In Pictures: Cherry Blossoms Bloom in Kanazawa

Kanazawa is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, located on the coast along the Sea of Japan, and is nicknamed “Little Kyoto” for its strong tradition of arts and crafts, as well as for being one of the best-preserved cities in Japan.

Historically, the city of Kanazawa was one of the most powerful cities in Japan. During the Edo period the area was home to some of the country’s greatest cultural achievements rivalling Kyoto and Tokyo. Travellers to the city will find a wide variety of sights and experiences, especially during cherry blossom season.

Getting to Kanazawa (from Tokyo)

By train
Tokyo and Kanazawa are directly connected with each other by the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The one way ride takes 2.5 to 3 hours, costs around 14,000 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and Hokuriku Arch Pass. Note that the latter will pay off for a round trip between Tokyo and Kanazawa.

By bus
The one way trip between Tokyo and Kanazawa by highway bus takes about 7-8 hours and costs about 8000 yen. There are daytime and overnight buses. Discount bus operators, such as Willer Express, offer one way fares from around 4500 yen.

By air
Kanazawa’s airport is located in the city of Komatsu, a 40 minute bus ride (1130 yen) from central Kanazawa. JAL and ANA operate several flights per day between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Komatsu Airport. Flight time is one hour. The regular one way fare from Tokyo to Kanazawa is about 25,000 yen, however, discount tickets for around 10,000 to 15,000 yen are usually available.

Instead from Tokyo, I visit Kanazawa from Kyoto by bus. The one way ride between Kyoto and Kanazawa takes about four hours and costs between 3500 and 4100 yen. There are daytime and overnight buses, operated by Hokutetsu and Nishinihon JR Bus.

The main road between Kanazawa Castle and Konrekuen Garden
Cherry blossom at the peak near Kanazawa Castle
Cherry blossom at Kanazawa Castle Park
Beautiful scenery in the middle of April
Kanazawa Castle is the symbol of a rich medieval city of Kanazawa
People gathered to enjoy cherry blossom in Kanazawa Castle Park
The castle is open to the public, and guests can enjoy the various looks as it changes with the season
The castle was once burned down in a fire, but local artisans reconstructed it
It is recommended to explore both the park and adjacent Kenrokuen Park
Kanazawa Castle is the largest wooden castle built in Japan since the Meiji period
Kanazawa Castle was the base of the powerful Maeda clan for 13 generations and almost 300 years
There is a joint ticket for the castle which also provides access to the neighboring Kenrokuen Garden
People enjoying their spring time in Kanazawa Castle
Kenrokuen Garden is considered one of the “three most beautiful landscape gardens” in Japan
Kenrokuen Garden served as an outer garden to the adjoining Kanazawa Castle
The garden is designed to incorporate particular subjects from other scenery ans literature
The most important from Kenrokuen are its two ponds, Kasumigaike and Hisagoike
Scenery of Konrekuen Garden during cherry blossom season
Along with Kairakuen in Mito and Okayama, the garden stands as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan
Kenrokuen opening hours: March to October from 7 am – 6 pm, October to February from 8 am – 5 pm
The beauty of Kanazawa Castle and Konrekuen Garden is the symbol of Kanazawa City

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