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On the main island of Honshu, Kanazawa is one of the highlights of the Hokuriku region, often known as Little Kyoto thanks to its wide array of cultural attractions. The city is home to beautifully preserved samurai and geisha districts, so it’s a great alternative to Kyoto if you want to escape the crowds and fine a very authentic experience; where Kyoto can appear staged, Kanazawa is the bona fide real deal, with more than 40 geishas remaining in the city. As well as its cultural centres there are a plethora of attractive temples and museums, as well as the bustling market, Omi-cho, and the 16th century castle. Food here is renowned, with arguably the best sushi in the country including super sweet, delicate prawns rarely seen outside the region and sticky, seasoned rice.

In a country famous for its gardens you’ll be forgiven for bypassing a few in favour of the more… exhilarating sights, but we’d always recommend a stop at Kanazawa’s 17th century Kenrokuen gardens, one of the three ‘great gardens’ of Japan. Natural delights also abound, with mountains, beaches and the rural and rugged Noto peninsula a mere 30 minutes away. The city works perfectly as both a summer and winter destination. And the best bit? It’s now more easy to get to than ever, thanks to the new bullet train service direct from Tokyo.


Useful info

japan map

Best time to be there

Spring (late March to April) for cherry blossom, early summer (May to early June) for warm sunshine, autumn (October to November) for sunny weather and spectacular colours.

Fly to

Osaka/ Tokyo Narita and Haneda (Japan Airlines, British Airways)

flying time

12 hours 30 minutes from London

time difference

GMT +9 hours


Not required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

No vaccinations required

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Holidays Click to change

Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:

Japan, Hong Kong and the Ryukyu Islands Cruise

Nights: 15 | from £15,431pp

Explore the rarely visited Ryukyu Islands, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong, accompanied by an award-winning expedition team on L’Austral. Find out more

Holiday type: Group departure

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Classic Japan

Nights: 12 | from £4,877pp

Journey through the heart of Japan, mixing its pulsating cit-ies with its ancient temples, age-old traditions, sacred is-lands, sake breweries, 20th-century... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

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Sushi and Sashimi

Nights: 11 | from £5,365pp

Food, culture and history are intertwined in this unique destination: not for nothing has Washoku – traditional Japanese cuisine – been inscribed on UNESCO’s... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Call 01242 547 914 Enquire

Okinawa Beach Break

Nights: 4 | from £2,270pp

For an extraordinary beach getaway, journey to the powdery white sands and azure waters of Okinawa, home to some of the world’s most beautiful marine... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Call 01242 547 914 Enquire

Luxury Small Group Journeys - Classic Japan 2017

Nights: 8 | from £7,535pp

Experience the juxtaposition of fast-paced, neon-lit Tokyo and Osaka with the serene and culture-rich surroundings of ancient Kyoto Find out more

Holiday type: Group departure

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Below are some of our suggested places to stay:

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Hotel Nikko

Hotel Nikko Kanazawa is located on Honshu's west coast, fringed by the Sea of Japan and a backdrop of snow-capped Japanese Alps. Kanazawa, or Little Kyoto... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

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Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Hamlin, Vicky Smith and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of every hotel and resort featured in our Orient, India, Australasia and Indian Ocean portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout these areas, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.

Read about our lastest experiences in our Travel Blog pages.

To find out more about our Orient team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 704 or enquire online

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Guest Testimonial

Having just returned from a truly wonderful trip, I wanted to tell you how impressed we were with your part in this. (Debbie Rawnsley) We loved the itinerary, we loved the service levels, we loved the guides and above all we loved the experience of this unique culture with its overwhelming ‘otherness’, its politesse, its perfection its precision, its history, its gardens, its architecture and its charm. So, well done

- ST, Surrey

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