Kanazawa is one of the most underrated and overlooked cities in Japan. From incredible landmarks to well-preserved history and an amazing food scene, this city has so much to offer. However, deciding where to stay in this large city can be tricky when there are loads of different districts to choose from. This neighborhood guide will break down which neighborhoods are best for you to help you decide where to stay in this vibrant city.
If you’re visiting Kanazawa for the first time, there’s no better place to stay than the Kenrokumachi district. Conveniently set in the center of the Kanazawa. this neighborhood is home to the city’s most famous tourist attractions and landmarks. You’ll be able to explore the scenic grounds of Kanazawa Castle Park or uncover the vast amount of history at the Ishikawa Prefecture History Museum. There is also the Kanazawa Nakamura Memorial Museum where you can browse interesting collections of art.
Planning a visit to Kanazawa on a budget? The neighborhood surrounding Kanazawa Station is the place to stay. It’s most likely the first neighborhood you’ll arrive in as the station is the city’s main railway station. It’s the first place in Kanazawa most tourists visit – and thankfully, it’s a very beautiful building! You’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants in the station building, as well as the main tourist information center. There aren’t any major sights in this area but it’s a great place to start your adventure.
Korinbo is a neighborhood located in southern Kanazawa, about 20 minutes’ walk south of Omicho Market. The Korinbo Area, is the city’s main shopping, dining, and entertainment area. It’s packed with restaurants, shops, and bars so it’s the perfect district for nightlife. There aren’t any major sights in this area but the beautiful, famous Kenrokuen Gardens are just a short walk away. There are festivals throughout the year in this district like In winter, you can enjoy "The Korinbou Tree Fantasy" where the zelkova trees along the streets are illuminated with approximately 110,000 string light bulbs.
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One of the coolest neighborhoods in Kanazawa is about a 15 minutes’ walk east of Omicho Market. The Higashi Chaya Area was the city’s traditional entertainment district and it is home to some beautifully preserved geisha houses or tea houses. This is a great place to wander and soak up the “Old Japan” atmosphere. You’ll find the Shima Teahouse in this district which is a preserved tea house converted into a museum. The rooms where geisha would perform and the kitchen are on display along with various instruments and items used by the geisha, its a great place to get a glimpse of how it used to be.
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If you’re planning to visit Kanazawa with the whole family and looking for a family-friendly neighborhood then Nagamachi is the place for you. Nagamachi is a small neighborhood best-known for its well-preserved Samurai houses. It lies at the foot of Kanazawa Castle Park and was where traditional samurai and their families used to reside. One of the main attractions of the district is the centrally located Nomura-ke, a restored samurai residence displaying the lifestyle and artifacts of the samurai era.
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