During the time of samurais and feudal lords of the Edo Period, the Maeda Clan used Kanazawa as their seat of power. The clan came only second to the Tokugawa feudal lords. Because of the Maeda’s wealth and stature, Kanazawa grew in size and affluence, which also resulted in a thriving culture. If you are back in Japan, you might want to consider including Kanazawa in your itinerary.

The city has an old Japan feel that will take you back in time. It provides you with a glimpse of the rich culture and history of this part of the country. This ancient and modern city has plenty to offer. If you’re planning to visit, here are some of the places of interest to consider including in your itinerary.

Kenrokuen Garden

Get away from the concrete jungle with a trip to the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden. This destination is one of the top three gardens in Japan because of its landscaping and plant diversity. The garden is huge, covering around 12 hectares of land. There are also different flowering trees within its confines, giving it various colors depending on the season. Its name translates into “Garden of the Six Sublimities.” This refers to the characteristics of the ideal garden according to Chinese landscaping. You can spend half a day here just following the trails, admiring the views, or just to think and relax. The ideal times to visit are during autumn and spring to see the colorful foliage and the cherry blossoms. The nighttime visit is also a breathtaking experience.


The Maeda clan had the Myoryuji Temple, also referred to as Ninjadera, constructed back in the Edo Era. It got its moniker not because of its association with ninjas but rather its defense system that deceived all those who tried to infiltrate it. It is four stories high but looks shorter from the outside because of its complex design to fool potential invaders. Include Ninjadera in your itinerary to learn more about the city’s culture and history.

Kanazawa Castle

The original castle is no longer here and most of the structures are modern-day constructions and restorations. Despite these, Kanazawa Castle is still worth including in your itinerary while in the city. The park is scenic with many trees and plants. The Maeda Clan was one of the most influential families during ancient Japan; Kanazawa Castle was their seat of power. The castle was destroyed throughout its lifetime and was reconstructed several times as well.

Higashi Chaya District

Travel back to ancient Japan by exploring Higashi Chaya District. This area will elicit a sense of nostalgia from its visitors because of the many traditional buildings they’ll see here. The neighborhood served as an entertainment district where guests were entertained by geishas in exclusive establishments. Admire the geisha houses and imagine you are walking among samurai, merchants, and feudal lords. Depending on the time of day, the area gets really crowded.

Omicho Market

Catch a glimpse of the daily hustle and bustle of local life in Kanazawa with a trip to Omicho Market. The market has a variety of food stalls and restaurants. Try the different dishes and local specialties after visiting the city’s attractions. There are also fresh products sold for those who want to grab some fruits and vegetables for a healthy meal or snack.

21st Century Museum

Take a break from exploring old districts, temples, and the castle by visiting this museum. This modern art museum has exhibits and artworks since the 80s. You’ll see many mixed-media works, videos, and installations. Each room is spacious which allows you to enjoy and appreciate the pieces even if it gets crowded.

Nagamachi Bukeyashiki

The Edo Period was a time when samurais roamed the streets, commanded respect, and held influence. Catch a glimpse of this glorious past with a visit to Kanazawa’s samurai district. This neighborhood was the area where the samurais and their families lived. Drop by the Nomura-ke, a restored house of a samurai to see relics of the past and learn more about their lifestyle.

Nishi Chaya District

This district is smaller than its more popular counterpart Higashi Chaya. However, it doesn’t get as many visitors, which adds to its charm. Explore the quaint neighborhood and admire the old architecture. Chaya means teahouse, you’ll find these in this district along with cafes and shops.

D.T. Suzuki Museum

Suzuki Daisetz Teitaro is a well-known philosopher that introduced Japanese Zen to western countries. His writings about Zen’s influence on a person’s daily routine played an important role in spreading this philosophy. Suzuki spent his early years in Kamakuri studying. The minimalist design of the museum exemplifies the Zen philosophy that encapsulates the life and works of Suzuki. The entire complex creates a contemplative ambiance wherein visitors can think.

Kanazawa Umimirai Library

This public library is simple but beautiful. It has 6,000 holes and innovative design that allow natural light to enter. It also has wide open spaces, creating an airy, well-lighted, and comfortable place to read your favorite book or just check the place out.

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