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Kanazawa Higashi Chaya and Kenrokuen Garden

Hello!! Sorry for not posting for a bit. I was a bit busy with a lot of things. The good news is I’m quitting my current job next week and there’s a month gap before I started my new job. Hopefully I can travel more and write more. Continuing my last post, I traveled to Kanazawa from Toyama with my family. There we visited some famous places like Kanazawa Higashi Chaya and Kenrokuen Garden. I also went to Kanazawa Castle, just next to the garden. I’m going to show some photos from each places so stay with me until the end of the post.

Higashi Chaya District

I went to Kanazawa from Toyama by express train. The ticket fare from Toyama to Kanazawa is around 3,300yen and it takes around 50 minutes. If you go to Takayama (Shirakawa-go) you can also take the same express train (it just a bit more expensive because Takayama is further). The JR Rail Pass include this route as well.

When we arrived, we drove to our first destination: Higashi Chaya district. We rent a car for 1 day, however, similar to Kyoto, it’s really convenient to travel around Kanazawa by bus. I recommend you to buy the bus pass if you travel a lot during the day.

I’m always fond of Old-town scenery, so Higashi Chaya (or Nishi Chaya) is definitely a must-go place for me.

The chaya district was originally an entertainment district during the Edo period. There’re 3 Chaya district (Higashi Chaya, Nishi Chaya, and Kazuemachi) and Higashi Chaya is the biggest one. There are a lot of tea houses, restaurants, and places selling gold-goods.

I tried the ice-cream with gold-leave. I think this gold-leave ice cream is famous in Kanazawa even though nowadays they sell it in another area as well. Higashi Chaya’s food price might be a little bit more expensive because it’s a tourist area. Like the gold ice cream was sold for around 800yen, but if you go to the area around Kenrokuen you can get cheaper price (500-600yen).

We walked around Kanazawa until lunch and we had lunch there. I still remember we had some chazuke fish bowl and then I bought some Croquette, lol but I forgot to take photo of the shops.

Kenrokuen and Kanazawa Garden

From Higashi Chaya district, we drove to Kenrokuen. Kenrokuen is located a bit in the center of the city and there’re other places around the garden such as Kanazawa Castle and the 21st century museum. We went there by car and let me warn you, it was a bit hard to find a parking space around Kenrokuen and Kanazawa Castle. We parked quite far from the garden.

The castle ground is quite spacious. We entered from Kuramon/Otemon gate, I guess (the gate which is further from Kenrokuen). We passed the Gyokuseninmaru Garden. The garden is not really big, but the ponds and the circular walking path make it looks so pretty.

Kanazawa castle was built around the end of Edo period by the Maeda Clan. The main building was actually burnt and it was never been rebuilt ever since. The other parts of the castle were also damaged by fire and attack, however they keep reconstructing the fortress. The first part to be restored are the two towers and a long storehouse in between the towers. You can see the photo below.

(The store house is 45 meters long!)

I played a samurai game and Maeda Toshiie is one of my favorite samurai. And you know what, he used to live in this castle.

The castle is free of admission free and it’s open from 7AM to 6PM (8AM to 5PM on winter). It opens 365 days a year. The area around the castle is really spacious, I saw a lot of people coming just to have picnic.

If you go through the same route with me, you’ll pass the castle and you’ll enter Kenrokuen from Ishikawamon gate.

Kenrokuen is classified as three most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan along Kairakuen and Korakuen. This garden used to be a part of the castle during the Maeda Clan era.  Kenrokuen literally means “Garden with six factors” because Kenrokuen has the six attributes that bring the perfect landscape of the garden: spaciousness, tranquility, artifice, antiquity, water cources, and magnificent view from the garden.


As you strolled in the garden you can find  big artificial pond, hills, houses, fountain, and hidden nooks. The garden itself is really big and you can get a view of the whole city there.

There’re several ponds at the Garden. The biggest one is Kasumigaike (the one with Karasaki Pine and the Kotoji-toro latern). I went to the fountain as well.


(fountain and the Kotoji-toro)

That fountain is one of the oldest fountain and the water can reach around 3.5-meters high.

The best time to visit Kenrokuen is the sakura season or the fall season. However, if you come on winter during the snowy day, the snow-covered Kenrokuen is also pretty.

The fee for Kenrokuen is 310yen per adults and it opens from 7AM to 6PM (8AM to 5PM on winter).

21st Century Museum

I did not planned to go to the Museum but we passed this museum when we walked around Kenrokuen. We decided to go in because we also want to rest a bit and some area of this museum is also free of admission.

The museum building is circular shape and in the outdoor part, you can see a lot of art installation. There’s no back or front entrance in this museum, the whole museum itself is a form of art. 21st Century Museum in Kanazawa is one of the best art Museum in Japan.

Admission fee is not required, however if you want to see the exhibition in certain floor or area, you need to pay the ticket. Usually they have 2 exhibitions at the museum.

One of the famous exhibition in this museum is Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool”, where you can see a lot of people under the “pool”. Here, you can take photo from above, but to go under the pool, you’ll need a ticket.


From the museum, we walked back to the parking lot and we went to our hotel, APA Hotel Nozawa. The area around the castle and garden is really pretty and it’s different from Tokyo with the concrete jungle.

That’s conclude my first day in Kanazawa. I still have some photos for the second day and I’ll share it as soon as possible.

The places I went to in the first day are:

  • Higashi Chaya District
  • Kenrokuen
  • Kanazawa Castle
  • 21st Century Museum

If you have time, probably you should visit all of them because the scenery and atmosphere is really different from big city. They are located next to each other, so you won’t spend so much time moving from 1 place to another place.

The transport access is also easy. There’s always a loop bus going to these areas and some area cost 0 yen for admission fee.

See you on the next post and as usual, your comments are always loved <3

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