Kenroku-en: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kanazawa: Private Tour with Local Guide

1. 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.

Kanazawa: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

2. Kanazawa: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

The Kanazawa Geisha District Tour will introduce you to this beautiful and intriguing quarter of Kanazawa city’s long held culture and charm. Be taken 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 will take 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 unspoilt extravagance of the samurai era. Be taken 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 this tour to make sure you don’t miss anything on your trip through this historical and political center of Kanazawa. Since the Edo period (1603~), Kenrokuen Garden has been regarded as one of the most beautiful feudal gardens in all of Japan. There is so much to see, such as the Kotoji-toro (lantern with features of a Japanese ‘harp’), the island with the ageless hermit, the lake and natural water fountain, the tea houses and so much more. Plum and cherry blossoms can be seen in spring, azaleas and irises in early summer, leaves with hues of red and yellow in autumn/fall and snow and yukizuri (traditional snow ropes) in winter. Let this walking tour transform your time there into a breathtaking experience.

Kanazawa: Samurai, Matcha, Gardens and Geisha Full-Day Tour

3. Kanazawa: Samurai, Matcha, Gardens and Geisha Full-Day Tour

Join a guided tour to explore the historical attractions of Kanazawa, including well-preserved Edo-era districts, restored residences, feudal-era tea houses, and a partially restored castle with a garden. Get plenty of time to explore the markets and grab a bite on the way. Start the tour by meeting your guide at Kanazawa Station. As soon as you leave the station building, the first sight will be immediately visible to you. See Tsuzumi-mon gate, a modern take on a traditional building style and a new symbol of Kanazawa. Walk towards the Nagamachi Samurai District using a side street lined with local residences and the occasional wooden temple. Reach a small neighborhood with houses that once belonged to low-ranking Samurai. Get a chance to enter these houses and see how Samurai of modest means lived their lives. Afterward, enter the Nagamachi Samurai District and walk down its crooked main street. With free time to explore on your own, buy local Kanazawa crafts and wares. Next up is Oyama Shrine, combining both Japanese and Western elements in a fusion that reflects the history of Japan in the 19th century. Head to the back of this shrine to explore a koi pond and a small garden, as well as a path that leads to a big wooden bridge. Cross this bridge before passing through an impressive gate to enter the Kanazawa Castle grounds. Take a well-deserved break at the Gyokusen-an tea house with views over a fabulous garden at the base of some of the castle’s enormous stone walls. Admire the purely Japanese interior of the tea house with unparalleled elegance and refinement. Treat yourself to matcha and artistic “Wagashi” sweets served by kimono-clad staff, while the guide shows you the proper way to drink matcha. Refreshed and ready to continue, head through the Kanazawa Castle grounds before crossing over to the entrance to the Kenroku-en garden. Enjoy free time for lunch with restaurant recommendations from your guide. After your break, follow your guide into the Kenroku-en garden, often listed as one of the best gardens in Japan. Learn how it was designed and created over 200 years ago on the order of the Lord of Kanazawa Castle. Continue to the famous Higashi-chaya Tea District, the symbol of Kanazawa and perhaps the most famous tea district in Japan outside of Kyoto. Stroll through streets lined with tall, 2-story wooden tea houses, some of which are painted red – a unique design feature to be found only in Kanazawa. Leaving Higashi-chaya, start the return trip back to the station, passing through the maze-like backstreets of Kazue-machi along the way.

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What people are saying about Kenroku-en

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 7 reviews

Masayo is more than I’ve could have asked for. She was super supportive with all my wishes and she adapted all places which I wanted to visit. She almost knows everyone in Kanazawa, which is great as the locals recognize her and obe time we could enter a Geisha house eventhough it was closing in 5min… She also took a lit of pictures of me with my phone so i could upload them on my instagram. She loved it to support. She has a great knowledge of all the places we’ve visited. I highly recommend a Kanazawa tour with her! Much love, Sandra

Our tour guide Tomoko was wonderful. So knowledgeable of the area and took her time to walk at our pace and answer all of our questions. She was able to engage our teenage daughters and really bring the history of Kanazawa to life for them - pointing out so many aspects and details we would have missed. She kindly brought us to some shops and the best place for lunch. We highly recommend the tour & Tomoko!

Shirai-san is a local guide that speaks English well and was very knowledgeable about her home city. We learned a lot about how the Kenrokuen gardens were created, and could easily imagine how things were like in the Samurai era. Highly recommended.