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Ishikawa Prefecture

Ishikawa Prefecture in Hokuriku DistrictIshikawa PrefectureIshikawa Prefecture is positioned in the center of Hokuriku District.

The northern part is Noto Peninsula expanding to the Sea of Japan.
The southern part is called Kaga area, and there is Kanazawa city of the prefectural capital in the center of the area.

Since the end of 16th century, Kaga area had been governed by the lords of Maeda Family.
And they had efforted to develope many industries and technics.
So Kanazawa, the main city, had developed, and it became the fifth largest city in Japan after Edo (Tokyo), Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya.
(The current population of Kanazawa is about 455 thousand and is ranked around 40th. (2009))

Kanazawa Kanazawa is the most popular city in Hokuriku Region among tourists, and more than 6 million tourists visit here a year.
Because it has traditional industries and some old districts remains, it is sometimes called "Little Kyoto".
(Kyoto was the town of court nobles, but Kanazawa was the town of samurais. So Kanazawa city government has recently stopped using the word "Little Kyoto" for promotion.)

In Ishikawa Prefecture, it snows hard in winter.
However, Kanazawa and the other cities on the plains is unexpectedly hot in summer.

To visit Ishikawa Prefecture, Hokuriku Shinkansen is convenient from Tokyo.
It takes about 2.5 - 3 hours from Tokyo.
From Kyoto or Osaka, it takes more than 2.5 hours by limited express "Thunderbird" on JR Hokuriku Line.

There is Komatsu Airport at the south part of the prefecture.
It has the flights from Narita, Haneda (Tokyo), Shin-Chitose (Sapporo) and some other cities.
And it has the international flights from Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei.
The express buses to Kanazawa city run from the airport, and it takes about 40 minutes.

And there is Noto Airport at the north part of Noto Peninsula.
It has the flights from only Haneda.

Hot Ishikawa : Ishikawa Prefecture Tourism League official website
Kanazawa Tourist Information Guide : Kanazawa City Tourism Association official website




The climate in Kanazawa
Average value 1981-2010 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Highest Temperature (deg C) 6.8 7.3 11.0 16.9 21.6 25.0 28.8 30.9 26.6 21.3 15.5 10.2
Lowest Temperature (deg C) 0.9 0.7 3.0 8.2 13.1 18.0 22.3 23.7 19.5 13.3 7.7 3.4
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 270 172 159 137 155 185 232 139 226 177 265 282

Tourist spots in Ishikawa Prefecture

Kanazawa city map

Kanazawa city

Kenrokuen garden /1/
Kanazawa Castle Park /2/
Oyama Shrine /3/
Kaga Yuzen Traditional Industry Center /4/
Kanazawa Noh Museum /5/
Nagamachi district with old samurai residences /6/
Higashi-Chaya district /7/
Kazuemachi-Chaya district /8/
Nishi-Chaya district /9/
Ninja-dera temple (Myoryuuji) /10/
Seisonkaku villa /11/


Ishikawa prefecture map

Other spots in Ishikawa Prefecture

Nata-dera temple /21/
Kaga hot spring resorts /22/
Mount Hakusan /23/
Wakura hot spring resort /24/
Wajima city /25/
Oku-Noto /26/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Ishikawa Prefecture

Seihaku FestivalSeihaku Festival (May 3-5th)

It is a festival held in Nanao city, and is the annual festival of Ootokonushi Shrine.It is said that this festival has been held since 981.
In Japan, many festival have the parades of decorated floats. The floats of this are big.
The height is about 12 meters, the diameter of the wheels is about 2 meters, and the weight is about 20 tons. And the model of a famous scene of Kabuki is set up on the float.
We can see the beautiful floats in the city.

Kiriko FestivalKiriko Festival (From July to October)

Kiriko festival is held in the various towns in Noto Peninsula. It is a summer festival in the area.
Kiriko is like Mikoshi (portable shrine), but it is set up not a portable shrine but a tall lantern on the frame. On the lantern, beautiful pictures or characters are painted.
The people carry the kirikos, and they parade throughout the town.

Gojinjo DaikoGojinjo Daiko drum performance (July 31st)

It is a drum performance which originated in Nafune district in Wajima city.
In 1576, the troops led by Kenshin Uesugi, one of the strong warlords, came to Wajima area.
But in a night, the people in Nafune wore the grotesque mask and the wig of seaweeds, and they made a sudden attack against the sleeping troops with beating drums wildly. The rush of the monsters surprised the troops, then they had run away.
Since that, the drum performance by masked people has been the important event in the annual festival of Okitsu-hime Shrine in the area.
We can sometimes see the performance at the bus terminal od Wajima city.

Wajima Morning MarketWajima Morning Market (Every day)

It is a morning market opened in Wajima city, and is one of the most famous morning markets in Japan.
Along the streets about 360 meters long near Wajima harbor, there are over 200 stalls. They sell fresh seafoods, vegitables, dried fish and many other goods.
This market has been opened for a thousand years.
It runs from eight to twelve opening hours.

Local foods and products in Ishikawa Prefecture

Kabura-zushiKabura-zushi

"Kabura-zushi" means "sushi of turnip". But it isn't a common "sushi".
First sliced salted yellowtail are sandwiched between sliced salted turnips. Then they are confitted in rice malt after adding chopped carrots and konbu (kelps) and are fermented in it for several days.
This food tastes rich and sour. Because of the sour taste by fermented rice, it is called "sushi".
This is produced in winter, and is often served as one of the dishes of the New Year's food in Ishikawa Prefecture.

JibuniJibuni

It is a local dish in Kanazawa city.
It is a stewed food, and is made by stewing flour-coated sliced duck meat, some pieces of gluten ("Fu" in Japanese) and some vegitables in Japanese soup.
The soup is thickened a little by the flour on the meat. And wasabi is added as a spice when we eat.
Now it is one of the home-style dishes in this area, but originally it was a cuisine of samurai.
It is said that Toshiie Maeda, the lord of this area in the 16th century, made his cook create this dish first.

Wajima lacquerwareWajima lacquerware

It is one of the famous lacquerwares in Japan. In Japanese, it is called "Wajima-nuri". In Wajima city, the lacquerware has been created since the early 18th century.
The process for production has more than 20 operations, and all of them are hand workings.
As the base coat, diatom earth is used. So it is said that Wajima lacquerware is strong.

Kutani wareKutani ware

It is a style of Japanese porcelain producing at the south part of Ishikawa Prefecture including Kanazawa city.
The picture is very gorgeous and colorful. It is like famous Arita ware in Saga Prefecture. Arita uses red as the main color, but Kutani uses blue or green color.
First it was produced from 1655 to around 1700. It is called "old Kutani".
And the production restarted in 1807. Now it is producing as a high-class porcelain.

Kaga yuzen dyingKaga Yuzen dyeing

It is a colorful-dyed silk fabric for Kimono, and has been created in Kaga area, the southern part of Ishikawa Prefecture.
Famous Kyo-Yuzen in Kyoto was developed in the late 17th century by Yuzensai Miyazaki. He was invited to Kanazawa in 1712, then he applied his technique to the traditional Kaga dyeing in consideration of its climate.
The pattern of Kyo-Yuzen is mostly design, but Kaga-Yuzen is like graphic painting.
And it is more gorgeous and colorful than Kyo-Yuzen.


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