Whilst popular with Japanese tourists, Kanazawa is not as well known internationally as the bigger cities in the country. This makes it a great destination for discovering a more authentic side of Japan! Whether you want to discover temples and geisha culture, or party with the locals, there’s something for everyone in Kanazawa.
As a relatively unknown destination, figuring out where to stay in Kanazawa can be tricky. Like most Japanese cities, it is quite large and densely populated – which makes the districts seem never-ending.
That’s where we come in! We’ve built this guide to the seven best neighborhoods in Kanazawa to help you figure out where to stay during your upcoming trip to the city.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Kanazawa
- Kanazawa Castle – Best neighborhood in Kanazawa for your first time
- Kanazawa Station – Where to stay in Kanazawa close to everything
- Korinbo – Where to stay in Kanazawa for nightlife
- Nagamachi – Best neighborhood in Kanazawa for families
- Omicho Market – Where to stay in Kanazawa on a budget
- Higashi Chaya – Best neighborhood in Kanazawa for couples
- Teramachi – Best neighborhood in Kanazawa for temples
Where to Stay in Kanazawa
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Kanazawa.
Best Hostel in Kanazawa
Whilst Shaq Big House might seem like a basic hostel, it takes our pick for best in the city thanks to the different options available! If you are on a budget the dorm rooms are well equipped, however, for a more cultural experience, they also offer typical Japanese style rooms.
Best Budget Hotel in Kanazawa
Speaking of traditional Japanese accommodation, this is one of the only budget-friendly ryokans available in Kanazawa! It is located in Kanazawa Castle area, giving you easy access to all the main attractions. They also have private parking facilities – perfect if you are hiring a car.
Best Splurge Hotel in Kanazawa
As the only five star accommodation in the city, Kinjohro has to take our top spot for splurge hotels! A traditional ryokan, it is located in the Higashi Chaya neighborhood where you can discover geisha culture and traditional tea houses. It has a hot spring bath, as well as great comfort facilities.
Kanazawa 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Kanazawa. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighborhood in Kanazawa for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Kanazawa Castle – sample some of the most delectable sushi in the country at Kourin Sushi
- BEST place to visit in Kanazawa Castle – visit the castle itself, a traditional fortress right in the heart of the city
The area surrounding Kanazawa Castle, known locally as Kenrokumachi, is the tourist hub of the city where you will find most of the historic and cultural attractions! The castle itself is merely the jewel on top of the crown, with elegant gardens surrounding the building and plenty of cute side streets waiting to be discovered.
Though the city centre is one of the most expensive parts of the city, it is still a lot cheaper than many of the more modern districts. In terms of Japan as a whole, it is also one of the most budget-friendly historic centres, allowing you to truly experience the nation’s traditions!
- Take in the relaxing atmosphere of Kenroku-en Gardens, a popular park located right next to the castle
- The Ishikawa Prefectural Museum contains some interesting exhibits of traditional arts and crafts
- Head to the D.T. Suzuki Museum, dedicated to the famous Japanese writer who influenced Zen and Shin religions
- Fusion21 is a fantastic restaurant concept that combines traditional Japanese cuisine with a modern café culture
- For a more tranquil dining experience, head to Uchihashi Tei – located right in the park, it has marvellous views across the river
- The 21st Century Museum of Modern Art is a must-visit for creatives in the city
Best Hostel Kanazawa Castle
This is one of the most centrally located hostels, giving you easy access to all the main historic attractions in Kanazawa! All of the bunks in the dorm rooms come with privacy curtains, as well as phone charging facilities and high speed WiFi. They also offer private rooms if you want some peace and quiet.
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Best Budget Hotel in Kanazawa Castle
Ryokan are Japanese inns where you can enjoy a more traditional experience than you will get in the western-style hotels! Kikunoya is one of the best-priced ryokans in the city, allowing you to enjoy the experience without breaking the bank. There is a hot tub on-site, and private parking is available.
Best Splurge Hotel in Kanazawa Castle
This elegant four star hotel is truly the height of luxury in Kanazawa! Rooms and common areas are beautifully decorated in a way that combines modern design with traditional furnishings. They provide a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning, and there is a hot spring bath available on-site.
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(Where to stay in Kanazawa close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Kanazawa Station – shop at the international brands and local boutiques hosted within the shopping centre attached to the station
- BEST place to visit in Kanazawa Station – Tsuzumi Gate is often the first landmark visitors see and is an important icon of the city
Whether you are arriving from the airport or elsewhere in Japan, Kanazawa Station is your main gateway into the city! The bullet trains make getting around the country quick and easy, and most intra-city public transport lines pass through the area. Kanazawa Station is a bit more modern than other parts of the city, giving you an extra level of comfort.
Though it does not have any of the most iconic landmarks Kanazawa is known for, Kanazawa Station area is only a short walk from the historic centre! It also has some unique attractions in its own right and is a major shopping destination for locals and visitors alike.
- The Hiraoka Shrine is a modern place of worship right in the heart of the district where you can observe how the locals interact with religion
- Looking for the perfect Instagram shot? Yakantai Tentosuru is a large teapot monument dedicated to Japanese tradition
- InFusion is an up and coming nightlife venue where you can sample a wide range of innovative cocktails and light bites
- Mori Mori Sushi Kanazawa Ekimae is so popular with locals that you are often waiting in long lines to get there – but it is totally worth it, with a great selection of sushi
- If you’re more interested in hot food, you can’t skip Taiga Noodles – a popular ramen restaurant
Best Hostel Kanazawa Station
The closest hostel to the train station, Blue Hour Kanazawa is perfect if you are only in the city for a short trip! They provide free luggage storage, giving you more free time to explore the city if you are arriving early or departing late. Blue Hour pride themselves in being a peaceful hostel.
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Best Budget Hotel in Kanazawa Station
This iconic hotel is located right next to the train station, giving you easy access to all areas of the city and further afield in Japan! There are two restaurants on-site serving both Japanese and Western cuisines. A complimentary breakfast buffet is provided every morning, and they also have parking facilities.
Best Splurge Hotel in Kanazawa Station
Another great hotel located right next to the station, Hotel Nikko is packed with guest facilities! They have a wide range of restaurants and shops that mean you technically don’t even need to leave the hotel. Rooms are fully air-conditioned, and many of them come with magnificent views across the city.
(Where to stay in Kanazawa for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Korinbo – dance the night away and enjoy delicious cocktails at Kanazawa Music Bar
- BEST place to visit in Korinbo – Korinbo Tokyu Square is a major shopping destination in the south of the area
Korinbo is the premier nightlife destination in the city, offering a great range of party venues whether you want to dance with the locals or live the high life in a classy cocktail bar! Located just west of Kanazawa Castle district, it is also well located for getting around the city’s main attractions.
Make no mistake – Korinbo mostly comes alive during the night time. Nevertheless, there are still some great restaurants and shopping destinations to explore during the day! It is also close to the Nagamachi District – ideal if you want a break from partying.
- If you want something a little more laid back, Kourinbo Jibiruba is a great craft beer bar with easy-going vibes
- Oriental Brewing is another great craft beer bar, though it has a much more bustling atmosphere and is popular with locals
- Ivory Coast Kanazawa is one of the best venues if you want to enjoy live entertainment whilst on a night out
- Still struggling to shake the hangover come dinner time? Aashirwad is a great Indian restaurant with a hearty selection of curries
- The Godburger is another great restaurant, offering some of the best cheeseburgers you will find in Japan
Best Hostel Korinbo
Though quite a basic hostel, Shaq Big House is the best-rated backpacker accommodation in Kanazawa! They offer dorm rooms as well as privates that have a more traditional style. The common areas are large and perfect for meeting other guests to head out on the town with. They also provide high speed WiFi.
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Best Budget Hotel in Korinbo
This economy hotel is a great budget choice right in the heart of the city, giving you easy access to both Korinbo and Kanazawa Castle! They have a hot spring bath on the top floor, where you can also enjoy great views across the city. A complimentary buffet breakfast is provided every morning.
Best Splurge Hotel in Korinbo
This ultra-modern hotel is the perfect splurge option if you are visiting Kanazawa for its vibrant nightlife! Rooms are fully air conditioned and soundproofed, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful night of sleep, and complimentary green tea is provided to every guest. They also have a large breakfast buffet selection.
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(Best neighborhood in Kanazawa for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Nagamachi – travel back in time at the Nomura Family Samurai House, a preserved Edo-era house and experience
- BEST place to visit in Nagamachi – marvel at the beautiful Tounji Temple that is steeped in samurai tradition
Whilst being within walking distance of both Kanazawa Castle and Kanazawa Station, Nagamachi is a relatively peaceful neighborhood that makes it the perfect choice for families visiting the city! It also has some fantastic historic attractions, as well as a wide array of family-friendly restaurants.
Nagamachi is known as the samurai district of Kanazawa, where you can walk amongst traditional samurai houses and learn about their history. This makes it a fascinating destination for families that want to discover an authentic slice of Japan. There are plenty of interactive activities that keep both kids and adults entertained.
- Kanazawa City Ashigaru Museum has some restored samurai houses that you can explore during your time in the area
- If you are interested in fashion history, take a trip to Nagamachi Yuzen Kan and check out the collection of silk goods
- Buddhism is another major religion in Japan, and the main temple in Kanazawa is Hosenji, located on the outskirts of Nagamachi
- Saan is a great family-friendly restaurant that offers typical Japanese cuisine, as well as small plates to share with the family
- If you are visiting during the winter, grab a filling hot meal at Taro – their hot pot is particularly popular with locals
Best Hostel Nagamachi
Pongyi has a more traditional feel than other hostels in the city, keeping it in line with the authentic Nagamachi neighborhood! They offer bicycle rental, giving you a great way to explore the city. Rooms are fully air conditioned, and high speed WiFi can be accessed throughout the property.
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Best Budget Hotel in Nagamachi
This guest house is a better choice if you want a more Western-style hotel whilst sticking to a tight budget! There is a shared kitchen – perfect if you are self-catering, as well as for mingling with other guests. Free high speed WiFi is available in every room, and luxury toiletries are provided.
Best Splurge Hotel in Nagamachi
For families looking to splurge, AGORA is a great blend of old and new! They offer basic hotel rooms, as well as traditional Japanese suites with a modern twist. This allows you to experience authentic Japanese accommodation whilst still enjoying luxury comforts. A complimentary buffet breakfast is included.
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(Where to stay in Kanazawa on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Omicho Market – take in the beautiful nature in the park that lines the Asano River area
- BEST place to visit in Omicho Market – visit the market itself, where you can pick up souvenirs and local cuisine at great prices
Though part of Kenrokumachi district, the area surrounding Omicho Market is perfect if you want to be centrally located but still want to stick to a strict budget! The main attraction in the area is the market itself, where you can enjoy well-priced shopping and dining that allows you to experience the city like a local.
Due to its location just north of Kanazawa Castle, the Omicho Market area is well placed for getting around the city – allowing you to stay within a short walk or train journey from all the main attractions! The area also has some quirky attractions of its own, as well as some fantastic restaurants.
- Kanazawa Art Gummi is a small shopping venue where you can pick up some local arts and crafts at discount prices
- The Kanazawa Phonograph Museum is only a short walk away from the market and is one of the most unique experiences in the country
- The beautiful Shurin-Ji Temple is a fantastic attraction for those that want to avoid the busy temples in the tourist districts and enjoy a more local experience
- Kofuku offer a wide range of seafood dishes – including some great budget-friendly sushi and sashimi
- If you just need a little taste of home, Blue Moon is a popular restaurant with locals offering the Japanese take on North American cuisine
Best Hostel Omicho Market
Emblem Stay are a popular hostel brand across Japan, and aim to create a community spirit amongst their guests! There is a large kitchen and dining area where you can mingle with other visitors, and they also offer guided visits to the Omicho Market. Breakfast is provided every morning.
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Best Budget Hotel in Omicho Market
Despite only having two stars, Hotel Pacific is very highly rated in customer reviews! This is thanks to its central location, great facilities and friendly staff. Located right next to Omicho Market, it gives you easy access to both the Kanazawa Castle and Kanazawa Station areas of the city.
Best Splurge Hotel in Omicho Market
UAN Kanazawa is big on facilities, with the aim to maximise comfort for all of their guests! Rooms are fully air conditioned and come with either a terrace or a balcony. They offer a complimentary breakfast every morning, as well as soba noodles every evening. They also have accessible rooms for disabled guests.
(Best neighborhood in Kanazawa for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Higashi Chaya – simply wandering around the historic streets will take you back to the time of geishas
- BEST place to visit in Higashi Chaya – take part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at one of the tea houses on Kazuemachi Street
Located in the north of Kanazawa, Higashi Chaya is a romantic neighborhood famed as the historic (and modern) home of geishas in the city! Most of the buildings in this area have been well preserved, allowing you to soak up the calm atmosphere of Japanese tradition and admire the unique culture of the city.
For couples, this gives you a great opportunity to combine your romantic getaway with a cultural experience. Aside from the geishas, Higashi Chaya is also known for its tea houses where you can learn about traditional tea ceremonies and sample some of the best beverages in the area!
- Shima is an old geisha house that is now open to the public where you can learn about how they used to live
- Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikoro is the contemporary home of geishas, making it a great place to spot some of them walking by
- For the perfect date night restaurant, head to Fumuro Chaya and sample their extravagant tasting menus
- Afterwards, head to Hakuichi and try out the gold leaf ice cream, before heading next door to the Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum
- Start your night off right with some time at Oriental Brewing, with a great selection of beers and light bites!
Best Hostel Higashi Chaya
The dorm rooms in this hostel are arranged in the pod style, giving you a little extra privacy whilst still saving on accommodation costs! They also offer private rooms which are arranged in the traditional Japanese style. Complimentary WiFi is included for all guests, and the reception runs 24 hours.
Best Budget Hotel in Higashi Chaya
Despite being a budget hotel, Yamanoo has an excellent restaurant attached which is popular with both locals and visitors! For couples, this makes it the perfect option for a romantic getaway on a budget. A complimentary Japanese style breakfast is provided every morning, as well as high speed WiFi.
Best Splurge Hotel in Higashi Chaya
This traditional ryokan is the only five star accommodation in the entire city, making it the most luxurious option available! This is perfect for couples that want to splash out on the ultimate romantic getaway that also provides a cultural experience. A hot spring spa is available on-site, and breakfast is included.
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(Best neighborhood in Kanazawa for temples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Teramachi – wander along the Sai River and bask in the peaceful atmosphere of the area
- BEST place to visit in Teramachi – with plenty of great temples you will be spoiled for choice – however, Myoryuji is the most popular
Teramachi is a calm area to the south of the city centre, allowing you to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city! It is best known as one of Kanazawa’s three temple districts where you can soak up the local culture and observe religious practices. Myoryuji is the most famous temple in the area due to its connection with ninjas.
Aside from the temples, Teramachi does not have many attractions. Nevertheless, the riverfront area is a great spot for a romantic stroll, or for simply unwinding after a long day of exploring! It is also well connected to the city centre by public transport.
- Korin-ji is another great temple in the area, and one of the best if you want to learn about contemporary religious practices
- Tsujike Teien is a gorgeous nature reserve where you can bathe in waterfalls and admire the beautiful plant life
- Rin is a somewhat upmarket dining experience where you can sample fine seafood, and even try out the infamous blowfish
- For something a little more budget-friendly, head to Moroeya Nishichaya Karyo Ajiwai and try out their street food style offering
Best Hostel Teramachi
K’s House not only offers dorm-style rooms, but they also offer privates that can accommodate up to nine people – making this a great choice for larger groups visiting the city! Free high speed WiFi can be accessed from every room, and they have great communal facilities where you can meet other guests.
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Best Budget Hotel in Teramachi
This two star inn comes with fantastic guest ratings thanks to the welcoming atmosphere and great facilities! They provide a traditional Japanese breakfast every morning, and there is a communal kitchen where you can prepare your own meals. They offer both traditional Japanese style rooms as well as regular rooms.
Best Splurge Hotel in Teramachi
This is another gorgeous ryokan that gives you an authentic Japanese experience! Located right on the riverfront, rooms come with gorgeous views across the city and surrounding park areas. A hot spring bath is available for all guests to use throughout their stay, and a complimentary breakfast is included.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Kanazawa?
Whilst still overlooked by most international visitors to Japan, Kanazawa is definitely somewhere you should consider on your itinerary to the country. With plenty of historic attractions, traditional experiences and beautiful neighborhoods, Kanazawa is arguably the best destination for discovering the nation’s culture and history!
For the best neighborhood, we’re going to have to go with Nagamachi! Whilst still central, it is calm enough to give you a peaceful stay whilst still being within walking distance of all the main attractions.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of great neighborhoods waiting to be discovered in this gorgeous destination. We hope this guide has helped you plan your itinerary for your upcoming trip to Kanazawa.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
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