Have You Heard Of Splendors In Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan

Ishikawa is a prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshu. Sitting on the coast of the Sea of Japan, the capital city of Kanazawa is home to the “perfect garden” of Kenroku-en, designed to be beautiful during every season. The adjacent Kanazawa Castle, once home to feudal lords, has been partly reconstructed. Across the Asano River, teahouses from the Edo period have been preserved in the Higashi Chaya District.

TRADITION: A traditional culture that is still very much alive

Higashi Chaya District (Kanazawa City)

In Ishikawa Prefecture, traditional Japanese culture is still very much a part of daily life: it is a defining characteristic of the people who live there. The origin of this strong culture dates back to the Edo period, when the Maeda clan, who ruled the area, used their wealth to promote culture and education.

Tea Caremony
Ishikawa Noh Theater (Kanazawa City)

In Particular, Kanazawa, which is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, flourished as one of Japan's greatest castle towns. Fine arts such as tea ceremony, Noh play, music and dance became very popular, and crafts of lacquerware, ceramic ware, dyeing, gold leaf also developed as indispensable elements of interior decoration, implements and clothing. 

Geisha Girl in a Chaya District

MODERNITY: A flourishing contemporary culture

Ishikawa Prefecture has not only preserved its traditional culture but the prefecture also has a progressive spirit that is conducive to the introduction of new ideas. A friendly competition between the old and the new produces a creative energy, fostering Ishikawa's rich cultural landscape.

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa)

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, which opened in 2004, is one example of this cultural richness. The circular, glass-walled building that houses the museum can be said to be a work of art in itself, and its collection of modern and contemporary works from both Japan and abroad attracts a great deal of attention. The museum has been featured in magazines such as Newsweek and Beaux Arts.

The Swimming Pool, Leandro ERLICH
People's Gallery 09.10.04-21.03.05, Michael LIN

In this "kingdom of traditional craft", located right in front of the east exit of Kanazawa Station, this gate, called "Tsuzumimon" in Japanese, is directly connected to a huge steel-and-glass structure, the Motenashi Dome. Its design is based on traditional Japanese hand drums or tsuzumi. The gate was finished in 2005 and is almost entirely made of wood.

Tsuzumi-mon Gate (Kanazawa City)

Also, along with traditional Japanese music such as koto, nagauta, subayashi and shamisen, Western music is also very popular. In 2008, Kanazawa became the seventh city in the world to the world to hold the La Folle Journée event, and there is an annual jazz festival that attracts a huge audience.

Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (Ishikawa Ongakudo Hall)

FOOD: A food treasury

The great variety of ingredients in Ishikawa has given the prefecture the moniker of "Food Treasury". As Ishikawa is located on the Sea of Japan, it has a flourishing marine products industry; the prefecture's fresh seafood attracts people from all over the country.

Omicho Market (Kanazawa City) has been flourished as a large fresh food market since the Edo period, and it has about 200 stores and stalls.

Snow crab is known as ‘King crab’ or ‘male crab’ while Koubako crab is known as ‘female crab’ which is smaller and less meat than snow crab, but its miso (crab butter) is very delicious and worth trying.

A dish of Buri (yellowtail) Daikon
Ishikawa Sushi

Especially, the fresh local seafood such as crabs, buri(yellowtail) and Sushi are famous and recommended to you. 

(Kaisen-don) Many tourists and even local people are attracted by their rice bowls topped with fresh fish in lunch time.
Wagashi (Japanese Sweets), an essential item for the tea ceremony

Ishikawa's abundant ingredients and traditional culture have given rise to a strong interest in food. There are many dishes that are pleasing both to the taste and to the eye, such as decorative confectionaries and carefully presented Japanese dishes.

THE FOUR SEASONS: Refreshing seasonal beauty

Ishikawa Prefecture has four distinct seasons. In the spring, the cherry blossoms put on a brilliant display, and Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen area bustle with people who come to admire there blossoms. 

Ishikawa-mon Gate, Kanazawa Castle (Kanazawa City)

The season of fresh greenery follows after the cherry blossoms, and as the summer heats up, the foliage turns a deeper green.

Earthen walls and waterways in the Naga-machi Buke Yashiki District (Kanazawa City)

In the fall, the beautifully colored leaves start appearing in the mountain and gradations of red, orange and yellow elicit sighs of admiration.

Garden of Natadera Temple (Komatsu City)

Winter brings snow. The fields, mountains and towns are covered with a beautiful, peaceful blanket of white.

Kenroku-en Garden, One of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan (Kanazawa City)

FESTIVALS: Excitement and energy

Festivals that have been passed down through the generations since ancient times are still celebrated as important events. In the kiriko festival, which is unique to the Noto Peninsula, huge kiriko lanterns are paraded around town to the sounds of vigorous chanting. During the period from July to September, kiriko festivals are held in more than 100 communities.

A large float in Ushitsu Festival (Noto-cho)
Seihaku-sai Festival (Nanao City)

Two of Ishikawa's most famous spring festivals are Seihaku-sai Festival, which boasts of Japan's largest float, and Otabi Festival, which features children's performances of kabuki plays on gorgeous floats decorated with lacquer, gold leaf and carvings.

The Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Festival (Kanazawa City) celebrates Maeda Toshiie's taking over of Kanazawa Castle, and its is a magnificent samurai parade.
The energetic Gojinjo Daiko masked drummers performance (Wajima City),perform to scare away demons, have been designated as an intangible folk cultural asset by Ishikawa Prefecture.
Yukidaruma Snowman Festival (Hakusan City)

This Festival is an event where residents make snowmen in various sizes and shapes and the area in Shiramine will be all decorated with the different snowmen. When the night starts, local people will light it up, and visitors can enjoy some specialties from the local region while entering to this world of fantasy.

Let's Travel to Ishikawa Prefecture using JR Hokuriku Arch Pass in 7 Days

Good News! If you’re in Japan for only a short-term stay, like say, for a week, we suggest to you the Hokuriku Arch Pass is gives 7 consecutive days of unlimited use of the train systems going through Hokuriku would be perfect on your planning. The pass gets you through Japan in a curve through the Hokuriku area, via either Tokyo or Osaka. 

The Hokuriku area consists of places like Kanazawa, Fukui, Toyama, Nagano, Karuizawa and many more. Moreover, with this pass you can stop by locations in and around Tokyo and Osaka and like Nara, Kyoto and Kobe. Is a one of the good choose for you explore in Japan.


The Pass can Start using On Kansai / Tokyo Narita & Haneda International Airport. As with most deals with the JR Passes, the pass is only available for non-Japanese who stay in Japan on a tourist visa. Those with a student/work or other long-term visa are not applicable for the transportation pass.

Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about details of 7 Days JR Hokuriku Arch Pass. 

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