6 great things to do in Kanazawa, Japan

Kanazawa is a hidden gem in Japan that blends rich cultural heritage with modern attractions. As a well-preserved castle town, it’s home to one of Japan’s finest gardens, stunning historical sites, and beautifully maintained neighborhoods. The best part? Kanazawa is often overlooked by tourists, making it the perfect place for an authentic and less crowded experience on your Japan holiday. Join us as we explore 6 great things to do in Kanazawa.

1. Visit Kenroku-en, one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens

Things to do in Kanazawa: Kenroku-en

If you’re looking for great things to do in Kanazawa, put Kenroku-en at the top of your list. This was one of our favorite spots in Kanazawa, and maybe even our whole Japan trip! It’s the most beautiful garden we’ve ever seen, period. This stunning garden is the perfect place to enjoy nature and find some peace right in the city. You can spend hours wandering around, admiring the flowers, bridges, ponds, and fountains. The entrance fee is 320 yen, which is about € 2. An absolute steal if you ask us!

2. Stroll through Kanazawa Castle Park

Things to do in Kanazawa: Kanazawa Castle Park

Right across from Kenroku-en you can find Kanazawa Castle Park. This large area, home to Kanazawa Castle, is great for a peaceful walk, despite some ongoing construction. Our favorite spot was Gyokusen-inmaru Park, just outside the castle park. It was closed during our visit, but we could still enjoy its stunning and peaceful view from the outside!

3. Explore Higashi Chaya District

Higashi Chaya District

Higashi Chaya District is the largest teahouse area in Kanazawa. You can spend hours here, soaking in Japan’s history and culture. The district is home to a nearly 200-year-old geisha house that you can tour, along with several historic buildings that have been transformed into charming restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops. Plus, it’s just a three-minute walk from Higashi Chaya to the picturesque banks of the Asano River, making it a perfect spot to explore afterward.

4. Eat your way through Omicho Market

Omicho Market

Omicho Market is Kanazawa’s biggest fresh food market. It’s the go-to spot for trying the city’s famous local food like fresh crab, scallops, and oysters. This indoor market is a mix of fresh food stalls and eateries. There’s even a market within the market where you can buy fresh food and eat it right there. We grabbed some amazing fresh crab for 1,500 yen (just under € 9) and scampi tempura for 1,280 yen (about € 7,60). Kelvin also enjoyed a tasty wagyu skewer for 1,200 yen (around € 7). Everything we tried was amazing and so fresh, we highly recommend exploring the variety of foods available! It’s a great mix of local produce and still very accessible for tourists.

5. Experience a night in a capsule hotel

Kanazawa Capsule Hotel Musashimachi

Experiencing a night in a capsule hotel is a must for a taste of authentic Japanese accommodation. These hotels have small bed-sized rooms called capsules. It’s like staying in a hostel dorm, but with more privacy and access to shared facilities. You’ll find futuristic designs and elegant sleeping cabins among the options. We stayed at Kanazawa Capsule Hotel Musashimachi for one night and highly recommend it for a fantastic first capsule experience!

6. Seafood dinner at Seafood&OysterBar Salt

Things to do in Kanazawa: Seafood&OysterBar Salt

Kanazawa is famous for its seafood, so you can’t leave town without trying some. We found the perfect spot: Seafood&OysterBar Salt. This trendy and intimate place offers some of the best seafood we’ve ever had! With a few tables and counter seats, it’s an ideal spot for a dinner date. The interior is very beautiful here! When it comes to the food, our favorites were the grilled oysters and Noto’s drop. This dish consists of three oysters with different flavors: “signature Salt”, garlic soy sauce, and harissa. Yummy! We also enjoyed some delicious prosecco here. It’s not often that we like the proseccos we order in Asia, but the one at Salt was pretty good. Make sure to make a reservation to secure your spot!

Looking for other activities and things to do in the Kanazawa area?

Where to stay in Kanazawa


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