The tourist season begins in full force in Kanazawa when the snowy winter ends and cherry blossoms begin to bloom. Here are five things you'll want to do in Kanazawa in the spring.
1. Enjoy the night blossoms at Kenrokuen
Kenrokuen, one of Japan's foremost cultural property specification gardens and special scenic spot, is one of Kanazawa's most famous sightseeing spots. It has seasonal plants and flowers and numerous ponds and chikuzan (artificial hills) in an area of approximately 11,000 square meters, and is considered to be one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.
It is also famous as a place to see cherry blossoms, so you'll definitely want to see the blossoms in the spring. The showy, daytime blossoms are beautiful too, but the yozakura (night cherry blossoms) lit up at night is recommended if you want to experience a magical atmosphere. The garden has approximately 420 cherry blossoms of various varieties including special, precious trees, such as the Kenrokuen Kikuzakura, which has flowers with 300 petals.
Entrance fee: Adult (18 and older) 310 JPY, child (6 - 17) 100 JPY (both incl. tax)
2. Stroll through the Kazuemachi Chaya District
The Kazuemachi Chaya District is an area with ryotei restaurants and other shops that retain vestiges of the past. Many cherry blossoms bloom in the spring along Asano River, which flows near the Kazuemachi Chaya District. There are shops, such as cafes, that you can rest in along the way, so you may want to drop in while strolling around. The streets are lit up with gaslights in the evening, giving the town a mystical feel. You can enjoy a different atmosphere from the daytime.
3. Enjoy Kanazawa's spring flavors
Once you've had your fill of the cherry blossoms, you'll want to turn to Kanazawa's spring gourmet!
The traditional Kaga vegetable called takenoko (bamboo shoot) is a vegetable that has been cultivated from before 1945, and is still cultivated mainly in Kanazawa. It is soft and has little acidity and can be cooked in various ways, such as simmered with kombu seafood or deep fried as tempura. It is primarily available in ryotei restaurants and traditional Japanese food restaurants within Kanazawa.
Oshizushi (pressed sushi) is a special traditional dish that is indispensable at festivals. It is usually made by placing fish marinated in vinegar and vinegar rice in a wooden mold and decorating it with konnori seaweed (seaweed dyed dark blue). It is a traditional dish handed down throughout families, but versions of it can be purchased at supermarkets and department stores, so check them out.
4. Enjoy seasonal wagashi
Once you've satisfied your appetite with the spring gourmet items, you'll want to have some sweets! Wagashi are traditional Japanese confectionery.
Kanazawa, together with Kyoto and Matsue in Shimane is famous for its wagashi and the city has many wagashi stores, including historic ones that were established more than 100 years ago. In the spring, many limited-time seasonal items, such as those made in the shape of cherry blossoms and those made using cherry blossom petals and leaves, are released in stores.
The recommended place to buy wagashi is Kanazawa Hyakubangai, a shopping mall with outlets of all the major wagashi stores. It is very convenient as it is within Kanazawa Station.
Please enjoy both the lovely appearance and elegant sweetness of spring wagashi!
The image is for illustrative purposes only
5. See Kanazawa via the Kanazawa Loop Bus
The main mode of transportation within Kanazawa is the bus. Particularly in the spring, it is great to be able to travel from place to place while seeing the city adorned with cherry blossoms through the large bus windows.
A variety of buses run in Kanazawa, but the recommended service is the Kanazawa Loop Bus. Buses run at 15-minute intervals on the right loop and left loop starting from the Higashi east exit of Kanazawa Station and go through major tourist sites including the Higashi and Kazuemachi Chaya Districts, Kenrokuen, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, and Omicho Market. Get the discounted one day pass (adult 500 JPY (incl. tax); child 250 JPY (incl. tax)) if you are riding it!
Please thoroughly enjoy the glorious Kanazawa spring by checking out famous sightseeing spots and cuisine.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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