Kanazawa Japan Sports
The largest city in Matsuyama has one of the highest levels of taiko drums in the country and the second highest in Japan. The newly born city boasts the best taikos drums in the world from the internationally acclaimed AsanoTaiko group, as well as some of Japan's most famous musicians.
It also has a well-preserved legacy that escaped destruction during World War II and has Japan's largest gold leaf production. It is known to have some of the best visiting properties and also has one of the most famous restaurants in Japan and the world's best sushi restaurant chain.
Perhaps the most famous city in Ishikawa is Kanazawa, the capital, which boasts one of the best preserved samurai districts in Japan. The skills and arts that have remained have made it the site of some of Japan's most famous samurai temples and the world's largest gold leaf production.
The best beaches are on the islands of Izu and Ogasawara south of Tokyo, which is the furthest from the main islands of Honshu. The professionals head to the beaches of Shonan and Kamakura, which are ideal for perfecting your style and hanging out with trendy surfers. While Himeji is home to some of Japan's most famous beaches, such as the famous Kansai Beach, the port of Kobe offers a gentle, cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is home to the largest beach in the world and the country's most popular surf spot.
The nearby Kanazawa Castle served as the seat of the Maeda Samurai clan from 1583 until the end of the Edo period. To the west of it is a Maedas Museum in the form of a replica of its castle and a collection of historical artifacts.
Sumo became a spectator sport in the Edo period and reached its peak when Basso was broadcast on television. After the 2002 World Cup, which was jointly hosted by Japan and Korea, the sport has been a crowd puller in recent years. The 2019 showpiece has seen many international competitions in Japan, but there is no doubt that Japan is particularly exciting. There are many events in Kanazawa, some of which can be stunningly short, such as the Sumo World Championship and the Japan Cup.
The dojo holds courses most evenings, but there are also a number of dojos where you can stay if you have a recognized Japanese sponsor. This is one of the best places in the country to see and learn this ancient sport, and it is also the only place in Kanazawa where you can legally stay in a hotel without the need for a Japanese sponsor.
The training sessions are not open to the public, but you may be lucky enough to attend one of the local play-offs before the main tournament, which takes place in the summer at the Koshien Stadium in Osaka. Or you can win the All-Japan Championships in Tokyo in the autumn at Budokan.
Every city in Japan has its specialties, and Ishikawa is also particularly well known - known for its seafood and sake. The Omicho Market is a great place to try local food if you have experienced Tsukiji or just don't want to get up so early.
In March 2015, the Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened to connect Kanazawa and Toyama and the Joetsu Shinkansen. You can pick up the Tokaido shinkensansen in Tokyo and drive back to Tokyo in less than an hour, or you can change from Maibara to Kanzawa on the express train to quickly travel to the other side of the country. There are many restaurants and shops in the city, as well as a number of well-served restaurants on the train, and it is a great place to travel for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Alternatively, you can take the Hikari Shinkansen from Nagoya to Maibara and reach Fukui (50 minutes) to Kanazawa or Tokaido Shinkensansen (30 minutes).
Stroll through the beautifully preserved Edo-era city of Kenrokuen and consider it the last place on your tour, with Korakuen, Okayama, Kairakueni and Mito being the other two. With the exception of a few small shops and restaurants, it should be quiet and peaceful, as most visitors have disappeared.
In the surrounding region there are a number of still flourishing religious foundations, such as the revered Shinto shrines and the UNESCO World Heritage region of Kumano. The Tokyo-based International Adventurers Club (IAC) is a great opportunity to explore the landscape in the company of like-minded people. Suggested Kanazawa accommodations include Ryokan Hotel, Kyushu Hotel and Kairakueni Hostel. You can use this as a base for exploring the region or book a hotel in one of the nearby cities.