Study Japanese in Kanazawa

Learning Japanese in Japan, particularly in the city of Kanazawa, the capital city of the Ishikawa Prefecture is a unique cultural and learning experience. While it is a lesser known city for international tourists, the Japanese know it is one of their nation's finest cities and one of the best examples of a major Edo-period city, the perfect place to start learning Japanese in Japan.

Here you may explore the samurai and geisha districts and see how Japanese society was once structured. Kanazawa locals say "even if you forget your lunchbox, don't forget your umbrella" but Kanazawa still offers a rich cultural experience, off the beaten path of typical Japanese tourism.

Kanazawa was built around the ancient castle from the 15th century, and was instrumental in establishing the "peasant kingdom". This kingdom lasted for a century and developed into a unique fortified temple city that you can still see the remains of. In 1580 the city fell to attackers and was disputed until 1590 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified Japan. 

The Edo period Kanazawa was incredibly wealthy and developed an extensive arts and crafts economy. In 1631 a large fire consumed much of the city but the city was one of the wealthiest in Japan and many migrated to it creating the chaotic layout still visible today. Many examples of architecture from this time can still be seen. Your daily experience the long and narrow merchant houses and the large samurai estates will always come with a sense of wonder!

In 1820 a geisha district was formed which appeared much like merchant houses but had expansive upper floors for entertaining. Fortunately, Kanazawa was the country's second largest city to escape destruction from bombings during WWII and many of these historical buildings have remained intact making the city a priceless example of Japanese history.

Learning Japanese in Japan, you will find the most famous place to visit in Kanazawa is Kenroku-en Garden (the Garden of Six Attributes). Considered one of the country's top 3 gardens and perhaps the most beautiful. The garden was built during the Edo period and the streams and ponds to which water was directed is one of the great engineering achievements of the time.

Visit and see inside the Seisonkaku Villa, one of the few examples of Daimyo palace architecture. While much has been destroyed, there are still ruins from the Kanazawa Castle. There is still the impressive Ishikawa Gate and the Sanjikken Nagaya storehouse, though the entire site is being slowly rebuilt. For examples of classic Japanese architecture there are a number of sites throughout the city that you can visit while you are learning Japanese in Japan

The Nagamachi Samurai District has been recreated around the few remaining buildings to create an authentic experience, meanwhile Higashi-Chayamachi is the city's most famous geisha district. You can also learn about the area's history and culture, the Kanazawa Shinise Memorial Hall is an excellent example of a merchant's house and was once the major Chinese medicine shop in the city. There are a number of shrines and temples to explore including Tentoku-in the city s largest Edo temple.

Kanazawa also has a number of museums to visit while and many festivals that are celebrated across the city. The Hyakuman-goku Festival celebrates the years of prosperity during the Edo period with parades, dancing and tea ceremonies and this is a great experience to have while.

Every summer there are fireworks along the river and every spring some of the most beautiful cherry blossoms in the country to enjoy. For a unique and historic view of Japan, Kanazawa is the perfect escape and a wonderful place to become inspired while learning Japanese!

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