Ishikawa prefecture is located on the Sea of Japan side and is one of the three Hokuriku prefectures along with Toyama and Fukui. The capital city of Kanazawa flourished as the castle town of Kaga feudal fief that enjoyed the splendor of kaga hiyakumangoku (one million koku domain of Kaga). The city of Kanagawa has a population of 460,000 people, the largest
in Hokuriku and thrives as the economic center of Hokuriku region. Noto Peninsula that protrudes into the Sea of Japan is known for its fishing industry and is also popular as a hot springs spot among tourists. There are other famous tourist sites in Kanazawa such as the Kenroku-en garden, Kanazawa Castle Park, and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. In Noto area, the morning market of Wajima in the city of Wajima, Wakura hot springs in the city of Nanao, and Keta Taisha shrine in the city of Hakui are well-known. Kaga region is famous for having many hot springs, and there are the Yamashiro hot springs, Yamanaka hot springs, and Katayamazu hot springs. Culturally, since the Maeda clan of the Kaga feudal fief encouraged learning and literary arts, a variety of traditional culture has developed and is transmitted today. Representative traditional cultural items of Kaga includes kaga yuzen and kutani-yaki porcelain that are characterized by their unique technique and use of color, art-crafts like Wajima lacquer ware that uses gold foil, and traditional Japanese confectionaries. In Kanazawa, there is a custom of giving traditional Japanese confectionery called goshiki namagashi (five colored fresh sweets) at celebrations such as weddings. Each of the five sweet buns represents nature, namely, the sun, moon, oceans, mountains, and villages. This tradition is still alive in Kanazawa. For example, in order to celebrate New Year’s day, a confectionary called fukuume (auspicious plume), which is a monaka (sweet bean-filled wafer) made in the shape of a plum blossom, the family crest of the Maeda clan, is essential, and on July 1st, people eat himuro manju (sweet bean-filled buns). Jibuni (slow cooked chicken) and kaburazushi made with fermented turnip and yellowtail are Ishikawa prefecture’s local specialty. Also, female snow crab is called “Kobako crab” and is very popular not only among the locals but also among tourists.
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The origin of Kanazawa castle dates back to the 15th year of Tenmon (1546) when Honganji temple built Kanazawa-mido monastery here. Later, with the or...
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