Visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, a landmark attraction famous both for its collection and its design. In 2010, the museum was cited by the Pritzker Prize jury in bestowing architectureâs highest accolade on Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.
Visit a gold-leaf workshop. Kanazawa is the gold-leaf capital of Japan, producing 99 percent of the product used throughout the country in arts and handicrafts (and sometimes even making it into sake!). If you wish, try your hand at making a set of gold-leaf covered chopsticks.
Have a cup of tea at Kaikaro, an exquisite 19th-century chaya, or teahouse. The building structure itself dates to the 1820s, when it was filled with nightly geisha entertainment, and the interior has been meticulously restored to its original appearance, including vermilion-laquered stairs, gold-laced tatami mats, and paintings adorning the panels of sliding doors.
Visit the Kenrokuen Garden, considered one of the âthree most beautiful landscape gardensâ in Japan. Located in the heart of Kanazawa, this spacious garden was in construction for over 200 years before it was open to the public in 1871. The word âkenrokuenâ means âgarden of six sublimitiesâ, which refers to the six essential attributes that make up a perfect garden: spaciousness, seclusion, antiquity, abundant water, artificiality, and broad views.
Visit Nomurake, a samurai residence which, like Kaikaro teahouse, has been painstakingly restored based on historical records to appear as it did during the height of the samurai in the late 16th and 17th centuries. Nomurakeâs tiny landscaped garden is stunning and is often said to be among Japanâs best.
Have a private tour of a sake brewery that has been in operation for more than 200 years. Japan's most famous native alcohol, sake comes in varying grades based on the polishing of the rice; generally, the more the rice is polished, the better the quality. The spectrum of tastes spans very dry to highly fruity.
Visit a kaga yuzen silk-dying studio. Yuzen is a traditional technique of dying silks for kimonos and other garments dating to the early 18th century, and the workshop in Kanazawa is one of the most famous. Your expert guide and staff from the studio will walk you through the elaborate process of creating designs in which nature figures prominently, from pattern stenciling and painting to steaming, rinsing and drying.