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Welcome to Kanazawa, Japan!

Kanazawa is the prefectural capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and located in the central part of the mainland of Japan. The southeast of the city area faces the mountains and the northwest area faces the Sea of Japan. The city area is located between the Saigawa River and the Asano River. Kanazawa Castle Park and Kenrokuen Garden (one of the three greatest gardens in Japan) are located in the center of the city area, and shopping quarters (Korinbo, Kata-machi, Musashi, and Kanazawa Station) surround them.

Kanazawa has a population of 458,000 (as of January 2010), and is the center of the economy and culture of the Hokuriku area (Toyama Prefecture, Ishikawa Prefecture, and Fukui Prefecture). The shopping quarters in the city are crowded with shoppers from various parts of Hokuriku on holidays.

Moreover, Kanazawa is a leading tourist city where 7 million tourists visit every year. It was a great castle town ruled by an influential leader from the 17th century to the second half of the 19th century. Kanazawa has not suffered from any war devastation or big natural disaster. Therefore, Kanazawa maintains rows of historical houses and inherits traditional handicrafts and traditional performing arts.

The climate of Kanazawa is almost as mild as that of Tokyo or Osaka. There are not many days with temperatures below the freezing point between December and February. However, there are few fine weather days, and the snow often piles up.

The development of its special products like rice, sake, sweets, etc. was due to its temperate and rainy climate with heavy snow in winter.

The city is surrounded by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. Two rivers run through the city; the Sai is said to be a lively masculine river and the Asano to be a sweet, feminine river. Such a natural background of great beauty gives the city a relaxed feeling.

Since the Kaga Clan invited many artists and craftsmen to this area, it achieved a high level of craftsmanship that continues to flourish to this day.

Colorful KUTANI POTTERY, earthy OHI POTTERY, elegant KANAZAWA LACQUERWARE, glittering KANAZAWA GOLD LEAF, unique-to-Kanazawa PAULOWNIA CRAFT, specially hand-painted KAGA-YUZEN SILK, KAGA ZOGAN, KAGA EMBROIDERY, KAGA FISHING FLIES, MIZUHIKI, and KANAZAWA BUDDHIST ALTARS.

The buildings that gave birth to these traditions stand tranquilly and blend in with the modern atmosphere in Kanazawa to create a charming ancient castle town.




     
   
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