Explore Kanazawa, Japan: A Perfect 2-Day Itinerary

Kanazawa, Japan

2 days

Cherry blossom trees in Kenrokuen garden
Drum gate of new train station
Traditional wooden house street
Statue of prince Yamato Takeru in Kenrokuen garden
Stone lantern in Kenrokuen garden

About Kanazawa, Japan

Discover the timeless beauty of Kanazawa, Japan, a city where tradition meets modernity. Known as "Little Kyoto", Kanazawa is renowned for its well-preserved Edo-era districts, beautiful Kenrokuen Garden, and impressive 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Experience the city's rich samurai and geisha heritage in the Nagamachi and Higashi Chaya districts. Indulge in Kanazawa's culinary delights, including fresh seafood and Kaga cuisine. Visit the bustling Omicho Market, or try your hand at gold leaf crafting, a local specialty. With its blend of cultural heritage and contemporary charm, Kanazawa offers a unique journey into the heart of Japan.

2-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Beauty of Kanazawa's Gardens and Art


Start your day with a visit to the Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. This beautiful landscape garden features various plants, ponds, streams, and tea houses. It's a perfect place to enjoy a peaceful morning stroll.


Enjoy a traditional Japanese lunch in a local restaurant. Kanazawa is famous for its seafood, especially sushi and sashimi, due to its location near the Sea of Japan.


After lunch, head to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. This museum is known for its unique circular architecture and houses various modern and contemporary artworks from both Japanese and international artists.


Have dinner in a local Izakaya (Japanese pub). Try some local dishes like jibuni (a traditional Kanazawa stew) and nihonshu (Japanese sake).


End your day with a leisurely walk in the Higashi Chaya District. This area is known for its well-preserved chaya (tea houses) where geisha entertain guests with song and dance.


Start your second day with a visit to the Kanazawa Castle Park. Explore the castle's beautiful architecture and enjoy the panoramic views of the city from the top.


Have lunch in one of the local restaurants in the Omicho Market. This market is known for its fresh seafood and vegetables. Try some kaisendon (seafood bowl) or sushi.


Spend your afternoon in the Nagamachi Samurai District. Here, you can explore the former residences of samurais and learn about their lifestyle during the Edo period.


For dinner, try some Kanazawa curry, a local specialty. This unique curry is served over rice and is usually accompanied by a breaded pork cutlet (tonkatsu).


End your day with a visit to the Seisonkaku Villa, a beautiful traditional Japanese villa with a tranquil garden. It's a perfect place to relax and reflect on your trip.

Attractions in Itinerary (7)

Kenrokuen Garden

Kenrokuen Garden

One of Japan's 'three most beautiful landscape gardens' featuring various plants, trees, ponds, and structures.

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art

A museum of contemporary art that is known for its circular design and glass walls.

Higashi Chaya District

Higashi Chaya District

A traditional district known for its well-preserved tea houses where geisha perform.

Cultural Experiences
Kanazawa Castle Park

Kanazawa Castle Park

A large park that contains the Kanazawa Castle, a well-preserved feudal castle.

Omicho Market

Omicho Market

Kanazawa's largest fresh food market since the Edo Period. Known for its fresh seafood and local products.

Food and Drink
Nagamachi Samurai District

Nagamachi Samurai District

A historic district where samurai and their families used to reside. It features restored samurai residences, earthen walls, narrow lanes and water canals.

Cultural Experiences
Seisonkaku Villa

Seisonkaku Villa

Seisonkaku Villa is a historic villa in Kanazawa, Japan. It was built by a Maeda lord for his mother in the 19th century. The villa is known for its elegant, understated beauty and the exquisite craftsmanship of its interiors. It's a great place to learn about the history and culture of the Maeda clan and the city of Kanazawa.


Local Food and Drinks (12)

Kanazawa Sushi

Kanazawa Sushi

Kanazawa Sushi is a popular local food in Kanazawa, known for its fresh and high-quality seafood. It's a must-try for sushi lovers visiting the city.

Kaga Cuisine

Kaga Cuisine

Kaga Cuisine is a traditional multi-course dinner that showcases the culinary arts of Kanazawa. It features local ingredients and seasonal delicacies.



Jibuni is a traditional Kanazawa stew made with duck or chicken, vegetables, and wheat gluten. It's a hearty and comforting dish, perfect for colder weather.

Kabura Zushi

Kabura Zushi is a unique type of sushi from Kanazawa, made with yellowtail and turnip fermented together. It has a distinctive, tangy flavor.



Nodoguro, or blackthroat seaperch, is a high-quality fish often served in Kanazawa's sushi restaurants. It's known for its rich, buttery flavor.

Kanazawa Curry

Kanazawa Curry

Kanazawa Curry is a local version of Japanese curry, characterized by its thick, sweet sauce and served over rice with a side of shredded cabbage.

Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi is a popular dessert in Kanazawa, made from bracken starch and covered in kinako (roasted soybean flour). It's light, chewy, and not overly sweet.

Gold Leaf Sake

Gold Leaf Sake

Gold Leaf Sake is a unique drink from Kanazawa, a city known for its gold leaf production. The sake is often served with a small piece of edible gold leaf floating in it.

Kanazawa Beer

Kanazawa Beer is a local craft beer, known for its high-quality ingredients and brewing techniques. It's a must-try for beer enthusiasts visiting the city.

Green Tea

Green Tea

Kanazawa is known for its high-quality green tea, often served in traditional tea ceremonies. It's a refreshing drink with a slightly bitter, grassy flavor.

Kanazawa Shigureni

Kanazawa Shigureni is a local dish made with beef or pork simmered in soy sauce, sugar, and ginger. It's a flavorful and satisfying dish.


Kakinomoto is a traditional Kanazawa dish made with persimmon leaves wrapped around sushi rice and mackerel. It's a unique and flavorful dish that showcases the city's love for seafood.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Kanazawa, Japan is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these periods, the weather is typically mild and pleasant. Spring offers the breathtaking sight of cherry blossoms, while autumn showcases vibrant fall foliage. These seasons also coincide with several cultural festivals, providing tourists with a rich experience of Kanazawa's traditional heritage. However, it's worth noting that these are also peak tourist seasons, so it's advisable to book accommodations and activities in advance.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

January 8


Coming of Age Day

February 11


National Foundation Day

February 12


National Foundation Day observed

February 23


Emperor's Birthday

March 20


Spring Equinox

April 29


Shōwa Day

May 3


Constitution Memorial Day

May 4


Greenery Day

May 5


Children's Day

May 6


Children's Day observed

July 15


Sea Day

August 11


Mountain Day

August 12


Day off for Mountain Day

September 16


Respect for the Aged Day

September 22


Autumn Equinox

September 23


Autumn Equinox observed

October 14


Sports Day

November 3


Culture Day

November 4


Culture Day observed

November 23


Labor Thanksgiving Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

The Kanazawa Loop Bus is a convenient way to get around the city, with two routes that cover most of the major tourist attractions. The RL (Right Loop) goes in a clockwise direction, while the LL (Left Loop) goes counter-clockwise.

Kanazawa is a bike-friendly city with numerous rental shops. It's a great way to explore the city at your own pace, especially the scenic areas like the Kenrokuen Garden and the Kanazawa Castle Park.

Taxis are readily available throughout Kanazawa and can be hailed on the street or found at taxi stands near major attractions and train stations. They offer a convenient, though more expensive, way to get around the city.

While ridesharing services like Uber are not widely available in Kanazawa, the local taxi app, JapanTaxi, can be used to book rides in advance or on-demand.

The Kanazawa City Bus is a public transportation option that covers a wider area than the Loop Bus. It's a good choice for reaching destinations not covered by the Loop Bus.

Many of Kanazawa's attractions are located close together, particularly in the city center. Walking can be a pleasant and practical way to get around, especially when combined with public transportation for longer distances.

The Hokutetsu Train operates two lines in Kanazawa, providing access to areas not covered by the bus network. It's a good option for reaching destinations like the Ishikawa Zoo and the Motorcar Museum of Japan.

Renting a car can be a good option if you plan to explore the wider Ishikawa Prefecture. However, parking can be difficult in the city center, and traffic can be heavy during peak hours.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency¥ JPY

Time zoneUTC+9

Driving sideLeft

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 119; Fire: 119; Police: 110

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage100 V

Things to know about Kanazawa, Japan as a first time visitor


Kanazawa is located on the west coast of Japan's Honshu island, in the Ishikawa Prefecture.


The city is known for its well-preserved Edo-era districts, art museums and regional handicrafts.


Kanazawa is a city that experiences all four seasons. Summers can be hot and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 86°F (30°C), while winters can be cold with occasional snowfall, with temperatures dropping to around 32°F (0°C).


The city is relatively compact and can be easily explored on foot or by bicycle. However, there's also a comprehensive bus network that can take you around the city.


Kanazawa is famous for its local cuisine, including fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan and Kaga vegetables. Don't miss trying the local specialty, Kanazawa curry.


The city is also known for its traditional crafts, such as gold leaf production and Kutani-yaki pottery. You can visit workshops to see these crafts in action.


Japanese is the main language spoken in Kanazawa. While some locals may speak English, it's a good idea to learn a few basic Japanese phrases.


The currency used in Kanazawa, like the rest of Japan, is the Japanese Yen (JPY). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's also useful to carry some cash for smaller establishments.


Kanazawa has a reputation for being a safe city. However, like anywhere else, it's important to take basic precautions, such as not leaving your belongings unattended.


The city has a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to traditional Japanese inns (ryokan) and budget guesthouses.


Public Wi-Fi is not as widely available in Kanazawa as in some other Japanese cities. It's a good idea to arrange a portable Wi-Fi device or a SIM card for your trip.


The city is served by Komatsu Airport, which has domestic flights from Tokyo and other major Japanese cities. The Hokuriku Shinkansen also connects Kanazawa with Tokyo.


Kanazawa has a standard voltage of 100 V and a frequency of 50 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. If your country uses different plugs, you may need a travel adapter.


Tipping is not customary in Japan, including Kanazawa. Good service is expected and therefore already included in the bill.


The city has a number of convenience stores, known as 'konbini', which are open 24/7 and sell a wide range of goods, from food and drinks to toiletries and stationery.


Drinking alcohol in public places is legal in Japan. However, it's important to drink responsibly and respect local customs.


Smoking is not allowed on the streets in most areas in Kanazawa. Look for designated smoking areas instead.


In Kanazawa, as in the rest of Japan, it's considered polite to bow when greeting someone.


The city has a number of public baths, known as 'onsen'. Remember to wash thoroughly before entering the bath and follow the local etiquette.


Kanazawa is in the Japan Standard Time zone (JST), which is 9 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+9).

Basic Japanese to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving or saying goodbye

Thank you



Showing appreciation




Agreeing or confirming




Disagreeing or denying




Making a request

Excuse me



Getting attention or apologizing

I'm sorry


Gomen nasai


Do you speak English?


Eigo o hanasemasu ka?

Trying to communicate

I don't understand



Not understanding something

Where is the bathroom?


Toire wa doko desu ka?

Looking for the bathroom

How much is this?


Kore wa ikura desu ka?

Asking for price

I would like this


Kore ga hoshii

Making a purchase




In need of assistance

Good morning


Ohayou gozaimasu

Greeting someone in the morning

Good night



Saying goodnight




Complimenting food

I'm lost


Maigo ni narimashita

When you're lost

Can I use credit card?


Kurejitto ka-do wa tsukaemasu ka?

Asking for payment options

Where is...?


...wa doko desu ka?

Asking for a location

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Warm jacket (for cooler evenings)

  • Rain jacket or umbrella

  • Socks and underwear

  • Pajamas

  • Swimwear (if your hotel has a pool)

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, and body wash

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel-sized laundry detergent

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or other ID

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (Japanese yen)

  • Hotel and transportation reservations

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Travel adapter plug

  • Digital camera

  • Charger for digital camera

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Travel guidebook for Kanazawa

  • Map of Kanazawa

  • Phrasebook or language app

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • First aid kit

  • Prescription medications

  • Travel-sized sewing kit

Weather Conditions

Kanazawa, Japan is known for its diverse weather conditions, which can greatly influence your travel experience. Therefore, it's essential to plan your trip according to the season and weather patterns. Spring (March to May) in Kanazawa is quite pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C). This is a great time to visit as the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, creating a picturesque environment. However, it's advisable to carry an umbrella as occasional showers are common. Summer (June to August) can be hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching up to 86°F (30°C). It's the season of the famous Hyakumangoku Festival, so despite the heat, the city is vibrant with cultural activities. Remember to stay hydrated and use sun protection. Autumn (September to November) is another beautiful season in Kanazawa, with temperatures ranging from 59°F to 77°F (15°C to 25°C). The city is adorned with vibrant fall colors, making it a perfect time for sightseeing. Light clothing with a few warm layers for the cooler evenings would be ideal. Winter (December to February) is quite cold in Kanazawa, with temperatures often dropping to 32°F (0°C) or lower. The city experiences heavy snowfall, turning it into a winter wonderland. If you're planning to visit during this season, make sure to pack warm clothing, including a heavy coat, gloves, and scarves. Regardless of the season, Kanazawa's weather can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip. Also, keep in mind that the city is known for its high precipitation levels throughout the year, so carrying an umbrella or raincoat would be wise. Enjoy your trip to this beautiful city!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


8° / 0°

January is the coldest month in Kanazawa, with snowfall common. Dress warmly and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery.


8° / 1°

February is still cold with occasional snowfall. It's a great time to visit if you enjoy winter sports.


13° / 3°

March sees the start of spring, with temperatures gradually increasing. Cherry blossoms start to bloom towards the end of the month.


20° / 8°

April is a beautiful month to visit with cherry blossoms in full bloom. The weather is mild, perfect for outdoor activities.


23° / 13°

May brings warm weather and lush greenery. It's a great time to explore the city's parks and gardens.


26° / 18°

June is the start of the rainy season, so pack an umbrella. Despite the rain, the city remains vibrant and lively.


32° / 22°

July is hot and humid, with occasional rain showers. It's a good time to visit indoor attractions like museums and art galleries.


34° / 24°

August is the hottest month in Kanazawa. It's a great time to visit the beach or enjoy the city's summer festivals.


28° / 20°

September sees the end of summer and the start of autumn. The weather is pleasant, perfect for sightseeing.


22° / 14°

October offers beautiful autumn foliage. The weather is cool, making it ideal for hiking and outdoor activities.


16° / 8°

November is a great time to visit for autumn leaves viewing. The weather is cool and comfortable.


11° / 3°

December is chilly with occasional snowfall. It's a great time to enjoy hot springs and traditional winter cuisine.

Did you know?

Did you know that Kanazawa, Japan is also known as 'Little Kyoto' due to its historic charm and well-preserved Edo-era districts?

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