21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Since its opening in 2004, the total number of visitors broke through the 14 million mark, almost overtaking popular museums in the Tokyo area. 

The building was designed by world-famous architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa from SANAA (Saejima and Nishizawa and Associates). 

The museum features elegant white exhibition rooms based on its round shape. SANAA has won a number of awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2004 and the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2010. 


The museum’s most popular artwork is “Swimming Pool” by Leandro Erlich. When you look down on the swimming pool from the ground, it looks as if the pool is filled with water. You can go ‘into’ the swimming pool and walk on the bottom without getting wet.

Opening hours: Public Zone 9:00 - 22:00, Exhibition Zone 10:00 -18:00 (Open until 20:00 on Friday and Saturday)

Closed: Monday and New Year holiday (When Monday is a national holiday, closed on the following weekday. Public Zone is open on Monday.)

Address: 1-2-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Post code: 920-8509

Admission: There is no admission fee for entrance to the museum. Admission is payable to enter exhibition zones.

Closest bus stop: Hirosaka 21st Century Museum


Nagamachi Yuzen-kan

Kaga Yuzen (traditional kimono coloring) is one of the traditional crafts representing Kanazawa culture. At Nagamachi Yuzen-kan, Kaga Yuzen Kimono and traditional crafts are on display and you can learn about their history and manufacturing processes. The display includes crafts such as Kaga Yuzen Kimono and Byobu (Folding Screen), with their processes of manufacture explained on the accompanying panels.


Try textile coloring, or rent kimono at Nagamachi-Yuzen-kan.

This is a rare opportunity to try hand coloring on a kimono using the authentic coloring techniques of Hon-Yuzen. Why not try on Kaga Yuzen Kimono and take a photo or even go for a walk around the castle town wearing kimono to become familiar with Kanazawa’s kimono culture? Reservations are required if you want to try the coloring experience and a beginner coloring class is 4,000 yen per person (1 to 2 hours). Kimono rental with a set of accessories costs 4,000 yen per person per day (reservation required, available only for females). A wearing experience costs 1,000 yen per person and includes the wearing of a formal Kaga Yuzen kimono and a photo of you with it on. 

Opening hours: 09:00 - 17:00

Closed: New Year holiday

Address: 2-6-16 Nagamachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Post code: 920-0865

Admission: 350 yen

Closest bus stop: Katamachi


Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts

Visit the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts to see all of Ishikawa’s traditional arts and crafts gathered in one place. As a permanent display, 36 different kinds of traditional arts and crafts from Ishikawa prefecture are exhibited, including Kutani ware and Wajima lacquer ware, alongside the manufacturing tools and processes. In a special monthly exhibition, they show remarkable new craftworks from within and outside the prefecture. Visit the website to check out experience or demonstration programs as well as upcoming special events. Visitors will receive a small gift from the museum if they come on a rainy day. The museum shop is filled with unique items and can be found next to Kenrokuen Gardens. Stop by when you go to Kenrokuen! The art and craft museum tour (in Japanese) runs on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, and Sun, 10:00–11:00. The tour starts at the meeting point in the east hall and is free of charge. You can book an English guide for this tour. Two weeks’ advance booking is essential.

Opening hours: 09:00 - 17:00 (Last entry is at 16:45)

Closed: The third Thursday of the month and New Year holiday

Address: 1-1 Kenrokumahi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Post code: 920-0936

Admission: Adults 260 yen, children 100 yen

(Admission is free to the ground floor.)

Closest bus stop: Dewamachi


Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum

This is a specialized museum dedicated to gold leaf. They display the process of gold leaf manufacture and artwork produced using gold leaf. Gold leaf manufacture is Kanazawa’s traditional industry and 99% of all gold leaf produced in Japan comes from Kanazawa. You can see how gold leaf is produced and learn about the tools used in its production. The museum is also home to a collection of works by goldbeater Yasue Takaaki (1898–1997). His collection includes paintings, calligraphy, Noh costumes, Kaga Makie (gold-relief lacquer ware), Kaga Zogan (incrustation), ceramics, and Kaga butsudan (Buddhist altars).

Opening hours: 09:30 - 17:00 (Last entry is at 16:30)

Closed: New Year holiday (from 29 December to 3 January)

Address: 1-3-10 Higashiyama, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Post code: 920-0831

Admission: 300 yen

Closest bus stop: Hashibacho


Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art

Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art is the main art gallery in Ishikawa prefecture. The museum includes works by artists associated with Ishikawa prefecture. Also on display are cultural assets associated with the Maeda family (the feudal lord of Kaga), Kutani porcelains, and Kaga works including craftworks, ceramic wares, lacquer works, dyeing, and metal works. Various antiquities are on permanent display, including paintings, tea utensils, and cultural properties of the Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The museum also regularly displays the works of other artists. There are cafes and shops in the building.

Opening hours: 09:30 - 18:00 (Last entry is at 17:30)

Address: 2-1 Dewamachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Post code: 920-0963

Admission: Adults 360 yen, University students 290 yen 

Closest bus stop: Hirosaka or Dewamachi