Kanazawa: Japan’s El Dorado

As a content creator, one of my goals for 2018 is to see more of Japan. My recent visit to Kanazawa allowed me to do just that. Here’s a recap of my journey with the monster in tow.


3 hours away from Tokyo (via the Hokuriku Shinkansen) is Japan’s “little Kyoto,” Kanazawa, on the coast of Ishikawa Prefecture.

All aboard the Hokuriku Hakutaka Shinkansen!

Because it escaped the fire bombing of World War II, Kanazawa has entire districts of perfectly-preserved 17th century Edo-era architecture.

It’s an amazing place to experience traditional Japanese arts like:

Wajirmanuri (輪島塗) lacquerware

kagayuzen (加賀友禅) textiles and kimono

kutaniyaki (九谷焼) porcelain

Enough of the travel book fluff. Let’s get to the heart of Kanazawa!

Japan’s El Dorado

Kanazawa might be Japan’s “little Kyoto,” but, I prefer to call it Japan’s “El Dorado.”


Shops all over Kanazawa sell a variety of products that contain gold leaf (金箔/kinpaku), like handicrafts, cosmetics, food, and drink.

These large senbei, or rice crackers, are nearly 500 yen each!
Selection of gold leaf items for the upcoming Tango no Sekku or Boys’ Day

Read: Hatsu Sekku: Celebrating Heian Japan Customs With Baby

Even skin care products in Kanazawa get the golden treatment!

In fact, Kanazawa produces 99% of Japan’s gold leaf. There are plenty of gold leaf items that you can’t find anywhere else

From gifts for under 500 yen to pens costing millions of yen, there’s a shop somewhere in Kanazawa selling it.

What To Eat – The Quest For The Golden Ice Cream Cone

Kanazawa is right on the Sea of Japan, meaning it’s a paradise for seafood lovers — and absolute hell if you have seafood allergies.

Crabs, a delicacy of Ishikawa Prefecture on sale at Omicho Market

There’s more than seafood in Kanazawa. If you read my tweets, you know I have a serious sweet tooth.

I was on a mission to eat this:

Left: ice cream from Hakuichi in the Higashi Chayagai District
Right: sweet potato ice cream at Kanazawa Station

Mission accomplished!

I also couldn’t pass up this “unmeltable” ice cream from Kanazawa Ice:


Prefectural Delights: Houjicha Tea, Pork, and Sweet Potatoes

Lunch. Because nothing screams “tradition” like pancakes, right?😂 to be fair, these pancakes are made with Kaga houjicha (Kaga/加賀 being the old name domain name of Ishikawa Prefecture centuries ago). Want these pancakes? Head to Fluffy, 2 minutes away from the center of Kanazawa’s Higashi Chayagai. 金沢・ひがし茶屋街のフラッフィーで食べた加賀ほうじ茶ホットケーキ。ほうじ茶の香りたっぷりで苦味もなく、めっちゃ美味しかったわ。 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. #babykaijublog #japanblogger #japaneseblogger #japanblog #butfirstdessert #pancakes #pancakesforlunch #sweettooth #foodie #sweettooth #houjicha #sweets #パンケーキ#ほうじ茶#ほうじ茶ホットケーキ #desserttable #instasweets #dessertsgram #huffposttaste #lunch #cafe #hungry #foodlover #brekkie #brunch #instagramjapan #japan#ひがし茶屋街カフェ#ひがし茶屋街

A post shared by Baby Kaiju By Teni Wada (@wadateni) on

Noto (能登) pork is a specially of Ishikawa Prefecture
Sweet potato bread in the shape of Hyakuman, the mascot of Kanazawa
Imoya Cafe is near Ninja Temple (妙立寺) and sells chips made from locally grown sweet potatoes

What To See And Do — Kanazawa Photo Diary

Sit on the riverbank and listen to the gurgling of Asanogawa River
Kanazawa Castle
Main entrance and torii of Oyama Shrine
The main hall of Oyama Shrine
The main hall of Ishiura Shrine, the oldest shrine in Kanazawa
Kimachan is the mascot of Ishiura Shrine and is featured on omikuji (おみくじ/fortunes), ema (絵馬/wish boards) and omamori (お守り/amulets)
Entrance to Kenrokuen Garden
Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan

Getting To Kanazawa And Where To Stay

I booked a 3-day, 2-night stay and shinkansen round trip ticket for under 35,000 yen. I also got a 1-day use bus pass thanks to an amazing deal found on the website for Nippon Travel Agency.

500 yen pass that gives unlimited bus rides for the duration of the stamped date

My package also included a stay at Hotel Mystays Kanazawa Castle, a newly renovated hotel just minutes from Kanazawa Station.

The hotel also has an onsen but, kids in diapers are not allowed to use it, so no onsen relaxation for me. Too bad; The temperatures dipped right before our Kanazawa trip. There’s  just something about a hot outdoor bath when it’s freezing. Maybe in a few years I’ll return!

Kanazawa At Your Doorstep — It’s Giveaway Time!

If you want to visit Kanazawa but just can’t, I brought some highlights of Kanazawa to share. After all, “Bringing Japan closer to you,” is what I do. It’s my job description!

Next week, I will be hosting a giveaway featuring fabulous golden goodies from Kanazawa. Stay tuned for details – subscribe for email updates so you don’t miss out!

Kanazawa: Japan’s El Dorado

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