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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Top Foodie Travel Tips from Kanazawa, Japan

Japan … “I want lots of travel tips on Japan!” – “The food … You will die.” – “Kanazawa is one of the best foodie places in Japan!” – “Enjoy that sake. …” – “You are a lucky girl, Elena …!”

As I am waking up to my fifth day in the “country of the rising sun”, I am excited to think of all the encouraging feedback I have received from my readers, friends & followers as well as from people right here in Japan. “The world is truly interested in Japan”, I keep saying to my dear hosts in Kyoto & Kanazawa, “especially concerning local travel tips & Japanese food.”

It is about time, therefore, I publish a mouthwatering collection of foodie travel tips from Kanazawa, the place of Gold, Miso, Sake – and Creative Travel, that is.

Food first though. All the good things … have always happened when people gather for food & drinks. Even the Samurai, I learn, have dropped their swords swapping wartime for peace inside a Japanese Tea House. So where would you go upon arriving at Kanazawa Main Station, hungry after a two-hour train ride from Kyoto? “You can have lunch right where you are staying, at the Nikko Hotel Kanazawa. They have a great Sushi restaurant for lunch, and you will love their breakfast, too.” Word by my dear host Kentaro, of Kanazawa Creative Tourism Group here in Japan. Once again it is proven: You can never go wrong listening to the local people.!

Listening over reading, certainly: Being handed the bar menu can prove a bit tricky here in Japan …!

Listening over reading, certainly: Being handed the bar menu can prove a bit tricky here in Japan …!

 

But there is always a helping word or gesture for us innocent-looking foreigners: Love the sweet politeness of virtually each and every Japanese I meet here in Kanazawa!

But there is always a helping word or gesture for us innocent-looking foreigners: Love the sweet politeness of virtually each and every Japanese I meet here in Kanazawa!

 

The Nikko Hotel Sushi restaurant is a true delight, dishing up a tasteful sushi menu …

The Nikko Hotel Sushi restaurant is a true delight, dishing up a tasteful sushi menu …

 

… freshly prepared and shown to me over each sushi fish being served …

… freshly prepared and shown to me over each sushi fish being served …

 

… while I watch the master chef working his magic …

… while I watch the master chef working his magic …

 

… and serving me what is perhaps the best sushi I have eaten fresh so far !!

… and serving me what is perhaps the best sushi I have eaten fresh so far !!

 

Bon appetite – Enjoy your meal!

Bon appetit – Enjoy your meal!

 

The Nikko Hotel truly knows its way around food: Staying here means staying in style …

The Nikko Hotel truly knows its way around food: Staying here means staying in style …

 

… serving me this wonderful Japanese breakfast the day after, complete with Miso soup, fresh seafood, fish, rice & other spicy vegetables and sauces. I swear, I have NEVER had such kind of breakfast before – thank God I’m the “most adventurous foodie traveller in the whole family” and honestly able to enjoy this!

… serving me this wonderful Japanese breakfast the day after, complete with Miso soup, fresh seafood, fish, rice & other spicy vegetables and sauces. I swear, I have NEVER had such kind of breakfast before – thank God I’m the “most adventurous foodie traveller in the whole family” and honestly able to enjoy this!

 

Breakfast in Japan, however, can also be “sweet & simple”: Here I am in Kanazawa’s peaceful old town district, at a place called Moon.Sky.Heart, enjoying a secret rice dumpling unveiling a sweet strawberry fruit inside … delicious – OGISHI, I learn to say in Japanese!

Breakfast in Japan, however, can also be “sweet & simple”: Here I am in Kanazawa’s peaceful old town district, at a place called Moon.Sky.Heart, enjoying a secret rice dumpling unveiling a sweet strawberry fruit inside … delicious – OGISHI, I learn to say in Japanese!

 

I just love Japanese food, as you will have gathered by now. Easily could live with having this type of lunch box each and every day: Flavoursome, healthy, diverse – YUM!

I just love Japanese food, as you will have gathered by now. Easily could live with having this type of lunch box each and every day: Flavoursome, healthy, diverse – YUM!

 

And, for all needs and to complete the food stories on Japan, there has to be a picture of a “real Japanese toilet”, complete with beautifully heated toilet seats, “flush & brush” options, sometimes deodorant, music & more … LOVE it !!!

And, for all needs and to complete the food stories on Japan, there has to be a picture of a “real Japanese toilet”, complete with beautifully heated toilet seats, “flush & brush” options, sometimes deodorant, music & more … LOVE it !!!

 

One of the best places to explore the local food scene of any destination or city is meandering your way through the local food market. Not far from the main station, “Omi-Cho” Market is a true foodlover’s paradise!

Sometimes, the best way to explore a new city is to “get lost” … In keeping with the way back to the place where you have come from, of course. There is, however, something delightful in taking a sneak preview on local city life when you have only just arrived. Omi-Cho Market, I discover, sits at the top of the main street running all the way up from Kanazawa Station. Quick and easy to find, I recommend you to go there, as it is also the starting point for exploring the more quieter, historical part of town beyond.

Arriving at Kanazawa Station, I learn that it has only been built about ten years ago as part of the city’s “rejuvenation” programme to become a UNESCO Creative City, embracing both tradition and modernity.

Arriving at Kanazawa Station, I learn that it has only been built about ten years ago as part of the city’s “rejuvenation” programme to become a UNESCO Creative City, embracing both tradition and modernity.

 

Love the fact of “getting lost in order to find yourself”: Always on the lookout for new, creative and/or foodie things in town!

Love the fact of “getting lost in order to find yourself”: Always on the lookout for new, creative and/or foodie things in town!

 

On my way to the market, I am fascinated by the neat presentation of fruit & vegetables at this local Kanazawa supermarket.

On my way to the market, I am fascinated by the neat presentation of fruit & vegetables at this local Kanazawa supermarket.

 

Omi-Cho Market …

Omi-Cho Market …

 

… is alive with the same vendor-buyer scenes that you would see around the world – the only difference being the kind of food presented, I guess.

… is alive with the same vendor-buyer scenes that you would see around the world – the only difference being the kind of food presented, I guess.

 

Beyond the market is Kanazawa’s historic town centre, where thanks to Prof. Masao Mizuno’s guidance and contacts, I meet wonderful “Miso Lady” Atsumi …

Beyond the market is Kanazawa’s historic town centre, where thanks to Prof. Masao Mizuno’s guidance and contacts, I meet wonderful “Miso Lady” Atsumi …

 

… who in perfect English runs me through the rather technical process of producing one of Japan’s most popular food items …

… who in perfect English runs me through the rather technical process of producing one of Japan’s most popular food items …

 

… starting with rice as a base that is steamed, then dried, to produce a mould and become what is known as “Koshi” (those racks faintly looking like little rice terraces themselves) …

… starting with rice as a base that is steamed, then dried, to produce a mould and become what is known as “Koshi” (those racks faintly looking like little rice terraces themselves) …

 

… next time, I must make sure to get myself a complete tour & tasting of Takagi Miso Factory here in Kanazawa: Thank you so much, dear Atsumi, for this beautiful behind-the-scenes look around your workshop!

… next time, I must make sure to get myself a complete tour & tasting of Takagi Miso Factory here in Kanazawa: Thank you so much, dear Atsumi, for this beautiful behind-the-scenes look around your workshop!

 

Kanazawa, the place of Sake … “You are a lucky girl, Elena. This is a very good Sake, and fresh, as it is the season for it. Let’s have a toast – Kampai, as we say here in Japan!”

Celebrating the good times, each and every day, means I get to enjoy “the best Sake currently available”, Prof. Masao Mizuno of the Kanazawa Creative Tourism group tells me with a wink. Him & Kentaro are my wonderful hosts here in the UNESCO Creative City of Kanazawa, and my oracle for all things food, culture & travel tips around the local city centre. On the occasion of us meeting, Prof. Masao Mizuno has gathered a bottle of milky-looking, fresh sake from Omi-Cho Kanazawa market for us to enjoy. As I show the picture of the bottle to different people in Kyoto & Kanazawa, I always get the same appreciative looks: “Good choice! Lucky you!” I smile helplessly, but happily: In the absence of understanding what the beautiful-looking Japanese characters on the actual Sake bottle mean, I am left with nothing but the pure pleasure of enjoyment. Sake is Japanese rice wine and has about the same percentage of alcohol as Port wine. I LIKE!

Sake may be enjoyed across town in Kanazawa …

Sake may be enjoyed across town in Kanazawa …

 

… and is equally popular with the locals as well as with visitors alike!

… and is equally popular with the locals as well as with visitors alike!

 

My first sake tasting …

My first sake tasting …

 

… is not the last, certainly: Kampai – Cheers to a wonderful meeting over creative culture & food travel here in the city of Kanazawa, Japan!

… is not the last, certainly: Kampai – Cheers to a wonderful meeting over creative culture & food travel here in the city of Kanazawa, Japan!

 

No drinks without food certainly, as I join my local hosts at an evening event of their local Art Gumm Art Gallery here in Kanazawa …

No drinks without food certainly, as I join my local hosts at an evening event of their local Art Gumm Art Gallery here in Kanazawa …

 

… an event that has #Winelover me meet even more sweet Japanese people: While dear Kentaro is checking out the food in the back, I toast with this lovely lady – Cheers to foodlover travel stories from Japan !!!

… an event that has #Winelover me meet even more sweet Japanese people: While dear Kentaro is checking out the food in the back, I toast with this lovely lady – Cheers to foodlover travel stories from Japan !!!

 

For the complete (big) picture of all things foodie & creative travel in Kanazawa City, enjoy a peaceful “Zen” moment of watching my Flickr Photo Gallery embedded here:

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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8 Comments

  1. Monika @ TravelWorldOnline Traveller

    Die Lunchbox und die Erdbeeren haben es mir angetan, Elli. Aber was gibt es denn da zum Frühstück. Ist das Fisch? Und was noch?

    Reply
    • Elena

      Liebe Monika,

      Ganz genau, zum Frühstück gibt es in Japan überraschend oft Fisch, Miso-Suppe, Reis, Gemüse, … eigentlich das, was wir eher zum Mittag- und Abendessen erwarten. Geschmeckt hat’s auf jeden Fall vorzüglich !!! 😀

      Reply
  2. All Graduates | Japanese Translation Service

    This is a great foodie experience in Japan. Being able to eat one of the best prepared sushi dishes is a treat that you will always be looking for every time you eat Japanese food. The local food market also has so many choices that will make you go dizzy unless you have a battle plan for your shopping! Thanks for sharing your food experience in Japan, it’s going to be something that visitors of the county will look forward to.

    Reply
    • Elena

      This is exactly what I felt – happily overwhelmed at the local food markets of Japan 😀

      Food experiences, I believe, bring together people from all walk of life & cultures: It is something essentially human. Have a look at my travel publishing called “Food Tours Worldwide” for more information & inspiration, too: http://www.creativelena.com/en/tag/food-tours-worldwide/

      Best wishes & thanks for swinging by!

      Reply
  3. Margaret van Gaans

    Did you visit and eat at the 16 generation restaurant, called Asadaya Restaurant in Kanazawa? I will be going to Japan next week and would like to go there. Thank you for your reply.

    Reply
    • Elena

      Dear Margaret,

      Unfortunately I haven’t – yet !!! But I would love your opinion on going there next week: Please do tell me and share your valuable insights on your foodie experience in Kanazawa here!

      Looking forward to hearing from you,

      Elena 🙂

      Reply
  4. Charmayne

    Hi Elena

    Could you help share the address of the Takagi miso factory please?

    Reply
    • Elena

      Dear Charmayne,

      I suggest you do a Google search yourself, as I am no longer familiar with the exact location, nor contact person I am afraid .. However, if you wish, I could facilitate you the contact details of Kanazawa Creative Tourism, who helped me organise my stay.

      Hopefully, I can be helpful in this way.

      Cheers,

      Elena!

      Reply

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