My trip to Kanazawa after 30 years

Posted on 01/07/2015

Since the opening of the Hokuriku bullet train line in March 2015, some of my friends in Tokyo have been to Kanazawa and told me they really loved it, so on a sunny day in May I decided to take my wife to what is currently the hottest city in Japan. I simply cannot believe it’s been almost 30 years since I left Kanazawa where I used to work. You might be interested to know how the new bullet train was, but unfortunately, now that I live in Kobe, next to Osaka, to which the Hokuriku bullet train line is still not connected, we took the Thunderbird express train instead. Although not a bullet train, Thunderbird is a very fast and comfortable train, and I quite like the name, too!


After a two-and-a-half-hour journey from Osaka, we arrived at Kanazawa station. The station was bustling with people even though it was Monday. I was shocked to see how much the station had changed, with its impressive glass ceiling. It even matches up to the new station in Osaka, Japan’s second-biggest city. Walking towards the bus terminal, an impressive gate representing a Japanese drum awaited us with a big station square. Some people describe Kanazawa as a “small version of Kyoto,” once the capital of Japan, but people in Kanazawa might be offended by this nickname, as it is nowadays no smaller than Kyoto at all.

Kanazawa is well served by bus. You can go literally anywhere in the city by bus so I didn’t even need to own a car when I was living there. We popped into the Hokuriku Rail Road Company ticket center to buy one-day bus passes. The ticket center is just across from stop 1 of the East Gate bus terminal. A single fare for the bus is ¥200 but the one-day pass costs only ¥500 so it’s definitely a good buy. With our day pass, the Kanazawa Loop Bus (right-loop route) took us to our first destination, Kenrokuen Gardens. 

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