Kanazawa, Japan Cruise Port

With its well-preserved heritage, natural beauty, and fascinating folk art, the cruise port of Kanazawa, Japan is like traveling to another time. The capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and on the Sea of Japan, Kanazawa means "marsh of gold" and allegedly got its name from a story about Imohori Togoro, a peasant who discovered gold flakes while digging up potatoes; today, you can visit the Sakuda Gold Leaf Company to watch the gilding process. Its location between mountains (referred to as the Northern Japanese Alps) and sea means the area has a wide variety of fresh seafood, produce, and herbs to delight foodies; dairy farming and vineyards also contribute to the culinary enjoyment. Whether you enjoy learning about ancient Japan within the geisha and samurai districts or are interested in more modern developments, there’s something for everyone here. Here are a handful of our favorite experiences when cruising to Kanazawa, Japan:
 
  • One of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Kenroku-en was begun in the 17th century. Famous for its landscape featuring streams and ponds, the grounds are open year round and renowned for their beauty no matter what the season. A visit during mid-March will allow you to see the plethora of plum blossoms that blanket the ground.
     
  • Adjacent to the garden, you'll find the historic Kanazawa Castle. Originally built around 1580, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times. After a fire in 1881 damaged most of the structure, the remains were incorporated into Kanazawa Castle Park with other sections continuing to go through various reconstructions.
     
  • The Buddhist temple known as Myoryu-ji (also called Ninja-dera or "Ninja Temple") was built around 1585 and originally closer to the castle; it was later moved south of the castle to the Tera-machi district as a shield from intruders of the day. With hidden tunnels, secret rooms, and concealed stairways, this is a popular attraction that requires a guide.
     
  • To step back into the present, visit the spectacular 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. With a wide range of permanent and traveling exhibits, there's plenty to see both indoors and on the museum grounds.
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