Kanazawa
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Kanazawa Culture & History

Kanazawa Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

1. Kanazawa Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour

Explore the city with a friendly local who is passionate about his/her city and eager to share all the tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your trip. Meet where you're staying to get familiar with the neighbourhood, find out about the best places to eat and buy groceries, the easiest ways to get around, and the hidden gems you might have missed. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable in navigating the city and confident that you have all the information you need to make the most of your stay. Once the supplier has received your booking, they’ll get in touch with you to confirm all the details for the tour: meeting place and time, language and your contact information, and also ask you some questions to get to know you better. The right loca is hand-pickedl for you based on your interests. Each tour is completely customized so you can choose the meeting location, start time and length that you prefer (minimum: 2 hours).  During the walking tour you will have the option of taking public transportation or taxi to get around the city (at your expense). The local guides that we work with (Lokafyers) are locals who are passionate about their city and love to meet travellers and share what they love about their city.  They are not professional tour guides and do these tours occasionally, which provides an authentic and personal experience that is like having a friend show you around their home city.  Through conversations with your Lokafyer, you’ll learn what it’s like to live in Kanazawa, learn about cultural differences, local events and politics and also get to know each other on a personal level. With this experience, you won’t be just passing through the city, you’ll be part of it.

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Shirakawa-go, Gokayama & Takayama Private Tour From Kanazawa

2. Shirakawa-go, Gokayama & Takayama Private Tour From Kanazawa

This exclusive package is tailored for distinguished guests who prefer the convenience of door to door service. Your driver/guide will collect you from your hotel lobby at an agreeable time.  Shirakawa-go (Shirakawa Village) registered as a World Cultural Heritage site. Shirakawa-go is part of the Hida region and is famous for the gassho-zukuri village found there. The houses were built using a traditional style of the minka (non-samurai houses), and have a thatched, peaked roof that looks like two hands in prayer (gassho). The upper floors of some of the houses were used for silk farming (sericulture), as they had a large space available to store silkworms and mulberry leaves. Shirakawa is a must-see area if one would like to grasp the rich contrast of life in this region. Gokayama, the World Heritage Site is nestled in the tranquil and rustic landscape. Gokayama is in the city of Nanto, also a drive from Kanazawa. It was an extremely secluded village, so modern times bypassed the area. While cities and towns in other parts of Japan were built new, with modern buildings, many of the wooden and thatch houses in the gassho hamlet of Gokayama are over 300 years old, and some are 400 years old. The Japanese prince, Fumihito (Prince Akishino) has said: "One of the three places I like most in the world is Gokayama".  Takayama, Located in the heart of mountainous Central Honshu, Takayama is the gateway to the Japan Alps and the storehouse of Japan's inland culture. Takayama became what it is today in the 1500s, and developed its own unique culture due to its seclusion and high altitude. It is famous for its traditional carpentry expertise, and its carpenters have worked on the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and other nationally important shrines, temples and palaces. It is known locally as Hida-Takayama, and visitors there can enjoy great food, tradition views, and a feeling of "traditional town-life in Japan". Don't forget to try the Hida Beef while you are there.

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Kanazawa to Shirakawago: Half-Day Tour

3. Kanazawa to Shirakawago: Half-Day Tour

Explore the world heritage hamlet of Shirakawa-go on a 4-hour package tour with access to a private vehicle exclusively for you and your fellow travelers. Your English-speaking driver will take you to the World UNESCO site of Shirakawa-go. You will be collected from your hotel lobby, before being whisked off to the UNESCO village of Shirakawago. Your morning or afternoon driving tour will be designed for those looking for convenient access to this beautiful but remote mountain village You will have between 1.5 and 2 hours to spend exploring the village. At the conclusion of your tour, your driver will take you back to Kanazawa City in the comfort of your private car.

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Kanazawa: Half-Day Private Guided Tour

4. Kanazawa: Half-Day Private Guided Tour

This Kanazawa Geisha District tour will introduce you to this beautiful and intriguing quarter of Kanazawa city’s long held culture and charm. Allow your guide to take you down the enchanting back streets to visit the less commercial aspects of this charming tea district. Where untouched enclaves take you back to samurai times when this entertainment district was in its heyday.  The Kanazawa Samurai District tour takes you back in time to one of the best preserved Samurai Districts in Japan. The streets are lined with mud and straw walls encapsulating the unspoiled extravagance of the Samurai era. Let your guide take you through this romantic enclave on a trip back in time with this tour. Feel the power and influence of the Lords of Kanazawa by visiting the Kanazawa Castle grounds and park area. View the beautiful white lead roof tiles, touch the formidable Ishikawa Mon gate, and enjoy the tranquility of Lord Maeda’s personal gardens. The defenses and grounds were constructed over hundreds of years as the country changed from war to peace, making them a combination of the best craftsmanship, ingenuity and design of the Edo period. Join the tour to make sure you don’t miss anything on your trip though this historical and political center of Kanazawa.

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Takayama: One-Way Bus Transfer to/from Kyoto or Osaka

5. Takayama: One-Way Bus Transfer to/from Kyoto or Osaka

Enjoy a hassle-free transfer by comfortable bus between Takayama and Kyoto or Osaka. Enjoy the beautiful scenery during the journey, including some free time in the city of Kanazawa. There are 3 transfer options to choose from: Osaka to Takayama Route Depart from Osaka at 7:15 AM. Arrive at the city of Kanazawa where you can enjoy some free time. Take the opportunity to visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and see Leandro Erlich's "Swimming Pool" art installation. Afterward, the bus takes you to the Observation Deck where you can enjoy beautiful views of Shirakawago village. Arrive in Takayama city center at about 6:05 PM. Kyoto to Takayama Route Depart from Kyoto at 8:15 AM. Arrive at the city of Kanazawa where you can enjoy some free time. Take the opportunity to visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and see Leandro Erlich's "Swimming Pool" art installation. Afterward, the bus takes you to the Observation Deck where you can enjoy beautiful views of Shirakawago village. Arrive in Takayama city center at about 6:05 PM. Takayama-Kyoto/Osaka Route Depart from Takayama at 9:00 AM. Stop in the city of Shirakawago and enjoy some free time. After Shirakawago, continue the journey with a stop in the city of Kanazawa. Explore Kanazawa freely until departure time. The bus will reach Kyoto around 7:00 PM and Osaka around 8:00 PM.

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From Kanazawa: Shiakawago, Hida-Furukawa and Takayama Visit

6. From Kanazawa: Shiakawago, Hida-Furukawa and Takayama Visit

Be picked up by your English-speaking guide at your accommodation in Kanazawa and head to the UNESCO village of Shirakawago. Spend 2.5-hours in Shirakawago exploring the village. Walk across the Sho River on the pedestrian bridge and take in the sights of this fairytale village. Head to the canal-lined streets of Hida-Furukawa. Spend 1-hour in Hida-Furukawa exploring the town and enjoying lunch. Hida-Furukawa is famous for its timber craftsmanship and festivals. Your last stop is Takayama. Spend 2-hours in this preserved town famous for carpentry and sake brewing. Takayama village is a preserved village, with buildings dating back to the Edo period. From Takayama, your driver will take you back to your accommodation in Kanazawa.

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Kanazawa: Private Tour with Local Guide

7. Kanazawa: Private Tour with Local Guide

Discover the beautiful town of Kanazawa on a fully customizable tour. Choose what you would like to experience, what time you would like to start your tour, and where you are staying, and the local partner will arrange a tour to suit you. Start your day by meeting your guide at your hotel, then choose to sites you wish to visit depending on your interests. Example 6-hour Itinerary: Meet your guide at your hotel in Kanazawa and begin your adventure. Visit Kenroku-en, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and stroll through the garden of a feudal lord which took years to complete. Afterward, head to Kanazawa Castle Park and visit Kanazawa Castle. Discover impressive buildings and gardens which been successfully and accurately reconstructed in recent years. Then, enjoy lunch at Omicho Market and be amazed by the selection of fresh fish and local vegetables at "Kanazawa's Kitchen". Then, proceed to the Chaya District for a leisurely walking tour. See the area of Higashi Chaya known for its architecture retaining the grace of the Edo Era with its many miso stores, rice shops, and teahouses serving wagashi confections. Visit stores that practice the traditional folkcraft of Kanazawa and the Kaga Yuzen art of dyed fabrics.

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Kanazawa: Private Food Tasting Walking Tour

8. Kanazawa: Private Food Tasting Walking Tour

Taste your way through the city center of Kanazawa as a private guide leads you through its streets on foot to sample local delicacies. Head to Kanazawa Station’s iconic Tsuzumi Gate after meeting your guide, and peer into the area’s bustling shops and cafes. Make your way down the main road to Omicho Market, the “Kitchen of Kanazawa," and join locals jostling their way through the 180 stands. Sample some of the best street food in the city, such as fried squid skewers. Take a break from feasting to explore Katamachi, a vibrant downtown shopping district that has plenty of neon-lit pubs, clubs, bars, and live music venues. Savor Kanazawa-style pork curry or Hanton rice at a no-frills restaurant. Squeeze in some sightseeing at Kanazawa Castle before indulging in a decadent specialty: glittering gold leaf ice-cream. Stop off at a dimly-lit izakaya (casual Japanese pub) to taste some of Japan’s freshest sashimi with a cold beer. Conclude the tour with a peaceful stroll to Oyama Shrine, known for its Dutch-style stained glass. Take a few extra minutes if desired to explore the famous Nishi Chaya geisha district.

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From Kyoto : One-Way Thunderbird Train Ticket to Kanazawa

9. From Kyoto : One-Way Thunderbird Train Ticket to Kanazawa

Take the fast route to Kanazawa from Kyoto Station with a trip on the Thunderbird Express. Book a one-way ticket in advance and enjoy a hassle-free ride to the well-preserved Edo-era district. Simply redeem your ticket at JR Kyoto Station, then enjoy the comfortable express train. Along the way, admire scenic views of the Kyoto countryside before you arrive at the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture.

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Kanazawa: Samurai and Geisha District Walking Tour

10. Kanazawa: Samurai and Geisha District Walking Tour

Follow your guide to Nagamachi, a neighborhood once inhabited by a band of Samurais. Discover remnants of this part of Kanazawa’s history with a visit to Nomura Clan Samurai House and see famous artifacts that date back to this period. Visit Kanazawa Castle Gardens and Kenroku-en, one of the finest Japanese gardens in the world. Your guide will take you to the best areas for photos. In spring you’ll see plum blossoms (just before the famous cherry blossom season) whilst in autumn the cherry and maple trees change to a range of beautiful red and orange colors. Finally, take a stroll through Higashi-chaya, once a haven for the fabled Geisha. Your guide will take you through this historic district and take you to a Japanese Tea House where the Geisha once performed. Take the opportunity to sample the famous Gold Leaf Ice Cream. Kanazawa is one of Japan’s top producers of gold leaf, and the local specialty is to serve it in a layer on top of an ice cream cone.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kanazawa

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What people are saying about Kanazawa

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 21 reviews

Yukari was a fabulous guide - knowledgeable, flexible, patient, delightful and fun. Her English is excellent, she knows her city and shared lots of great information and stories, and had a good sense of humor. All in all, I felt like a made a new friend! Yukari is a wonderful asset to your company and I highly recommend her as a guide,

Hana was a terrific guide For our family of teens and tweens. We only gave her vague guidance and she whisked us off to the samurai houses and then on to the food hall in the dept store. Hana guided us all through the wide array of sweets and pickles and other treats we didn’t recognise. It was a great way to spend the morning!

Very joyful trip in Kanazawa city

Hanayo is a very knowledgeable and friendly tour guide. She introduced the history, stories and different culture of Kanazawa and showed me around the city. I enjoyed her company very much and highly recommend her trip to tourists who travel to Kanazawa.

Our guide, Yukari was so lovely. She contacted us before our tour to ask what we would like to see and when we met her she made suggestions that might suit best. We had a wonderful 2 hours with her and would recommend highly

The tour guide knew her stuff and took me around the Geisha district and notable Kanazawa temples. very informative and lovely guide which made the experience more enjoyable.