One day trip from Osaka to Kanazawa. Explore Kanazawa Station, Kanazawa Castle, Kenroku-en Garden, and the 21st Century Art Museum
Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture located 230km from Osaka and often called as “little Kyoto”. The city has an abundance of historical attractions and museums. Kanazawa is definitely a must-visit city to explore the traditional and modern side of Japan.
WE traveled from Osaka to Kanazawa via Thunderbird train. The one-way fare of a non-reserved seat in the ordinary car was 7,130 yen and we spent about 3 hours train ride. Take an early train to Kanazawa so you will have enough time to explore the city, and you can catch the last train home. And depends on your budget and itinerary, there are some transport options to reach this wonderful city other than Thunderbird such as bus and regular trains. Here, WE will share our recommended one day trip to Kanazawa’s four popular spots.
- Get on Thunderbird train from JR Osaka Station (Umeda Station) or from JR Shin-Osaka Station. It takes 2 hours 50 minutes to Kanazawa. (Unreserved seat: 7,130 yen, reserved seat: 7,650 yen)
Kanazawa Station itself is a magnificent architecture. It has a glass dome “Motenashi Dome” and a huge wooden gate “Tsuzumi-mon” at the East entrance. The ancient and modern design fused together in the building of Kanazawa Station. The station provides lockers, restaurants, and shopping mall. MAP
- Take a loop bus from East Gate of Kanazawa Station. One ride is 200 yen but 1 Day Pass is available. (Adult: 500 yen, child: 250 yen)
- If you want to walk, it’s 30-minute walk from Kanazawa Station to Kanazawa Castle Park
Kanazawa Castle was built in 1580 and designated as the National Historic Site in 2008. Over the centuries, Kanazawa Castle was damaged by earthquakes and fires many times but Ishikawa-mon, Kahoku-mon, and Hashizume-mon, known as the major gates of Kanazawa Castle, and other buildings have been reconstructed. Ishikawa-mon and other parts of the buildings were being designated as the Important National Cultural Asset. MAP
- Only a short walk from Ishikawa-mon of Kanazawa Castle Park
Kenroku-en Garden is only about 400 meters away from Ishikawa-mon, one of the three major gates of Kanazawa Castle. Known as one of three most famous and beautiful gardens in Japan, Kenroku-en Garden is beautiful at all seasons and the garden has about 8,750 trees and 183 species of plants. MAP
- The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is also within a walk distance. It’s about 500 meters from Kenroku-en Garden and Kanazawa Castle
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
Our last destination was the 21st Century Museum located only a few steps from Kenroku-en Garden. Surrounded by glass walls, the round-shaped museum was opened in 2004. The museum not only held temporary exhibitions but 21st Century Museum also has various permanent exhibitions. The most popular artwork is “The Swimming Pool” by Leandro Erlich.
This museum can be enjoyed both young and old visitors. And while museum admission is free, the exhibitions are ticketed around 1,000 yen. The museum is closed in Monday and New Year holidays. MAP
- Take a bus to Kanazawa Station, then get on Thunderbird train to Osaka
- 30-minute walk to Kanazawa Station, then get on Thunderbird train. Be careful not to miss the last train