Kanazawa & the Hokuriku Coast
The Hokuriku (北陸) region stretches along the Sea of Japan coast, encompassing Fukui, Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures. The opening of the Hokuriku shinkansen (bullet-train) line in 2015 greatly improved access to the region, and tourism is booming.
Kanazawa, in Ishikawa-ken (石川県), is the biggest draw. It was once the power base of the feudal Maeda clan, and this legacy can still be seen in the city's traditional architecture, artisan workshops and famous garden. To the north, the Noto Peninsula has sweeping seascapes and quiet fishing villages.
West is little Fukui-ken (福井県), with one of the world's most influential Zen centres, some pretty towns and fascinating architectural ruins.
Toyama-ken (富山県), at the eastern end, is a culinary and architectural draw. Its bayfront capital city, Toyama, features seafood specialities renowned throughout Japan. Neighbouring Takaoka is home to awesome National Treasure Zuiryū-ji, a fusion of Buddhist architectural traditions.
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