Go off the beaten path in Japan and pay a visit to this oft overlooked historic jewel on the western coast of Honshu, known for its beautiful gardens, art museums, gorgeous handicrafts and well-preserved districts from the Edo era dating back to the 17th century.
How to get there
Fly to Tokyo via any major airline and then take the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Japan’s bullet train, for a trip that’s just under 2½ hours. Kanazawa’s train station is a sight in itself – a futuristic marvel that integrates a traditional wooden temple gate with glass and steel.
Where to stay
Hotel Nikko is Kanazawa’s most luxurious hotel and at 130m, the tallest building in the region. All rooms are located on the 17th floor or higher, offering panoramic views of the city. The hotel is conveniently located right in front of the railway station and quite near most tourist attractions.
What to do
Kanazawa is home to the famous Kenroku-en Garden, a landscape garden dating from the 17th century and a place for peaceful walks and contemplation. The city boasts many preserved geisha and samurai districts as well as some wonderful museums, such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kanazawa Museum of Modern Literature. Visit the Omicho Market for a truly local experience and to sample some world-class sushi and sashimi from the many small restaurants that dot the market.