Located in the Chubu area of Japan close to the sea and the mountains, Kanazawa is a town rich in water. There is abundant spring water in an area with a lot of rain, and the high humidity is ideal for the lacquerware and production of gold leaf which are the traditional handicrafts. Kanazawa also has a lot of acclaim as a UNESCO-appointed City of Crafts and Folk Art and a Best-in-Travel 2014 ranking by the Lonely Planet travel guidebook.
The most representative spot is Kenroku-en Garden which was nationally designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. The distinct design of Kanazawa Station has also made it one of the major tourist attractions. You can get a sense of the history of the area through Kanazawa Castle, Higashi Chaya Street, the remains of the samurai residences and other buildings, plus also enjoy contemporary art via places such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa and the D.T. Suzuki Museum. Myoryu-ji Temple which has been called the Ninja Temple and the Omi-cho Market with its 170 shops are also popular.
Kanazawa is a battlefield for kaiten sushi (sushi served on conveyor belts). There are numerous kaiten sushi places in Omi-cho Market as well as in Kanazawa City proper so you will want to try one at least once. The 15 types of vegetables including bamboo shoots and lotus roots grown in Kanazawa are known as Kaga vegetables and are used in regional dishes such as Jibu-ni stew and Kabura sushi. Kanazawa which thrives in the tea ceremony is also famous for its wagashi (Japanese confections) which is served in the ceremony. The sake born from the cold of winter is also a true gem.
Taking the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa (2 hours and 30 minutes) is the most convenient mode of transportation. There are plenty of buses within the city such as the Kanazawa Loop Bus which will take you to the major tourist stops, the Kenroku-en Shuttle and the Kanazawa Light-Up Bus which is recommended for a nighttime tour of the city. Because the main sites are in the center of the city, touring around by rental bicycle is also fun during good weather.
The downtown area is a convenient base for tourism with neighborhoods including Korinbo, Katamachi and Musashigatsuji. If you are looking for a leisurely time, Higashi Chaya Street, Owari-cho and Kenroku-en also have accommodations which are quiet and famous.