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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kanazawa & the Hokuriku Coast attractions

1. Takaoka Great Buddha

0.78 MILES

Construction of this great bronze Buddha statue began in 1907 and was completed in 1933. The statue was moved to its present location in 1981 after the…

2. Risaburō Foundry

1.05 MILES

This factory has been producing traditional Takaoka bronzeware since the Meiji era and allows visitors a rare and fascinating glimpse of the casting…

3. Kojō Park

1.08 MILES

This big park is the site of the old Takaoka castle (kojō means – you guessed it – 'old castle'), demolished in 1615 after being in use only six years…

4. Himi Shōwa Museum

6.29 MILES

This fabulous little museum is a good reason to pass through Himi. It showcases all manner of memorabilia from the Shōwa period (1926–89), encompassing…

5. Toyama Municipal Folkcraft Village

10.07 MILES

Here you'll find folk art, ceramics, sumi-e (ink brush paintings) and more in a cluster of hillside buildings. Toyama's free Museum Bus (10 minutes,…

6. Chōkei-ji

10.1 MILES

This hilltop temple has a wonderful outlook, but you've come to see the 500-plus stone statues of rakan (Buddha's disciples) lined up in the forest. It's…

7. Kansui Park

11.36 MILES

This immaculately maintained park built on reclaimed land around Toyama's canal and lock system is a wonderful place for a stroll or picnic. It's a…

8. Kita-ke

15.52 MILES

During the Edo period the Kita family administered over 200 villages from Kita-ke, the pivotal crossroads of the Kaga, Etchū and Noto fiefs. Inside this…