With its rich history, beautiful nature, and exciting culture, Ishikawa Prefecture is a perfect destination to explore on your next trip to Japan. Some activities you might enjoy are visiting hot springs, hiking through mountains, tasting local food, etc. There are also many historical sites and museums in the area that are worth visiting. You can always take a look at these Japan travel tips if you feel overwhelmed with planning. These guides are created by our friends Josip and Mate from Japanko Official, and they have some of the best Japan guides around!

Now let’s go back to Ishikawa Prefecture. If this is your first trip to Ishikawa Prefecture & Kanazawa city, you’ll want to check out these attractions!

1. Kanazawa Castle

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Ishikawa Prefecture is Kanazawa Castle. The castle boasts an impressive history and beautiful architecture that has attracted many visitors over the years. It is a must-see for anyone visiting the city of Kanazawa.

Kanazawa Castle suffered a lot throughout its history. Less than 20 years after its construction, part of the castle burned down due to a lightning strike. After that, several other fires over the centuries destroyed other parts of the castle. However, the city was determined to rebuild it in its original form. The project was fully completed in 2015, along with beautiful gardens and gates in the surrounding area.

2. Kenrokuen Garden

Kenrouken in Kanazawa is known as one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens. If you decide to visit Kanazawa Castle, you can’t miss this garden because both locations are inside the same complex.

The garden is small enough to see everything within an hour easily but still large enough to offer various plants and trees. It’s a type of place you can visit again and again, and still see something new. If you wonder how that is possible, the answer is simple. Since it has a variety of flowering trees, the garden changes its look every season. Whether you enjoy ponds, waterfalls, or fresh air, Kenrouken garden has it all!

3. Myoryuji Temple (Ninja Temple)

Myouryuji Temple is a temple in the city of Kanazawa. It is known for its ninja-themed architecture and has been a popular tourist destination. The entire area will make you feel like you traveled back to the Edo period. The temple is also famous under the name Ninjadera, which means “Ninja Temple.”

A fun fact about the temple is that it is not related to ninja. The reason why it’s famous as Ninja Temple is because of its numerous deceptive defenses. The temple’s defenses were meant to keep the intruders out and prevent potential attacks. Defenses include a lot of secret tunnels and hidden rooms, labyrinths of hallways, and more. You can explore it as a part of the guided tour to ensure you don’t get lost.

4. Higashi Chaya Tea District

Higashi Chaya District is an entertainment district in the city of Kanazawa. The district has many restaurants and shops that serve local cuisine and traditional Japanese sweets. It also has many bars that are popular with locals and tourists alike.

Historically, chaya, or teahouses, were places customers could visit to enjoy drinking games and entertainment shows with traditional music performed by geisha. Nowadays, most traditional teahouses are converted into restaurants or shops with souvenirs. However, two of them are still in their original form and open to the public.

5. Kakusenkei Gorge

The Kakusenkei Gorge is located on the Daishoji River, which flows through Yamanaka Onsen. Yamana Onsen is a nearby onsen village, so you might want to visit both locations in one go.

Kakusenki Gorge is about 1 kilometer long and offers visitors a place to relax and enjoy nature while walking along the river. You can immerse yourself in the relaxing nature of waterfalls, deep blue water pools, and unique rock formations.

The place was one of the most inspirational locations for a famous haiku poet Matsuo Basho. He praised the vibrant looks of the area in many of his poems. Once you visit it, this place will surely give you a creativity boost and inspiration for your further exploration of Japan.

Why Visit Ishikawa Prefecture?

Planning your way through lesser-known parts of Japan can be difficult. If you ever need help with planning, check out Japan travel guides from our friends on Japanko Official. Extensive guides can help you to plan your trip efficiently and cost-friendly.

As you can see, Ishikawa prefecture has many things to do and see, but you probably didn’t know much about it until now. You can spend days there, and you still won’t be able to explore every part of this rich area. From the beautiful scenery and temples to its famous onsen towns, there’s something for everyone in Ishikawa Prefecture!

Where to stay in Kanazawa city

To truly experience the city of Kanazawa, we recommend staying at a traditional Japanese holiday house, or machiya, during your vacation!


Reserve an entire private machiya house (traditional Japanese townhouses) – exclusive for one group per day.  With locations throughout Kanazawa City, you can choose the machiya house that best fits your travel needs. Each machiya accommodation has been carefully renovated to maintain the traditional design, while updated for modern comfort.

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