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A Photographer’s Information to Kanazawa, Japan

The Prime 5 Images Places in Kanazawa

Kanazawa, a Japanese metropolis recognized for its well-preserved Edo-era districts, lovely gardens, and artwork museums, is a gem that you must add to your Japan itinerary. For those who’re searching for the very best Kanazawa images areas in your upcoming go to, that is simply the information for you.

For those who’ve been studying or following The Wandering Lens for some time, you’ll understand how a lot I really like Japan. Having visited the nation over 11 occasions, it’s someplace that’s so particular to me, nevertheless, it wasn’t till my most up-to-date go to that I managed to get to Kanazawa, and I used to be so pleasantly stunned.

It had been described to me as a quieter Kyoto; much less crowds, historic districts and loads of images alternatives.

Kanazawa was precisely that! Whereas it doesn’t have the quantity of temples and sights as Kyoto (and I completely suggest visiting Kyoto), Kanazawa is way much less crowded which implies you may wander slowly and seize the ornate particulars of the town, the landscapes, the river, gardens, and the structure. I’d suggest spending a minimum of two days exploring Kanazawa, there’s additionally the sensation you might keep for weeks, simply taking it straightforward, strolling round and photographing this lovely metropolis.

Kanazawa Photography Location Guide


It’s peaceable really, that’s in all probability the very best phrase to explain it. Positive you’ll nonetheless discover different vacationers within the standard areas, however about 80% lower than Kyoto, Osaka, or Tokyo. Really, I can’t vouch for cherry blossom season or autumn, I’m positive it’s fairly busy in these intervals because of the recognition of the gardens with Japanese vacationers additionally.

Alas, let’s take a peek at some suggestions for what to {photograph} in Kanazawa…

Kanazawa Castle, Japan

Kanazawa Images Places – really useful by Lisa Michele Burns of The Wandering Lens

#1 Kenrokuen Backyard

As certainly one of Japan’s “Three Nice Gardens,” it exemplifies the final word in Japanese panorama backyard design, Kenrokuen provides an ever-changing canvas that captivates photographers and nature lovers alike.

From the long-lasting Kotoji lantern with its two-legged design to the panoramic views from the lookout factors, Kenrokuen provides an ever-changing canvas that captivates photographers and nature lovers alike.

Highlights embody the fragile hues of cherry blossoms in spring, azaleas and irises in early summer season, vibrant foliage in autumn, and the snowy landscapes and yukitsuri (snow-hanging ropes) in winter, designed to guard the branches of pine timber from heavy snow.

The backyard is house to a number of teahouses, bridges, and the long-lasting Kotoji lantern, providing a glimpse into Japan’s cultural traditions. Chances are you’ll get fortunate and see a crane nestled in one of many Neagari Pine, in any other case, you’ll be capable to {photograph} the town skyline from numerous vantage factors across the backyard, or get a bit of nearer to the main points and deal with the flowers, greenery and superbly manicured designs.

Kenrokuen Garden Kenrokuen Garden

For those who exit via the Katsurazaka Gate, you may cross the bridge into the Kanazawa Fortress grounds, simply connecting two photogenic areas of the town.

Kenrokuen Backyard Opening Occasions:

  • Kenrokuen Backyard is open to the general public year-round.
  • Opening hours are from 7:00 AM to six:00 PM from March to October (spring to autumn) and from 8:00 AM to five:00 PM from November to February (winter).
  • These hours could also be prolonged throughout particular occasions or seasons, such because the cherry blossom viewing interval in spring.

Ticket Costs:

  • Admission Payment: The entry charge for Kenrokuen Backyard is 320 yen for adults and 100 yen for youngsters.
  • Annual Passport: For individuals who want to go to the backyard a number of occasions all year long, an annual passport is obtainable for 1,020 yen, providing limitless entry should you’re eager to return for cherry blossoms or autumn leaves!

Kenrokuen Garden

#2 Higashi Chaya District

The Higashi Chaya District, certainly one of Kanazawa’s most enchanting and traditionally important areas, is a quintessential instance of a standard chaya (teahouse) district in Japan. This space, preserved with nice care, provides a glimpse into the Edo interval’s cultural richness and the distinctive architectural fashion of chaya, the place geishas entertained friends with dances, music, and dialog.

Strolling via its atmospheric streets, you’re transported again in time, amidst wooden-latticed buildings and stone-paved pathways, making it a major location for capturing the essence of conventional Japan.

Highlights of the Higashi Chaya District:

Utasu Shrine: Tucked away within the Higashi Chaya District (reverse essentially the most scrumptious, fluffy pancake café!), Utasu Shrine is a lesser-known gem that provides a quiet respite from the busier streets. This Shinto shrine, although small in measurement, is wealthy in historical past and spirituality, recognized for its water deity and believed to bless guests with internal purification and therapeutic. The shrine’s tranquil atmosphere, coupled with its conventional torii gate and plush environment, gives a serene backdrop for images, there’s additionally a sneaky Ninja hiding beneath it, go and see if you will discover it!

Higashi Chaya District

Chaya Streets: The primary streets of Higashi Chaya District are lined with superbly preserved chaya homes. These buildings, with their distinctive picket lattices, usually are not simply architectural marvels but additionally function the proper topics for images, capturing the district’s historic appeal. You’ll discover it greatest to discover and easily wander together with your digicam, doing so at dawn, after which once more within the night will will let you absorb this space and all of its glory…the dimly lit night is one thing actually particular!

Kaikaro Tea Home: One other notable images spot is the Kaikaro Tea Home, which blends conventional structure with modern artwork installations. Guests can get pleasure from tea in an surroundings that captures the cultural fusion attribute of modern-day Kanazawa.

*Only a notice on privateness on this space, much like Kyoto’s Gion District, it’s essential to respect the privateness of those that stay within the district. Keep away from taking pictures of individuals with out their permission and be conscious of personal property, or lingering/posing in entrance of properties.

Higashi Chaya District Higashi Chaya District

#3 Kanazawa Fortress Park

Kanazawa Fortress Park, with its expansive grounds and historic constructions, provides a panoramic view of Japan’s feudal previous and its architectural grandeur. The fortress, initially constructed within the late sixteenth century and reconstructed through the years, serves as an impressive centrepiece to the park. White lead-tiled roofs shimmer within the daylight, making a putting distinction in opposition to the encircling greenery and the deep blue sky, should you’re fortunate!

Highlights and Images Places inside Kanazawa Fortress Park

Ishikawa-mon Gate: The gate, a delegated Necessary Cultural Property, is an iconic image of Kanazawa Fortress. Its imposing construction and conventional design make it a preferred images spot, particularly when framed by the cherry blossoms in spring or the fiery maple leaves in autumn. That is the gate you’ll enter from if present Kenrokuen Backyard, a lovely transition of scenes and images alternatives.

Gojikken Nagaya Storehouse: This lengthy storehouse, with its white plaster partitions and conventional tiled roof, stretches alongside the fortress’s northern boundary. Its size and the way in which it harmoniously blends with the pure panorama supply compelling views for pictures, capturing the essence of feudal structure.

Hashizume-mon Gate: Right here, you’ll discover a lovely picket bridge crossing the fortress moat, certainly one of my images highlights of Kanazawa. You need to use foliage alongside the hedge to seize photos of the partitions, picket bridge and water, or look forward to sundown and get the solar glowing because it units behind the fortress.

Kanazawa Castle

Gyokusen’inmaru Backyard: Positioned throughout the fortress grounds, this superbly landscaped backyard is a comparatively latest addition, designed to emulate the standard strolling gardens of samurai residences. With its picturesque pond, stone lanterns, and punctiliously organized flora, Gyokusen’inmaru gives serene settings for images, particularly through the golden hours of dawn and sundown.

Hishi Yagura Turret and Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura: These reconstructed turrets and connecting partitions are prime examples of the fortress’s defensive constructions. Climbing to the highest of those turrets provides a vantage level for capturing the sprawling fortress grounds, the fashionable cityscape of Kanazawa, and the distant mountains.

*Additionally simply to notice, watch out to examine closing occasions earlier than getting into the backyard, as they’ll shut the gates and the occasions change all year long, I’ll have been seen dashing throughout the grounds with simply 5minutes left earlier than closing as a result of I received carried away taking pictures!

Kanazawa Castle

#4 Nagamachi Samuari District

This space, the place samurai and their households as soon as lived, is thought for its well-preserved mud partitions and conventional samurai residences. It provides a novel perspective on the town’s historical past and tradition, with the Nomura Samurai Home being a spotlight and maybe my favorite place to {photograph} in all of Kanazawa.

The Nomura household, serving beneath the Maeda lords, who dominated the Kaga Area (present-day Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures), have been among the many elite samurai class. Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, which led to the abolition of the samurai class, the Nomura household confronted monetary difficulties and finally misplaced their esteemed standing. The home was opened to the general public to protect and share the samurai heritage with future generations.

The Nomura Samurai Home is famend for its architectural magnificence and the serene backyard it overlooks. The home options superbly preserved rooms that show the approach to life and artifacts of the samurai period, together with intricate armour, weapons, calligraphy, and conventional furnishings. The inside displays the samurai’s philosophical pursuits, with a Zen-like simplicity and a deep connection to nature evident in each side of its design.

Nomura Samurai House


One of many home’s most charming options is its small however beautiful backyard, which is taken into account a masterpiece of Japanese panorama gardening. Comprising fastidiously chosen stones, water options, and meticulously pruned timber and shrubs, the backyard embodies the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, which finds magnificence in simplicity and impermanence.

Opening Hours:

  • The Nomura Samurai Home is open to guests year-round.
  • The home is accessible from 8:30 AM to five:30 PM (March to October) and from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (November to February).

Admission Charges:

  • Entry to the Nomura Samurai Home prices 550 yen for adults and 400 yen for youngsters, providing a useful alternative to discover the legacy of the samurai in Kanazawa.

*Additionally, attempt to plan your go to when it’s not very crowded to get pleasure from this lovely house in peace, and have the time to seize a group of photos with out crowds.

Inside the Samurai House of Kanazawa Samurai house in Kanazawa, Japan

#5 Asanogawa River

The Asanogawa River, one of many two rivers that gracefully circulate via Kanazawa, provides a picturesque setting that captivates photographers and nature lovers alike, notably should you’re pairing it with a go to to the Higashi Chaya District.

Alongside the river simply west of the Asanogawa Bridge, you’ll discover Kazuemachi Chaya District, with conventional machiya (townhouses) lining the water’s edge, showcasing the harmonious mix of Kanazawa’s historic appeal and pure magnificence.

Every season transforms the river right into a distinctly totally different panorama (I’m glad to go to in a number of seasons!). Spring brings cherry blossoms that delicately body the riverbanks, summer season provides lush greenery, autumn reveals a tapestry of fiery colours, and winter covers the scene in a serene blanket of snow, every offering distinctive compositions and moods for photographers because the skyline and buildings are additionally remodeled.

Kanazawa River, Japan

Historic Bridges and Structure: The river is flanked by a number of bridges, every with its personal historical past and character. The Asanogawa Ohashi, specifically, is a favourite spot for capturing the distinction between the flowing river and the static fantastic thing about Kanazawa’s conventional buildings.

Golden Hour and Blue Hour: The golden hour brings a heat glow to the river, excellent for capturing mushy, illuminated scenes, whereas the blue hour gives a cool distinction, highlighting the lights of the town and making a magical ambiance. Gentle posts, dimly gentle entrances to properties and the bridges themselves, supply a wide range of topics to work with.

Along the banks of the Asanogawa River in Kanazawa

Lastly, the Omicho Market: For these fascinated with avenue images and capturing native life, Omicho Market, with its bustling stalls, recent seafood, and vibrant ambiance, is good. Early morning is the very best time to go to to seize the vitality and interactions of native distributors and buyers. Sadly, I can’t embody an excessive amount of extra in the marketplace as I solely had an opportunity to go to within the early night, when the market stalls have been closed…I might really feel it could be fairly thrilling when the motion is going on although!

Inside the Omicho Market of Kanazawa, Japan

Normal Journey Ideas for Visiting Kanazawa

What’s the very best time to go to Kanazawa?

Spring (March to Might) and autumn (September to November) are essentially the most picturesque occasions to go to, with nice climate and the fantastic thing about cherry blossoms or autumn colors.

Getting round Kanazawa: The town is compact and simply explored on foot or by bicycle. For longer distances, buses and taxis are available and straightforward to flag down. The space between the practice station and central space is lower than 10minutes, should you don’t have a lot baggage you might stroll it, or take a neighborhood bus. For these with baggage (like me!), a taxi is inexpensive and a simple answer.

Delicacies to eat in Kanazawa: Don’t miss attempting Kanazawa’s seafood, particularly sushi and sashimi contained in the Omicho Market, as the town is thought for its recent catch from the Sea of Japan.

An image of Kanazawa at night

Travelling to Kanazawa by Practice:

For those who’ve received a JR Move, use it to achieve Kanazawa in consolation. Relying on the practice you’re taking, the journey time will differ, however I like to recommend the Hokuriki Shinkansen from Tokyo, it passes via some lovely surroundings! You need to use Kanazawa as a center cease between Tokyo and Kyoto too, making a triangle of kinds in your itinerary.

Attending to Kanazawa from Tokyo: Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa Station. The journey takes roughly 2.5 to three hours, making it a handy choice for travellers coming from the capital.

Attending to Kanazawa from Kyoto: Take the Restricted Specific Thunderbird practice from Kyoto Station to Kanazawa Station. The journey time is about 2 hours and 20 minutes.

PS – If travelling by practice, don’t overlook to select up snacks and a bento field…it’s all a part of the expertise and also you’ll see when you’re on board, everybody does it!

JR Rail Pass and Train at Tokyo Station

The place to Keep in Kanazawa

My base for the go to was on the central, new and really, very snug Soki Kanazawa. It felt like a luxurious spa lodge for the value of a typical room…I extremely suggest staying right here when photographing Kanazawa.

We opted for the Deluxe Twin room to make sure there was sufficient room for suitcases, nevertheless there was greater than sufficient house, the toilet was lovely, there have been robes and slippers included, plus little extras!

Additionally, ending a day of photographing with a cease by Lawson or Household Mart to select up a mini banquet dinner, then dine in our room whereas saving and modifying photos was essentially the most enjoyable factor! For those who’ve been to Japan, you’ll know what I imply by this…combini (grocery store) dinners are the very best.

Your map of Kanazawa Images Places –

click on and it’ll open in Google Maps


Proceed studying about Japan with The Wandering Lens:

A Photographer’s Information to Tokyo

A Information to the Greatest Images Places in Kyoto

Views: Photographing Arashiyama’s Bamboo Grove

Views: Images suggestions for visiting Fushimi Inari

Behind the Lens: Photographing a Sumo Event in Tokyo

For those who’re eager to enhance your images, take The Wandering Lens ‘3 Week Composition Reset Course‘ to refresh your strategy to images and study new artistic composition strategies.

You’ll additionally discover The Freelance Journey Photographer Course obtainable to start out at any time on-line, so you may study at your personal tempo and start exploring the world of freelance images.

Kanazawa Castle Park, Japan Kanazawa Castle Park Kenrokuen Gardens with autumn colours

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