Sandpanther (sandpanther) wrote,

Random Japan Research - Kanazawa, Kanagawa, Nagoya

Not for me for a change. Or, rather, not immediately for me, since konzatsu will be heading into these areas in a few weeks, while I only have vague plans to spend time out that way at some future date.

Before digging into the research, a random note: Obon is celebrated in mid-August for most parts of the country. (Sendai and a couple of other regions celebrate it in July or something. But that's the exception, not the rule.) Lots of people take time off to go visit relatives during this period (frequently returning home to clean up family graves, etc), so hotels and trains book up. Plan on always making reservations on the trains during this time period, since odds are that you won't be able to get seats in the non-reserved cars, and make hotel reservations as far in advance as possible.

Starting with Ishikawa:

The Ishikawa Public Welfare Annuity Hall is located in Kanazawa City (map here -- the red x is the hall; train station is located in the upper left-hand corner; the big pink blob near the red x is Kenroku'en Garden, one of the most famous stroll gardens in Japan and probably the main tourist attraction for Kanazawa -- it's well marked, and lots of buses stop here.)

Transit stuff: I usually use Mapfan or Hyperdia for figuring out how to get from point A to point B in Japan. Mapfan is all in Japanese and requires kanji input. (You can copy and paste, rather than doing the direct kanji input, which is sometimes easier.) Hyperdia is in English and gives a better idea on timetables (i.e., the first train out is a x time, and you get to wait two hours for the transfer at point y.) The only real downside on Hyperdia is that you have to know exactly how they decided to spell a given train station name. Not too much of a problem for stuff like Tokyo, Kyoto or Kanazawa. But it's kind of a pain for some of the more off-beat stations with multiple variations on the name. ("Tama Center", for example, I have never figured out how Hyperdia spells it.)

Both links will give you approximate travel time, as well as cost. (The latter being more or less irrelevant if one has a Rail Pass and stays on JR lines.) Mapfan will tend to route you to the nearest airport, while Hyperdia gives you an option to turn that off (along with an option to turn off Shinkansen.)

Anyway, to get to Kanazawa... Planes from the US typically land late enough that getting from Osaka airport to Kanazawa on the same day is probably not practical, so it's likely that an overnight stay in either Osaka or Kyoto is going to be required. Your mileage may vary, depending on when your flight lands. Either way, there are direct trains from Kansai Airport to Osaka and Kyoto stations, and direct trains from either Osaka or Kyoto to Kanazawa. It will take about 2 1/2 hours from Osaka and 2 hours from Kyoto.

Places to stay:

Kanazawa Castle Hotel. Three minute walk from the JR station (and hence, the bus terminal -- all public transit in Kanazawa is bus), all Western style rooms. Prices range around $50 - $70/person/night. This appears to have multiple locations or wings to the hotel, all offering more or less the same accommodations for the same price.

There's a youth hostel located about 10 minutes away from Kenroku'en by bus for around $35/night/person (Probably requires a memership to a youth hostel organization, and I think you have to clear your stuff out during the day -- not positive on either of these details.)

Hotel Econo Kanazawa Katamachi. About $70/person/night, free internet in the room, free continental breakfast. About 12 minutes from the station by taxi (bus may be an option). Currently lists 9 rooms available with a 2 person occupancy. This appears to be a hotel chain, with a variety of them scattered throughout the city, all offering about the same accomodations for about the same price.

Murataya Ryokan 12 minute bus ride + 3 minute walk from Kanazawa station. About a 10 minute walk from Kenroku'en. A 2-person room is $90. All rooms Japanese style with public bath. Takes most major credit cards (including AmEx.)

That's about all I'm finding for lodgings in a quick search of Kanazawa. There are more hotels listed on JNTO, all more or less about the same as the ones listed here only a bit more expensive.

Tags: japan hotels, japan research, kanazawa

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