While the sights in Kanazawa (金沢) are the highlights, its food doesn’t play second fiddle. Often referred to as Little Kyoto, this capital of Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan’s central Honshu Island borders the Sea of Japan and is where seafood reigns supreme. If you are arriving early by the Hokuriku Shinkansen — about two and a half hours ride from Tokyo — there’s no better spot to savour its ocean delicacies than at the tiny Maimon Sushi in the Instagrammable Kanazawa Station. The assorted sushi is tasty and fresh, the star being the gently torched “Nodoguro”, a fatty Blackthroat SeaPerch coveted by the locals. The set lunch is excellent value at JPY2,500.
Some of the selections at Maimon Sushi
Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss Omicho Market (近江町市場), Kanazawa's largest fresh food market since the Edo period. It still remains a bustling market with a plethora of covered shop-lined alleys where you can buy or sample local seafood and produce such as freshly shucked Sea Urchin and Rock Oysters.
Left: Sea Urchin; Right: Rock Oysters
We were lucky to snare a seat at Ikikitei, a tiny sushi and sashimi joint crammed with just 10 counter seats, specialising in Seafood “Kaisen” Don. The Uni (from Hokkaido) Ikura Don and the Assorted Seafood Rice Bowl are fresh and delicious. We like that the amount of rice and condiments topping are customised individually to avoid wastage. The restaurant filled up shortly after we were seated, so best to come early — it opens at 7AM!