An intriguing city with a fascinating ancient samurai district
Kanazawa serves as the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, and is sometime referred to as “little Kyoto” due to its ancient streets and well-preserved neighbourhoods. The city boasts many historical attractions such as restored residences and Edo-era districts, as well as modern museums, markets, regional handicrafts and art. The old castle town and adjacent districts such as the Nagamachi samurai district and chaya entertainment districts remain in good condition and are ideally explored on foot. Kanazawa's unchallenged main attraction is Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan's "three best landscape gardens" and considered by many as the most beautiful of them all. It dates back to the 17th century and is comprised of landscaped gardens, ponds, streams, rock gardens and is set over an area of more than 11 hectares. Also well worth a visit are Omicho Market, packed with stalls selling freshly caught seafood, fruit and vegetables and other produce, and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art which showcases art produced since 1980.