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By Claire Williamson
While Kanazawa isn’t yet a staple on the average tourist’s Japan circuit, this city in Ishikawa prefecture is a great place to steep yourself in the best of the country’s traditions while simultaneously enjoying some cutting-edge art and food. With the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Nagano to Kanazawa in 2015, thus putting it within easy reach for travellers from Tokyo, the city has thrown open its doors to tourists, domestic and international alike.
Spared from the bombings of World War II, much of the city’s architectural heritage has been well preserved and Kanazawa has much to offer visitors in terms of historic appeal. Still relatively off the beaten path, this ‘little Kyoto’ deserves a pin on your map for its walkability, traditional charm and increasing cohort of innovative coffeeshops and restaurants.
While you can tour Kanazawa in a day, give yourself two to fully embrace all it has to offer; the truly adventuresome can rent a car and extend their trip with an easy drive from the city to the naturally scenic Noto region.