Kanazawa is pretty great when it comes to transportation and sightseeing discount passes. The passes are designed for visitors to hit up some of the city’s many (many) museums—with options for both major attractions and the more obscure ones, helping out those on short or extended stays.

Not content with showcasing Kanazawa alone, Ishikawa Prefecture also has some brilliant passes for exploring nearby towns, which make day trips all the more tempting.

Jump ahead to:

1. Kenrokuen +1

The simplest but probably the most popular pass, the Kenrokuen +1 Pass offers entry to Kanazawa’s famous landscape garden plus one other ‘top’ location. This is perfect whether you’re in town for a day or a week as these locations aren’t included on any other pass.

Not into the museum options listed below? We recommend visiting the castle as your “plus one” for its city views and an insight into the fascinating restoration process for historical buildings—more interesting than it might sound!

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Locations included

  • Kanazawa Castle (Hishi-Yagura, Gojikken Nagaya and Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura)
  • Ishikawa Modern Literature Museum
  • Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts of Ishikawa
  • Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art
  • Kaga Honda Museum
  • Ishikawa Prefectural History Museum
  • Price

  • The pass costs ¥500 for adults and ¥400 for adults in groups of over 30 people.
  • Validity and where to buy

  • The pass is valid for two days and can be purchased at any of the above-mentioned attractions.
  • 2. Kanazawa City Cultural Facilities Passport

    Great for museum lovers or those on a longer stay, the Kanazawa City Cultural Facilities Passport is an extensive pass with fantastic value. Offering entry into 15 locations in the city and two in the lovely nearby village of Yuwaku, it makes for a packed itinerary and a very healthy budget. As an added bonus, if you visit enough of the museums, you can collect stamps and exchange them for small gifts—there are a few nicely designed folders in it for the dedicated visitors!

    The passport is available for one day, three days or as an annual pass, so you can certainly fit in all the museum offerings depending on your schedule. Since there are quite a few to choose from, our top picks are the Yasue Gold Museum, the Noh Museum, Mr. Kurando Terashima’s House and the unusual D.T Suzuki museum—but the others listed below have plenty to draw you in too! You’ll be given a map and leaflet in English to help you find them all, but be sure to keep hold of your paper ticket—it’s difficult to replace lost ones.

    Locations included

  • Kanazawa Phonograph Museum
  • Izumi Kyoka Kinenkan Museum
  • D.T Suzuki Museum
  • Maeda Tosanomaki-ke Shiryokan Museum
  • Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum
  • Muro Saisei Kinenkan Museum
  • Mr. Kurando Terashima’s House
  • Kanazawa Folklore Museum
  • Kanazawa Utatsuyama Kogei Kobo
  • Tokuda Shusei Kinenkan Museum
  • Kanazawa Literary Hall
  • Kanazawa Shinise Memorial Hall
  • Kanazawa Nakamura Memorial Museum
  • Great People of Kanazawa Museum
  • Kanazawa Noh Museum
  • Kanazawa Yuwaku Edomura
  • Kanazawa Yuwaku Yumeiji-kan Museum
  • Additional discounts

    At the following locations, the pass grants you a discount equivalent to entering at the group discount price: the Kaga Honda Museum, the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History, the Permanent Exhibition at the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts, and the Fourth High School Memorial Museum of Cultural Exchange, Ishikawa.

    Price

  • 1-Day Passport: ¥510
  • 3-Day Passport: ¥820
  • Annual Passport:¥2,050
  • Validity and where to buy

  • The passes are valid for one, three or 365 days and can be bought at any of the above-mentioned locations.
  • 3. One Day City Bus Pass

    Ideal if you don’t fancy the city bike scheme to get around, this is a flat-rate day pass and gets you traveliung to all of the city’s sights on two sightseeing options as well as local Hokutetsu lines. The most useful option is the Kanazawa Loop Bus, which loops in both “left” and “right” directions and runs between the station and sights every 15 minutes. The Kenrokuen Shuttle Bus goes from the station to the gardens as well as a few other spots including the 21st Century Art Museum, Oyama Jinja Shrine and Omicho Market. You’re unlikely to need local buses, but if you do, they’re included too!



    Services included

  • The Kanazawa Loop Bus (both left and right loops)
  • The Kenrokuen Shuttle Bus
  • Local Hokutetsu bus lines
  • Price

  • The pass costs ¥500 for adults and ¥250 for children.
  • Validity and where to buy

  • The pass lasts for a single day as indicated by the date scratched off on the pass.
  • It can be purchased at the Hokutetsu Ticket Office, at some city hotels (ask the staff where you’re staying) and on the Loop Bus. It cannot be purchased on the Kenrokuen Shuttle or on local buses.
  • 4. Wajima Onsenkyo Pass

    Wajima is a fantastic town up in the Noto Peninsula, famous for its morning markets and beautiful rice fields. Making a pleasant day trip destination from Kanazawa, it’s only accessible by bus. This pass offers access to the main sights as well as a bus pass and a tea service for visitors. Even if you’re only planning on visiting the main museums (the Kiriko Lantern Museum and the Wajima Museum of Urushi Art), you’ll save a few hundred yen on entry.

    Locations included

  • Kiriko Lantern Museum
  • Ishikawa Wajima Museum of Urushi Art
  • Wajima Lacquerware Museum
  • Inachu Art Museum (currently closed)
  • Noranke community bus
  • Tea service for visitors
  • Price

  • The pass costs ¥1,000 for adults and ¥500 for children.
  • Validity and where to buy

  • The pass can be purchased from the Tourism Office inside the old train station as well as hotels in the town including the Wajima Onsen Yashio and Hotel Koshuen.
  • 5. The CAN Bus Blue Passport

    A ridiculously good value pass, the CAN Blue Passport combines the hop-on/hop-off bus routes along with free entry passes to sights along the way. You can find helpful guides along all three bus routes (Mountain, Sea and Komatsu Airport)—they help you organize your itinerary, have multi-lingual leaflets and are generally really friendly.

    The area is formed of four onsen towns (Awazu Onsen, Yamashiro Onsen, Yamanaka Onsen and Katayamazu Onsen) as well as the famous Natadera Temple.

    While you can purchase the CAN Bus Pass alone, we recommend the combined option called the Blue Passport, as this includes entry to three facilities along with bus use. You can use your vouchers at three of 23 different attractions, including the famous hot spring of each town, the Kutanayaki Art Museum, the Kaga City Art Museum and the Hanicraft Village Yunokuni no Mori.

    Included routes and location options

  • Unlimited use of the Mountain, Sea and Komatsu Airport lines
  • Katayamazu Onsen Soyu (public bath)
  • Yamashiro Onsen Soyu (public bath)
  • Kaga Yumenoyu
  • Bessho Onsen
  • Yamanaka Onsen Yuyukan
  • Yamashiro Kosoyu
  • Yamanaka Onsen Kikunoyu (Public Bath)
  • Iroha Soan
  • Kutaniyaki Art Museum
  • Kaga City Art Museum
  • Kutani Porcelain Kiln Remains
  • Kataoka Tsurutaro Art and Craft Gallery
  • Mugen-An
  • Basho no Yakata
  • Zorokuen
  • Jisshoin Temple
  • Zenshoji Temple
  • Kitamaebune Ship Museum
  • Fukata Kyuya Memorial Museum
  • Kamoike Observation Center
  • Yunokuni no Mori Traditional Handicrafts Village
  • Motorcar Museum of Japan
  • Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice
  • Price

  • A two-day Blue Passport costs ¥1,500
  • A one-day bus-only pass is available for ¥1,100 for adults and a two-day version is available for ¥1,300. Children’s tickets are half price. You can exchange a one-day pass for a two-day one at the Can Office or on buses by paying the difference.
  • A two-day entrance-only ticket (called a Red Passport) is available for ¥800 and includes entry to three of the 23 listed locations.
  • Validity and where to buy

  • Blue and Red Passports are available for two days while bus-only passes can be one or two days.
  • Blue and Red Passports can be purchased at the special CAN Bus office at the exit of JR Kaga Onsen Station, Yamashiro Onsen Public Bath, Kutaniyaki Art Museum, Kitamaebune Ship Museum and some hotels in the Kaga Region.
  • The bus-only pass can be purchased at the Can Bus Office and the Kaga Tabi Machi Net Office at Kaga Onsen Station, hotels in the Kaga area, Natadera Temple, Yunokuni no Mori, the Motorcar Museum, Yamashiro Onsen public bath and Yamanaka Onsen public bath.
  • 6. Kaga City Museum Passport

    Rosanjin Iroha Garden
    Rosanjin’s Hut “Iroha | Photo by Lily Crossley-Baxter

    A three-day or annual passport offering entry to the best of the city’s museums, Kaga City Museum Passport is perfect if you’re looking at a rained-out schedule (or you just really like museums). If you’re not traveling on the CAN Bus Pass, keep this in mind as it combines the most popular sites of Kaga city proper (and some in its satellite onsen towns).

    Locations included

  • Rosanjin’s Hut ‘Iroha’
  • Kutaniyaki Art Museum
  • Museum of Basho
  • Kaga Art Gallery
  • Kamoike Bird Watching Observatory
  • Kitamaebune Ship Museum
  • Kutaniyaki Kama-ato Exhibition Hall
  • Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice
  • Fukada Kyuya Yama-no-Bunkakan Center
  • Price

  • A three-day pass is available for ¥1,000 and an annual version is ¥2,000
  • Validity and where to buy

  • The pass is valid for either three or 365 days and is available at any of the above listed locations.
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