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Kanazawa Feature


Kanazawa Feature


Australia | Professor

Helen is an Australian associate professor of English at Kanazawa Seiryo University Women’s Junior College. She has lived in Japan for over 20 years. She moved from Kyoto to Kanazawa two years ago, but she has adapted quickly to Ishikawa and enjoys exploring the sights and food scene of her new home.

Why did you come to Ishikawa?

I first came to Japan on a one-year exchange. After graduating from university, I moved to the country to live with my husband. We lived in Kyoto for about 20 years before moving to Kanazawa two years ago.

What are some similarities between Kanazawa and Kyoto?

I found that in a lot of ways Kanazawa is almost like a small Kyoto. People may think that Kanazawa is in the countryside, but it’s very much a thriving, modern city.

The well-preserved streets of the Higashi-Chaya district are especially similar to areas in Kyoto. The main difference is that there are fewer people! Then there’s the preservation of traditional arts, geisha culture, and history.

How does Kanazawa compare to what you imagined before coming here?

It’s better than I imagined! There’s a lot of information online in English which portrays Kanazawa very well, so I had a look before coming here, but I think it was even better than I expected. The food culture, especially, is great. The seafood is often far higher quality for much less money than in Kyoto.

What are some pleasant surprises you’ve had since coming here?

Definitely the food—especially the seafood. The vegetables here are also nice and fresh. I’ve noticed that there are fewer tourists, especially outside of Kanazawa. The people are very friendly, too!

Are there any hidden Ishikawa gems that you recommend?

The Ono area is very nice. There is an interesting soy sauce factory and a restaurant that specializes in fermented foods. The area is pleasant to walk around since it’s right by the sea. Another recommendation is Uchinada Beach, which is close to Ono.

What would you say is Ishikawa’s main draw?

Ishikawa really caters to different people’s needs. If you’re more of a city person, you’ve got Kanazawa and its food, shopping, and culture. If you want to go skiing or to go to the beach, Ishikawa has that, too. It ticks all the boxes!