not heard of Clover I’m afraid, but I would recommend going to Tokyu Hands, we have recommended some here, so please search for them on this site 😀


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