Kanazawa is located in Ishikawa Prefecture which encompasses the central-norther coastline of mainland Japan. Its relatively small population gives the city a laid-back and quiet atmosphere whilst still retaining the urban ‘buzz’ that Japan is so famous for. The locals are particularly friendly and welcoming to tourists and expats alike. The city is often overlooked as a tourist destination but has very well preserved historical sights and plenty of cultural gems. There are many unique charms to living in Kanazawa; here’s a few:
Culture and Cuisine
With an extensive history in unique arts and craft practices, the city was appointed as a ‘City of Crafts and Folk Art’ by UNESCO. You can enjoy craft tours, as well as participate in craft workshops. On top of this, the city is renowned for its performing arts such as geisha performances and unique ‘Noh’ chanting performances. There is also the ‘Chado’ tea ceremony, that dates back to a tradition which was practiced by Samurai as well as many unique styles of delicious ‘Wagashi’ confectionery to accompany the ceremony. The cuisine itself is rustic and unique, and offers a mixture of high quality seafood along with a wide range of hearty vegetables. To accompany the food, be sure to sample some of the ‘sake’ (local rice wine) of the region, as it is known to be of particularly high quality.
History and Nature
The fact that the region has not been affected by any major natural disasters or other catastrophes such as tsunamis and war ensured that the historical sights of the city are extremely well-preserved. You can enjoy being amidst prominent traditional Japanese architecture. The city is divided into different historic areas such as its ‘Geisha’ district, ‘Samurai’ district, and temple areas. Kanazawa castle as well as Kenrokuen garden offer a beautiful area to walk around and enjoy both the nature as well as the history of the city. The climate of Kanazawa is similar to Tokyo and the region exhibits arguably the most beautiful spring and autumn in Japan which means the cherry blossom season can be experienced in its full magnificence. The city itself is surrounded by two rivers: the Sai and Asano rivers, and is also in close proximity to the Japanese Alps and the famous Noto Peninsula.
Convenience and Lifestyle
The city is easily accessible from Tokyo by using the recently completed high-speed bullet train which takes only 2 and a half hours. On top of this, although it’s a relatively quiet city, there is something for everyone. There are a variety of shopping districts in Kanazawa which offer a mixture of big brands as well as local products. There is also a nightlife district in the city known as ‘Katamachi’ which offers a mixture of vibrant and eclectic bars and clubs.
There are many opportunities for foreigners to live and work in Japan. English language instruction in particular is a key sector which is in demand. Our work placement programs offer you the opportunity to connect with various businesses and educational institutions to give you a head start in your future career as an English teacher in Japan. For more information on our volunteer programs and work placement opportunities, visit our program page.