Welcome to KANAZAWA!
|Kanazawa is one of Japan's foremost castle
towns. The city boasts many of historic and
aesthetic interest, such as the splendid Kenrokuen, known as one of three most beautiful gardens
in Japan, and Ishikawa-mon, the commanding gate of the old castle grounds.
In KANAZAWA, one is actually aware of the changing seasons. Not only is Kanazawa's natural scenery a colorful delight year-around, but every seasonal change is so carefully celebrated in Kanazawa's traditional cuisine, decor and yearly events that one comes to feel as if there are many more than four seasons.
Geographically, Kanazawa's central location makes it an ideal base for exploring the HOKURIKU region as a whole. Ishikawa's charming Noto peninsula and Kaga region, as well as neighboring Toyama, Fukui and Gifu prefectures, are all easily accessible from Kanazawa.
Kanazawa's history began in 1546, when the Buddhist Ikko sect set up a religious government centered on a temple, which later became the site of Kanazawa Castle. The Buddhists' power grew, and so did Kanazawa. Kanazawa was invaded in 1580, and following a turbulent period, was finally taken over by Maeda Toshiie, a retainer of Oda Nobunaga, in 1583.
When Japan came under the control of the Shogun Tokubaga Ieyasu in 1603, Maeda's vast territorial holdings were recognized, making Kaga the wealthiest province in Japan. Its wealth measured by its rice yield, was one million koku, or five million bushels, Hence, the elegant and refined culture that developed in Kanazawa under Maeda's patronage is referred to as Kaga Hyakumangoku.
In 1871, when the feudal provinces were abolished and modern prefectures established, the Kaga region was the third most populous in Japan after Tokyo and Osaka. Since Maeda Toshiie's entrance into Kanazawa in 1583, the city has been completely untouched by war and thus retains mush of the historical beauty. While preserving its precious heritage, Kanazawa has developed into a thoroughly charming modern city.