Ishikawa prefecture is a small, thin prefecture on the western coast of the Honshu island, next to the Sea of Japan. It is closer to Tokyo than Kyoto, making it an easier alternative and is also known as “Little Kyoto” for its beautiful traditional Japanese architecture and cultural crafts. Particularly, Ishikawa prefecture is famous for its lacquerware and porcelain crafts, which are seen as the best in Japan. As for architecture, there is the thatched roof residential homes of the Kita family, a wealthy family of the former Kaga province, as well as the houses of the many samurai families that existed in Ishikawa prefecture’s Kaga clan. Some of the neighborhoods are even preserved as they were 400 years ago!
The north of the prefecture is also famous for its seafood, of pretty much every variety. Because the prefecture is smaller than most, you are also pretty much guaranteed fresh fish everywhere you go. Its recommended that you also try going to local fish markets early in the morning to try the seafood at its best time. Northern Ishikawa is also famous for its 1000 rice fields, or Senmaida, which is a hill dedicated to steps of rice fields, all tended by locals or rented out. Truly a must see.
Ishikawa holds one of the three major gardens of Japan: the Kenrokuen Garden. It’s name translates to the “Six Attributes Garden”, and for good reason. It has many unique qualities, including Japan’s oldest fountain powered by natural water pressure, and a wide variety of trees and plants that bloom throughout the seasons, making any visit at any time a memorable one. It was developed over a period of 200 years, and is close to 400 years old.