|Kanazawa is the prefectural
capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and located
in the central part of the mainland of Japan.
The southeast of the city area faces the mountains
and the northwest area faces the Sea of Japan.
The city area is located between the Saigawa
River and the Asano River. Kanazawa Castle
Park and Kenrokuen Garden (one of the three
greatest gardens in Japan) are located in
the center of the city area, and shopping
quarters (Korinbo, Kata-machi, Musashi, and
Kanazawa Station) surround them.
Kanazawa has a population of 458,000 (as
of January 2010), and is the center of the
economy and culture of the Hokuriku area
(Toyama Prefecture, Ishikawa Prefecture,
and Fukui Prefecture). The shopping quarters in the
city are crowded with shoppers from various
parts of Hokuriku on holidays.
Moreover, Kanazawa is a leading tourist
city where 7 million tourists visit every
year. It was a great castle town ruled by
an influential leader from the 17th century
to the second half of the 19th century.
Kanazawa has not suffered from any war devastation
or big natural disaster. Therefore,
Kanazawa maintains rows of historical houses
and inherits traditional handicrafts and
traditional performing arts.
The Hokuriku Shinkansen (a high-speed railway
line) from Tokyo to Kanazawa will come in
operation in 2014, and the further economic
development of Kanazawa is expected along
with an increase in the number of sightseers.
The climate of Kanazawa is almost as mild
as that of Tokyo or Osaka. There are not
many days with temperatures below the freezing
point between December and February. However,
there are few fine weather days, and the
snow often piles up.