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Ishikawa Next

The Ishikawa prefecture is a wonderful blend of both cultural and historical sights, along with an immense show of natural beauty. There is Kanazawa with its excellent collection of museums, traditional architecture, and one of Japan's most famous gardens. The prefecture also boasts of the beautiful seascapes, hills, and fishing villages in the Noto-hanto Peninsula. Those who love the outdoors will enjoy hiking around Hakusan National Park, which is near the southern tip of the prefecture.

Kanazawa

In 1583, Kanazawa became the power base of the Maeda clan, which ruled the city for almost three centuries. The wealth of the city grew so large that it was able to pursue a cultural and artistic lifestyle, thus making it one of the key cultural centers in Japan. However, as the capital of Ishikawa, Kanazawa does have its own share of urban architecture and modernization has taken its toll. Nevertheless, it continues to feature its culture through its past architecture, including the Kenrokuen, which is one of Japan's most famous gardens.

Getting There - Visitors can fly to the Kanazawa airport from Tokyo, Sendai, Fukuoka, and Sapporo. The airport also has international connections with Seoul. Apart from air services, the JR Hokuriku line trains serve Kanazawa, which links the city with southwestern destinations such as Osaka, and northeastern destination such as Toyama.

Getting Around - Kanazawa has an extensive bus service, which makes sightseeing such a joy! Fares start around 200. Or if you are up to it, bicycle rental is also available at the railway station.

Kenrokuen Garden

Hailed as the main attraction in Kanazawa, the Kenrokuen Garden is ranked among the top three gardens in Japan, with the other two being Kairakuen in Mito and Korakuen in Okayama. The name, Kenrokuen, originated from the famed Sung Dynasty's Chinese garden. The latter required six attributes for perfection, including seclusion, spaciousness, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water, and broad views. Kenrokuen initially formed only the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle, but it was enlarged until its completion in the 19th Century. The Garden was finally opened to the public in 1871.

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