Located slightly off the main tourist trail on the Western shore of Japan, Kanazawa has been somewhat passed by in the modernisation and industrialisation that has swept across most of Japan. The city is most famous for its stunning castle and one of the most revered gardens in the country – the Kenrkoen – a must see for all lovers of the Zen style Japanese garden!
The city also has a rather dark history as from the mid-16th century it was ruled by the Maeda Clan who were noted for their extreme violence and wealth as well as their patronage of the fine arts! The samurai district with its craft museums and Ninja-dera, a temple (famous for its association with this secretive clan of Ninja assassins) and the geisha district of Higashiyama are also well worth a visit to give you a flavour of what life must have been like centuries ago. Many traditional crafts are still practiced in small workshops and is one of the few places in Japan where “Noh drama” (a form of theatre involving music, dance and drama, originating in the 14th century) still flourishes.
Kanazawa is easily accessed by rail from Tokyo, Takayama or Kyoto.