5 Cheapo Ideas for a Rainy Day in Kanazawa

Greg Lane

So you got to Kanazawa and it’s raining? You should have seen that one coming—this is one of the wettest spots in Japan, with an average 193 days of rain each year. While Kenrokuen and Kanazawa Castle Park can be a little desolate when it’s raining, there are a huge number of museums and other spots for some indoor fun. The city is compact too, so if you feel really miserable trudging around in wet socks or if you’re in a group, you can always jump in a taxi and get almost anywhere for ¥1,000 or less. Here are some ideas for what to do on a rainy day in Kanazawa.

1. D.T. Suzuki Museum

Photo by Gregory Lane

A monument to Daisetsu Suzuki—the man credited with popularizing Zen meditation in the west—the museum is a beautifully contemplative space. The iconic centerpiece room surrounded by a still pond is a great place to relax, clear your mind, and listen to the pitter-patter of the rain.

 D.T. Suzuki Museum

Japanese script:鈴木大拙館
Address:3-4-20 Honda-machi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Phone:076-221-8011076-221-8011
Hours:9:30am to 5pm, Closed on Mondays

2. The Ninja Temple (Ninjadera)

This temple has some simple gardens surrounding the main building, but all the interesting bits are on the inside. To visit, you need to book a tour in advance—tours run every hour on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends and holidays, and each tour takes about 40 minutes.

 Ninja Temple (Myoryo-ji)

Japanese script:妙立寺(忍者寺)
Address:1-2-12 Nomachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Phone:076-241-0888076-241-0888
Hours:9am to 4:30pm

3. 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

rainy day in Kanazawa
Photo by Gregory Lane

Designed by the celebrated architectural firm of SANAA, the circular 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is regarded as one of the top museums in Japan.

A combined Shinkansen (bullet train) and hotel package from Tokyo to the historic town of Kanazawa. click here for details
 Suggested Activity 

The museum has extensive permanent and temporary exhibitions, so you could easily while away a few rainy hours here.

 21st Century of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Japanese script:金沢21世紀美術館
Address:1-2-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa
Phone:076-220-2800076-220-2800

4. Omicho Market

Omicho Market is a sprawling affair covering a whole city block—and it’s all under cover. It’s a working market, but the stall holders will sell to tourists, and you can have one of those colorful language-barrier type conversations in which you both use gestures and body language that the other side doesn’t have a clue about. A trip to Omicho Market is best combined with a meal at one of the many sushi restaurants within the market.

 Omicho Market

Japanese script:近江町市場
Address:50 Kamiomicho, Kanazawa, Ishikawa-ken

5. Drink green tea at the Nakamura Memorial Museum

Located not far from the D.T. Suzuki Museum and in the Hondamachi neighborhood of Kanazawa, the Nakamura Memorial Museum has an interesting collection of tea-ceremony-related items mixed with modern art.

The rainy day bonus is cradling a beautiful vessel filled with steaming matcha while looking out over the rain-soaked garden.

 Nakamura Memorial Museum

Japanese script:中村記念美術館
Address:3 Chome−2−29 Hondamachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa-ken
Phone:076-221-0751076-221-0751
Hours:9:30am to 5pm
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