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Kanazawa City: A Star on Japan’s Historical ‘Mitsuboshi Kaidou’

Uncover the remnants of samurai, geisha and traditional crafts from the past. 

By 2 min read

One of the cities along Japan’s Mitsuboshi Kaidou, or “Three-Star Road,” is Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Prefecture. Take a look at some of Kanazawa’s best highlights by watching our short clip introducing the city at the top.

Stay gold

The beautifully preserved Higashi Chaya-gai.

Kanazawa was once a prosperous castle town ruled by the Maeda samurai clan, ruler of the Kaga domain. Today, the city is celebrated for its preserved Edo-era streetscapes, castles and gardens, most of which can be easily accessed on foot. Kanazawa was once tricky for tourists to visit, but now it can be reached from Tokyo in three hours thanks to the Hokuriku Shinkansen line.

Since the feudal age, Kanazawa has been promoting the region. With no wars to wage, Kaga clan lords put their wealth towards crafts and culture. The city is the largest gold leaf producer in where it’s used to decorate everything from temples to craftworks and various foods. Other historical crafts like their Kaga Yuzen Kimono depict nature elements such as flowers, birds and landscapes. The intricate details are drawn and dyed into the fabrics by hand.

Kenrokuen is one of Japan’s “Three Great Gardens.”

One of Kanazawa’s most popular attractions is Kenrokuen, one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan.” The garden features Japanese trees and beautiful ponds and was designed with strolling in mind. There are also historic geisha and samurai districts with Edo-era aesthetics that transport you back in time, as well as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

Don’t forget to dig into some of Kanazawa’s excellent cuisine, including some of Japan’s highest-quality seafood. You’ll need the energy after exploring the city.

More to explore

Kanazawa and Matsumoto cities are destinations found along the Mitsuboshi Kaidou, an underrated journey packed with scenic spots, traditional Japanese culture and unique experiences.

Both cities come with their own unique charm and attractions, so it’s worth it to visit them both if you have the chance. Want to learn more about Matsumoto? Check out our short introduction of Matsumoto City.

If you’re interested in exploring more, check out our full Mitsuboshi Kaidou article or watch our full tour video on the GaijinPot Youtube channel.

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