Kanazawa is an old castle town that retains its charm and interest while modern shops keep it young and trendy. You’ll be spoiled for choice in activities whether you’re there for a day or a month!
10 Things to Do with Kids in Kanazawa, Japan
1. Kanazawa Castle – Kanazawa castle is lovely to look at from the outside. Take a wander around the grounds to see differently-styled gardens. Go in and have a look around and see where the 2002 TV series “Toshiie and Matsu” was filmed.
2. Myoryuji Temple/Ninja Dera Temple – Although this temple was not built for ninjas, it has an amazing story held within. There are hidden escape routes, backwards staircases, and secret rooms. Listen carefully to your tour guide and learn more about this unique building.
3. Ken-rokuen Japanese Garden – Kenrokuen is rated as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. It lives up to this honour and is beautiful in every season and weather. The ‘wishbone’ stone lantern is famous for being unique.
4. Noto Peninsula – Take a scenic drive up the Noto peninsula and drive in your car on the beach. Not far from here is a place known locally as the “Tatami Mats” where there are flat areas of volcanic rock that resembles the Tatami flooring found in traditional Japanese homes.
5. Omicho Market – This fish market is known across Japan and is centrally located in Kanazawa. Its a very lively place where you can see bustling trade done with seafood fresh from The Sea of Japan.
6. Kaga-Yuzen Silk Dyeing – Kanazawa keeps up this traditional style of dyeing silk Kimono with wax and dye reminiscent of Ukranian Easter Egg painting. It is truly an amazing art form and Kimono made in this way are bespoke and of great value.
7. See the area specialty of using gold leaf – Gold leaf is beautiful and Kanazawa is known for it, especially when applied to lacquerware. Watch how it is done and see how delicate it is. There are some locations where you can even try it yourself!
8. Discover Noh Theatre – Noh is one of the traditional Japanese art forms of dance. It is a very slow, deliberate dance and very elegant. You can listen to traditional musical instruments while you watch. If you’re lucky you may be able to see them practice a performance for free.
9. Visit the Higashi Chaya/ Geisha district – The Higashi Chaya district’s historic architecture is just as it was hundreds of years ago. It is very different from the sleek modern Japan of the city centres. There is a tea room museum you can visit to see what the houses looked like on the inside and the spaces where Geisha danced.
10. Tojinbo – If you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing day take a trip out to Tojinbo. These unique hexagonal shaped rock cliffs formed from volcanic eruptions are dramatic. There are only a few spots in the world like this.
Kanazawa is beautiful year-round. It’s not too big that you’ll feel lost, and most attractions can be reached on foot Walking is a great way to explore the area and make your own discoveries.