Ishikawa capital boasts more than a spectacular location. Set between the Sai and Asano rivers and bordered by the Japan Alps, the Hakusan National park and Noto Peninsula National Park, Kanazawa looks at the Sea of Japan as a guard, keeping a close eye on its territories. Natural beauty is the main treasure of Ishikawa capital, though it never decreases the value of masterpieces, created by the Japanese people centuries ago. For a long time Ishikawa capital has been known as Kaga, the name that is still applied to Kanazawa's exclusive crafts, such as lacquer ware and silk dyeing, and its well-known cuisine. Today, Kanazawa (that means "golden marsh") is still the richest province in Japan, producing approximately five million bushels of rice annually.
As for Kanazawa's architectural and historic heritage, it remains carefully preserved and comprises a unique set of temples, shrines and castles. The Oyama-jinja Shrine is one of the most interesting ancient historical monuments. Dedicated to Lord Toshiie Maeda, the shrine was founded in 1599 on the Mount Utatsu. The Dutch architect Holtman finished the building of the shrine in 1875 and for many years it has functioned as a lighthouse; sailors can see it from the Sea of Japan. The outstanding characteristics of the shrine include a three-story gate (a cultural asset), as well as stained glass windows.
Ishikawa mon Gate of the Kanazawa Castle serves as a symbol of Kanazawa as a castle town. The gate is called "Ishikawa", since it looks out over the Ishikawa district. It has two towers and several smaller gates, all of which survived during the Meiji era fire that burned down the castle.
If you are interested in the Japanese performing arts, do not neglect a visit to the Ishikawa Prefectural Noh Theater. The roof of the theater resembles a Shinto shrine, while the stage at this theater is distinctive, as the building material is entirely the Japanese cypress. Kanazawa's Noh performances, particularly those of the Kaga Hosho School, gain a continuous national recognition.
The capital of Ishikawa also features a one hundred-year-old former geisha house in the Higashi Geisha District across the Assano River out from central Kanazawa. Nearby, there is the Yougetsu Minshuku, where you can accommodate for the sake of the Japanese atmosphere and style. The Minshuku preserves a look and feel of a nineteenth century Japanese traditional inn with its two-story wooden facades and an original Japanese interior.
The Kanazawa's Myoryuji Temple or ninja dera is an amazing sample of traditional Zen architecture with hidden doors, escape routes and passageways. The temple with all those intricacies served as a secret refuge for the local governors for the case of an external threat.
Kanazawa offers much to see, but one more peculiarity of Ishikawa capital for its visitors to experience is its traditional cuisine, well-known throughout Japan. Try jumbo shrimp, Kanazawa's seafood specialty, while sushi and sashimi are worth experiencing too.
As you know much, but yet not everything about the capital of Ishikawa, it is important to see everything with your own eyes.