Smart & Cheap Japan Travel

Japan Travel Destination: Kanazawa
 | September 5, 2011

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Kanazawa City, part of the Ishikawa Prefecture, is located approximately 180 miles on the North western side of Tokyo. The city is situated adjacent to the Sea of Japan, bordered by the Japanese Alps, Nato Peninsula and Hakusan National Park. It lies between the Asano and Sai rivers, with a climate similar to that of Tokyo although slighlty rainier.

Kanazawa is well-known as a tourist destination in Japan because visitors get to enjoy a part of the country preserved perfectly as it once was. It is also known as one of the castle towns of Japan. The famous Kanazawa Castle was constructed in 1583 and for many centuries it has been the feudal Maeda Clan headquarters. Today, the castle forms one of the major tourist attraction sites in Kanazawa and in Japan. The castle has been renovated over the years enabling it to regain its grand facade after the various earthquakes and fire damages, while still truthful to the country’s traditional architectural style. In 2001, a major renovation exercise reached completion creating a better and newly looking castle. The current castle which has a double earthen wall stands 17.3 meters above a stone base. It is large enough to serve as a hall and currently serves as a command post. Perhaps the most unique feature about the Kanazawa Castle is its white roofing tiles. The lead-made tiles make the castle remain impervious to damage by fire. In the past they were built so that they could be melted to make bullets in case of an attack.

Another popular attraction in Kanazawa is its landscape garden called Kenrokuen, which used to be the exterior garden of the Kanazawa castle. It is considered one of the most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan – that is saying a lot. Worth a visit.

Reaching Kanazawa is the easiest from Komatsu. There are regular flights from Tokyo to Komatsu from where you can board a bus to Kanazawa, which will take you there in less than 50 minutes. There are also direct buses from Tokyo to Kanazawa (one way trip takes about four hours and costs about 13,000 Yen). By train, you will need to ride the bullet train from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa Station and transfer there. The city has a myriad of traditional hotels as well as budget guesthouses, all with exceptional Japanese hospitality.


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    About the Author

    Born in Tokyo. Lived, worked, and traveled in Japan for over a decade combined. Author of the book, "All-You-Can Japan: Getting the Most Bang for Your Yen" - www.allyoucanjapan.com

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