Zuiryū-ji

Top choice in Kanazawa & the Hokuriku Coast

One of Japan's National Treasures, the temple of the second generation of feudal lord Maeda Toshinaga's family is rightly famous for its manicured lawns, steep roofs, and all-round aesthetic that marries Indian and Japanese architectural styles. If you come just before 9am, there's every chance you'll have the place to yourself, with the exception of the temple deshi (apprentice), who'll be raking stones and opening shōji (sliding rice-paper-screen doors) before the day's visitors arrive.