The 10 Best Things To Do In Kanazawa

Ah, Kanazawa – a hidden gem on Japan’s coast, where the past and present fuse in the most enchanting ways. It’s a place where samurai stories come alive amidst modern cafes and where every street corner seems to whisper tales of yore. If you’re planning a trip to this cultural haven, you’re in for a treat. Here’s a curated list of the top 10 things to do in Kanazawa that will ensure your visit is nothing short of magical.

1. Stroll Through Kenrokuen Garden

Let’s kick things off with Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s “Three Great Gardens.” It’s a spectacle of natural beauty and meticulous design. As you meander along the winding paths, you’ll encounter ancient trees, tranquil ponds, and perfectly placed teahouses. It’s a living painting that changes with the seasons, each visit offering a new palette of colors and scents.

2. Step Back in Time at the Nagamachi Samurai District

Walking through the Nagamachi Samurai District feels like you’ve slipped through time. The earthen walls and narrow lanes are reminiscent of the Edo period. You can visit the Nomura Samurai House, where the garden alone is worth the trip. It’s a serene spot that captures the essence of the samurai era.

3. Discover the Gold Leaf Experience

Kanazawa produces a staggering 99% of Japan’s gold leaf, and the craftsmanship is on full display throughout the city. At the Kanazawa Gold Leaf Sakuda shop, you can not only buy gold-leaf products but also try your hand at creating your own shimmering masterpiece. It’s a unique souvenir that literally lets you take a piece of Kanazawa’s heritage home with you.

4. Explore the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is a haven for modern art lovers. Its circular design and glass walls invite natural light to dance across the exhibits. The museum’s collection is as thought-provoking as it is diverse, ensuring that every visitor leaves with a sparked imagination.

5. Visit the Omicho Market for a Culinary Adventure

No visit to Kanazawa is complete without a trip to Omicho Market. It’s a bustling hub where locals and tourists alike come for the freshest seafood and produce. Don’t miss out on the chance to savor some of the best sushi you’ll ever taste, made with fish that’s likely been caught just hours before it lands on your plate.

6. Admire the Architecture of Kanazawa Station

Even arriving in Kanazawa is an experience, thanks to the stunning architecture of Kanazawa Station. The Tsuzumi Gate and Motenashi Dome are modern marvels that welcome visitors with open arms. It’s a blend of tradition and innovation that sets the tone for the rest of your Kanazawa adventure.

7. Take a Tea Break at Gyokusen’inmaru Garden

After all that exploring, you’ll want a moment to relax. Gyokusen’inmaru Garden, located next to Kanazawa Castle, is the perfect spot. With its panoramic views and peaceful atmosphere, it’s an ideal place to enjoy a cup of matcha and reflect on your journey thus far.

8. Experience the Charm of Higashi Chaya District

The Higashi Chaya District is where geisha culture thrives in Kanazawa. The wooden-latticed buildings and stone-paved streets are enchanting. You can visit ochaya (teahouses) where geishas perform, or simply enjoy the district’s timeless beauty with a leisurely stroll.

9. Marvel at the Kanazawa Castle Park

Kanazawa Castle, with its white walls and elegant rooftops, is a symbol of the city’s rich history. The park surrounding the castle is a vast green space, perfect for picnics and photo ops. It’s also a great place to witness cherry blossoms in spring or fiery maple leaves in autumn.

10. Indulge in Kanazawa’s Craftsmanship at the Kutani Kosen Pottery Studio

Last but not least, immerse yourself in the world of Kutani ceramics at the Kutani Kosen Pottery Studio. The intricate designs and vivid colors of Kutani Ware are mesmerizing. You can even try your hand at painting your own pottery – a creative end to your Kanazawa exploration.


  • What’s the best time to visit Kenrokuen Garden?

    Each season offers a unique experience, but spring and autumn are particularly stunning with cherry blossoms and fall foliage.

  • Can I experience geisha performances in Kanazawa?

    Yes, you can book an evening at one of the ochaya in the Higashi Chaya District to watch geisha performances.

  • Is Kanazawa suitable for family trips?

    Definitely! With its rich culture, beautiful gardens, and interactive experiences, there’s something for every age.


In conclusion, Kanazawa is a treasure trove of cultural wonders, each more captivating than the last. From the serene beauty of Kenrokuen Garden to the bustling energy of Omicho Market, there’s an endless array of experiences waiting for you. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff, or simply in search of a unique adventure, Kanazawa’s blend of tradition and modernity will enchant you. So pack your bags, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in this exquisite Japanese city.

Remember, Kanazawa isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience that will leave an indelible mark on your heart. And who knows? You might find yourself longing to return before you’ve even left. Happy travels!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.