Travelogue: Exploring Japan on the Hokuriku Arch Pass -- KANAZAWA, FUKUI

10:10 PM

Hello everyone!

I'm back here today to continue on with part 2 of my Japan trip along the Hokuriku line, where we took a day trip to Kanazawa and Fukui each, before ending off our trip at Osaka! You can read part 1 HERE, where we first visited Toyama prefecture :)

Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture

Being the capital city of Ishikawa prefecture, and located on the central Honshu island in Japan, Kanazawa is well known for its well preserved architecture during the Edo period, as it was the 2nd largest city after Kyoto to escape the World War II destruction!

While our first few stops were largely quiet with few tourists dotting the map, it wasn't quite the same when we reached Kanazawa. Kanazawa reminded me more of the busier cities in Japan, minus the large human traffic.

Kenrokuen Garden

We visited the Kenrokuen Garden in the morning, and the garden is located next to the Kanazawa Castle, so I'd recommend you visit them on the same day. Although it was only 9am, the garden was already packed with hoards of tour groups (mainly korean ahjummas haha). I'd recommend visiting the garden in spring during full cherry blossom bloom though, as this is one of their iconic points of visit!

Making Gold Foil art at Kanazawa Katani

 There's no better place to experience gold foil making (or even eat it) other than at Kanazawa, with Kanazawa literally meaning "Gold marsh" when translated! Almost 80% of the shops we walked into in Kanazawa sold something gold foil related so of course, getting hands on at doing some gold foil handicraft is a must!

We visited Kanazawa Katani, a gold leaf shop that sells all kinds of gold foil merchandise, and even have workshops for us to make our own merchandise using gold foil!

The workshop was very easy to follow through, and suitable for people of all ages. Furthermore, you can present your Hokuriku Arch Pass to be entitled to 10% off the workshops taken at Kanazawa Katani!

For the last leg of our trip along the Hokuriku line, we headed to Fukui, which was also my personal favourite!

Fukui is a really, really quiet city on its own with not much tourist traffic in the city center. But I later found out this was partially due to the fact that most of its attractions are located outside of the city center and require a good 30-45min drive each way, and the other reason being it is the Japanese city which received the least number of international tourists every year :O

Located along the coastal area of Japan, one of its main attraction is acutally the Tojinbo, which are sea cliffs located along the coasts! Now, being a huge nature lover, Tojinbo was naturally my favourite attraction this entire trip. This is also partially due to the fact that it is tough to find such a view in most Japanese cities which are usually just lined with temples and shrines, street after street.

A morning trip here to soak in some Vitamin D is the most ideal, and while there were other groups of tourists at the place, the area has been kept very clean (oh, what are we talking about, it's Japan!!!) and peaceful.

Another must- visit in Fukui is definitely the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, one of the world's top dinosaur museums!
The drive here isn't fast at all, I have to say. It was a good 45 min drive for us but it does feel a little like entering a different dimension of the world on its own. When we were approaching the museum, we can already see the dome shaped building glistening from afar, standing out from all the other buildings and structures in the area. Not to mention how cute it is that so many of the residential areas in Katsuyama, where the museum is located, have dinosaur playgrounds, figurines all over to mark their "ground" as the land where real dinosaur fossils have been recovered!

We didn't get to spend much time at the museum itself due to our tight schedule, but I'll recommend to dedicate maybe 1.5 hours here to really explore the whole museum! The architecture of the dinosaur museum itself it already pretty magnificent to speak of, and the main exhibition area is really even more breathtaking :) I do think a trip here is pretty worth it, even for a non dinosaur fanatic like me! It's just something different, and to know that amongst the many dinosaur figurines we see, we do get to see real fossils too.

So with that, I've more or less covered the key places we visited this trip!!! Although I only stayed for 4 days, it did feel a little rushed. With the 7 day Hokuriku Arch Pass, I'd recommend maybe extending your stay at Kanazawa to at least 2 days and Fukui to 2 days (because traveling time can account for quite a bit here).

Hope you guys have found this article to be helpful, especially if you're thinking of traveling beyond the main touristy cities!!! Have fun and thanks for reading!

With love,
Xin Lin

Note: This post is in collaboration with Japan Tourism Board, all opinions are my own.

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