【JR Kanazawa Station】
Our starting point today is JR Kanazawa Station. The east entrance of the station building features an umbrella-shaped glass dome (Motenashi Dome) and a wooden gate (Tsuzumi-mon), the design of which is based on traditional Japanese hand drums.
After looking up to admire the futuristic design of the entrance, look down to check out the small stream that flows from just behind the gate. It passes through a series of benches before flowing over a waterfall down to a pool below. “I really understand why the web version of Travel + Leisure Magazine in the US picked Kanazawa Station as one of the world’s most beautiful train stations,” says Wellington.
Next, we’re heading away from the station to Hirosaka Street, where you’ll find the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.
【21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa】
The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa opened in 2004 in the center of Kanazawa, just a few steps from Kenrokuen Garden along Hirosaka Street, and it exhibits works by prominent contemporary artists from both Japan and all over the world.
Designed by SEJIMA Kazuyo + NISHIZAWA Ryue / SANAA, two internationally acclaimed architects, the museum features a unique circular building that houses the variously sized exhibition rooms. The museum is always busy with visitors, so we have come here early today to enjoy some solitude with the outdoor exhibitions and to walk along the curved glass of the exterior facade.
If the full tour of the museum leaves you feeling drained, why not look out for the row of SANAA “Rabbit” chairs inside, or the circle of SANAA “Drop” chairs outside, for a rest?
Web : http://www.kanazawa21.jp/en/
【Craft Hirosaka / Hirosaka Street】
Lined with various traditional craft shops and smart modern galleries in addition to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Hirosaka Street between Kenrokuen Garden and Korinbo is nicknamed “Art Street.” After browsing some specialty shops such as those specializing in kinpaku gold leaf, kutani ceramic, and lacquer ware, we will be stopping by a restaurant for lunch.
Don’t leave Hirosaka Street yet. Conveniently situated next to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Kanazawa Craft Hirosaka sells rare traditional handicrafts with modern tastes. Small items like feather accessories that mirror the techniques used to make Kaga fishing flies, or small pouches with delicate Kaga-nui embroidery, would make fine souvenirs. Maria, who is very good at using chopsticks, bought a pair of lacquer chopsticks.
Web : http://www.crafts-hirosaka.jp/index_e.html
【Kanazawa Noh Museum】
Kanazawa Noh Museum, next door to Kanazawa Craft Hirosaka, introduces the world of Noh and features a model of a Noh theater and the costumes, masks, and props used in performances. This form of Japanese theatrical art has been handed down through the generations and is today designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. There is a rich history of Noh in Kanazawa, and a school of Noh called Hosho-ryu (Kaga Hosho) developed in this city during the Edo period.
The museum is popular with foreign tourists, especially since you can try on a Noh costume and mask. Maria experienced this herself with the help of the staff.
“It’s awesome and beautiful,” said Maria, while taking a good look at the young woman mask. The staff explained to her that Noh performers believe the masks to have a certain power inherent in them. For that reason, you have to bow to a mask before putting it on.
Take some selfies and make a fun detour to the next destination. Head for Nakamura Memorial Museum first, then, from there, walk down the narrow slope full of lush greenery called “green path” to the D. T. Suzuki Museum.
Web : http://www.kanazawa-noh-museum.gr.jp
【D.T. Suzuki Museum】
Find more inspiration at the D. T. Suzuki Museum, which is a small museum commemorating the life and works of Suzuki Daisetz Teitaro (a native of Kanazawa, 1870–1966), who was a prominent Buddhist philosopher known as D. T. Suzuki and a key figure in spreading the Japanese Zen doctrine to the West.
Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Taniguchi Yoshio, the museum has landscaped gardens incorporating stone walls and streams set against a background of vivid greenery and is not simply an exhibition facility but also a place for self-reflection.
Wellington, who learned about the philosophy of D. T. Suzuki in the exhibition space, engaged in his own contemplation while walking the Exterior Corridor and also at the serene Water Mirror Garden.
Web : http://www.kanazawa-museum.jp/daisetz/index.html
Other Recommended Facilities
Narrow slope with lush greenery and sculpture called “art path” from Nakamura Memorial Museum to Ishikawa Pref. Museum.
【Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art】
Open : 9:30 am to 6 pm (The coffee shop is open until 7 pm)
Closed :Year-end and New Year holidays, Preparation periods of exhibit change
Admission fee : Standing exhibition; Adult : 360 yen; university student : 290 yen; person of high school age or below : Free
Address : 2-1 Dewa-machi
Tel : 076-231-7580
Web : http://www.ishibi.pref.ishikawa.jp/e_home/
【Shiinoki Cultural Complex (Select Shop GIO)】
Open : 10 am to 6 pm
Closed : Mondays, 12/29 to 1/3
Admission fee : Free
Address : 2-1-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa
Tel : 076-261-1114
Web : http://www.shopgio.jp
【Kanazawa Nakamura Memorial Museum】
Open : 9:30 am to 5 pm (Visitors must enter by 4:30 pm)
Closed : Exhibit changes from Dec. 29 to Jan. 3
Admission fee : Adult : 300 yen; group (20 persons min.) : 250 yen per person; person of 65 years old or over : 200 yen; person below high-school age : Free
Address : 3-2-29 Honda-machi
Tel : 076-221-0751
Web : http://www.kanazawa-museum.jp/nakamura/
【Kanazawa Light-up Bus】
Fare : 300 yen
Tel : Hokutetsu Bus 076-237-5115
Web : http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp/en
【Kanazawa machinaka sculpture】
Place : JR Kanazawa station East Gate area
Place : Kohrinbo area
Web : http://www4.city.kanazawa.lg.jp.e.rd.hp.transer.com/11001/choukoku/index.html
Art and Architecture Walk Map