- January 15 2016
Must See Locations in Kanazawa with Our 1 Night, 2 Day Trip Itinerary :Part 1
Do you know the sightseeing spot Japanese people love to visit the most? The answer is “Kanazawa” city, located in Ishikawa prefecture. Like in Kyoto, you can see beautiful rows of traditional houses in Kanazawa. However, unlike Kyoto, the city has not been urbanized and remains as a cozy and stylish city. Everyone who has visited Kanazawa, even once, is fascinated by the city, and will tell people how amazing it is.
Kanazawa has had a good reputation for a while: “Their seafood is great,” “The snowy scenery is beautiful,” and “I hear Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castle are amazing.” However, the problem was that it was not easy to access.
However, once the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) Line became available in 2015, people found out that it was only a 2 hour and a half hour ride from Tokyo Station, which made Kanazawa an even more popular sightseeing place this year.
Today, we’ll introduce our recommended plan for a one night, two day trip to Kanazawa, departing from Tokyo.
1) 9:30 From Tokyo Station to Kanazawa Station!
To start off, let’s head to Tokyo Station, the starting point of the Shinkansen.
Because we want to enjoy sightseeing on the first day, we aim to get on the Shinkansen that departs at 9:30 am. Because Tokyo Station is large and complicated, let’s get there with some time to spare. If it’s not a weekend, we think that you can get a seat without problem even if you don’t have a reservation.
Once you get on the Shinkansen, there’s no need to worry. Sit in the comfy seat for about two hours and sleep a little more. Just be careful not to miss your stop!
2) 12:00 Arrival at Kanazawa Station! Let’s use the “Tebura Sightseeing Service”
Actually, Kanazawa Station has such a beautiful appearance that the American travel media company, “Travel + Leisure,” picked it as one of the 16 most beautiful buildings in the world. Because there are many exhibitions and places like the sightseeing center, you can enjoy walking in the station.
At the sightseeing information center, there is a counter dedicated for non-Japanese people that deal with English and Chinese. There is also a service called “Tebura Service” where they send your luggage to your hotel for 600 to 800 yen.
If you have lots of luggage, you may use that service or put them in a coin locker.
For more about Kanazawa Station, please read the article, “‘Kanazawa Station’ is one of the world’s most beautiful stations!” as well.
3) 13:00 Lunch at Oumi Market
We just noticed that we are starving!
Kanazawa is generally a quiet place, but this “Oumi Market” is the only place that gets busy and crowded in the city. Here, you can get fresh seafood, thanks to the blessings of the abundant seafood in the Hokuriku area.
From Kanazawa Station, take the belt-line bus that loops around the Kanazawa city for about 5 minutes, and get off at “Musashinishi.” If you have time you can walk instead, which takes about 20 minutes.
There are places you can eat seafood, like oysters and sea urchin, right on the spot!
You can satisfy your stomach as you and walk discover restaurants, or you can eat “Kaisen don” (a rice bowl with various kinds of seafood on top) or sushi since there are many seafood restaurants in the Oumi Market area.
4) 15:00 A walk around the Higashi Chaya District
In this Higashi Chaya District, there is still a row of houses along the street that thrived as Kanazawa Castle’s castle town in older times. They tell the story of that era. Although the exteriors still have the charm of old residences, many have been renovated as cafes and gift shops inside, so tourists can enjoy not only the classic atmosphere of the town but also drink tea and see traditional crafts.
These lattices are a characteristic feature of Higashi Chaya District. They say it’s hard to see inside from the outside and easy to see the outside from the inside.
We had green tea and “ohagi” (mochi rice topped with sweet red bean paste and roasted bean flour) as snacks. The warm, fluffy taste gave me a feeling of peace.
5) 17:00 A walk by the Asanogawa riverside
When the sun has set a little, the street lights up, and you can enjoy a little different type of Kanazawa atmosphere. It was unfortunate that the wind was strong that day we visited. However, it is said that the way the Asanogawa Bridge is reflected on the water is so beautiful when there is no wind.
6) 18:00 Dinner at Higashi Chaya District
After a bit of walking and getting hungry, let’s eat dinner around here.
If you don’t have to worry about money, we recommend Kaiseki cuisine, which uses Kanazawa’s abundant seafood. However, Kanazawa has great local ingredients, so you can definitely enjoy meals that use seafood, whether it’s Italian or French.
7) 19:00 Only on Saturdays! Explore Kanazawa at night via the Kanazawa Light Up Bus
Although normally it is a good idea to finish your day with a walk by the Asanogawa river, if you are in Kanazawa on a Saturday, we recommend a ride on the “Light Up Bus.”
This bus visits Kanazawa’s must-see spots that are all lit up at night. The bus is only available on Saturdays from 7 pm to 9:10 pm and comes every 10 to 20 minutes. The fee is 300 yen per ride, but if you want to get off at each stop and enjoy the site, it is good to buy an unlimited ride pass from Kanazawa Station in advance.
Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castles are extra beautiful at night when they’re lit up!
For more information, please see below: http://www.kanazawa-tourism.com/eng/guide/guide3.php
Now, after you finish a single loop on the bus, it arrives back at Kanazawa Station. We assume that many people book a hotel near Kanazawa Station, so let’s head to your hotel from here!
That was our Part 1 of the article. For information on the hotel and sightseeing the next day, please read the Part 2 of “Must See Locations in Kanazawa with Our 1 Night, 2 Day Trip Itinerary :Part 2”.