I’d never heard of Kanazawa before we booked our trip. My boyfriend and I needed somewhere to stop on the way from Kyoto to our ski resort in Nozawa, and friends recommended it. So we booked ourselves 2 days in Kanazawa and decided to see where life took us. And we’re so glad we did.
2 Days in Kanazawa
Located on the Sea of Japan coast, Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and feels like Kyoto in miniature. With a stunning castle, historic streets, and one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, this city has a bit of everything I love.
Food in Kanazawa
Including food. We’ve heard good things about the food in Kanazawa, and it doesn’t disappoint. We start at the famous Omicho Market, where over 200 stalls sell fresh seafood and produce.
From there we hit the restaurants in Kanazawa, which are equally good. From the morning coffees at Curio Espresso & Vintage Design to the moreish lunches at Full of Beans and delicious izakaya dinners at Itaru Honten, we happily spend our 2 days in Kanazawa eating our way through the city.
Sightseeing in Kanazawa
And it’s a good thing, too, because we need the calories to keep us warm. Kanazawa is experiencing one of the heaviest snowfalls its had in years, and it’s chilly outside.
But it doesn’t stop us from exploring. We start in the Higashi Chaya District, a historic area with traditional streets and teahouses where geisha entertain. It’s beautiful in the snow, and as we walk around we breathe in the air of centuries past.
From the Higashi Chaya District we walk to Kanazawa Castle Park. It’s reminiscent of Narnia with its deep snow and enchanted castle, and we can’t get enough of the architecture and ambiance.
Across the street is the Kenroku-en Garden, which deserves its title as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Full of ponds, footbridges, streams, and shrines, it looks stunning under a blanket of fresh powder.
From the garden we head to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. This circular feat of architecture is a maze to get around, but when we manage to navigate it properly we come across impressive art from all over the world.
And impressive is the way I would describe everything we find in this city. Throughout our 2 days in Kanazawa this place has taken us by surprise and won us over. The only thing I don’t like is how little time we have here. There are more traditional neighborhoods to explore, more museums to seek out, and even a ninja temple with trapdoors to tour.
But we’re off to Nozawa now, so we’ll just have to return someday to see the rest. Maybe in spring when the pink blossoms are out. Or autumn when the leaves turn. Or anytime, really. It seems like every season would be a good one for visiting Kanazawa.
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