Kanazawa is a overlooked jewel of Japan which is 400km from Tokyo. Its relatively remote location, off the beaten track adds to its beauty. Apart from its temples and shrines the Kanazawa history and culture is not just about them. The samurai, the merchants, the geisha, and the lords have all left their mark on Kanazawa in a compact, easily navigable central area. Kanazawa is part of the UNESCO Creative Citie. Kanazawa cuisine is famous throughout Japan, particularly its seafood since it lies in the sweet spot of the hot south and cold north currents. The quality of food is so high, that essentially one will eat good food wherever they go.
City of garden
Kenrokuen Garden is a beautiful Japanese garden located on the heights of the central part of Kanazawa. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful feudal lords’ gardens in Japan. Kenrokuen Garden has a big artificial pond, and hills and houses in the garden. The big pond called “Kasumigaike” was compared to an open sea, and an island, on which an ageless hermit with miraculous power was believed to live. This was constructed in the pond in hope of the long life and eternal prosperity of the lord. There is a stone lantern designed in the image of the Japanese koto by the pond, which becomes the symbol of Kenrokuen Garden. There is a fountain created using the natural pressure of water flowing from the higher pond.
Ninja Temple with 23 rooms and 29 staircases is an impressive array of trapdoors and hidden rooms, and a seppuku which is a ritual suicide chamber. Visitors cannot enter the temple except through the tours. The tour is conducted in Japanese, but they give travellers a folder with English translations. Local lore has it that there was an underground tunnel from the castle to the temple, to allow the Maeda lords an escape route in case of attack. However, no documentary proof of this has been found, and, like the ninjas, it merely adds to the myths of the place.
Asanogawa Riverside Garden Party along the Asano River banks. A delightful place for a stroll draws a large crowd who come to watch traditional displays on an elevated stage built over the river. There are enchanting, graceful performances of singing and dancing by local geisha and maiko people. Hyakuman-goku Festival celebrates the entry of Lord Maeda Toshiie, founder of the Kaga Domain. The festival stretches out over three days which includes a parade. The highlight of the parade is the costumed pageant recreating the entry of Maeda Toshiie, featuring costumed warriors and ladies from the late Warring States period and early Edo Period. The role of Toshiie is usually given to a famous Japanese star.
Also on every summer, locals are drawn to the river side to watch impressive fireworks displays.