Kanazawa is not a famous city for tourism, but if you are in Japan and have already visited the main cities, I recommend you go there. It is a beautiful city that can be easily visited during the day, much less touristy than Osaka or Nara. Kanazawa is bordered by the Japanese Alps, the Hakusan National Park, and the Noto Peninsula National Park. Check my 15 days itinerary in Japan to know everything about my Japanese trip.
HOW TO GET TO KANAZAWA
I chose to visit Kanazawa from Kyoto in 1 day, the city is not big you can walk around. I don’t recommend staying more than a day unless you are passing through.
From Shin-Osaka Station, is 2h42 by direct train (Thunderbird), included in the Japan Rail Pass. The train is from the central station of Kyoto, included in the JR pass. Remember NOZOMI and MIZUHO trains are not included on the Japan Rail Pass.
From Tokyo station there is another direct bullet train, it takes 2h30, included in JR.
WHAT TO SEE IN 1 DAY
Kenroku-en park: The garden is located outside the gates of Kanazawa Castle where it originally formed the outer garden. It is a beautiful garden that I recommend visiting, there are various places to drink tea or eat ice cream. Open 9: 00-16: 30 (last entry 16:00) admission 320 yen.
Kanazawa castle: Founded in 1583, untill 1989, a portion of the castle was turned over to Kanazawa University. The castle was designated as a National Historic Site in 2008. Open 9:00 am – 4:30 pm (last entry 4:00 pm) admission 320 yen, and Free Admission to Castle Park Grounds. Honestly, if you have already visited Osaka Castle, I do not recommend entering, just visiting the gardens.
21st-century museum of contemporary art: One of the major attractions of Kanazawa, open 10 am to 6 pm 1200 yen admission. It is a museum of contemporary art that will be greatly appreciated especially by Instagram lovers. It consists of an internal and an external exhibition, opened since 2004, in October 2005, one year after its opening the Museum marked 1,570,000 visitors.
Kanazawa is a city very famous for the presence of the Ninja tradition. You can visit various points, for example, the neighborhood of Nishi Chaya or the Samurai Nomura House.
Another mandatory stop if you are a fan of the ninja world is the Myoryuji temple. Original Buddhist temple with hidden rooms, secret passages, traps, and guided tours. Open from 9am to 4.30pm admission fee 1000 yen.