If you enjoy shopping then you will find lots to explore in Kanazawa. The city has a great mix of major department stores selling top brand fashions, lively food and craft markets, and unique souvenir stores some of which are hundreds of years old.
All of Kanazawa’s major shopping spots are concentrated in five key areas: around Kanazawa Station, at the Musashigatsuji intersection, and in the Korinbo, Tatemachi, and Katamachi commercial districts. All of these areas are easily reachable by bus from the east exit bus terminal of Kanazawa Station.
Kanazawa Station Area
Shopping in Kanazawa starts and ends with Kanazawa Station. Inside the station itself the Hyakubangai shopping center has fashion boutiques galore, and a great souvenir and crafts market featuring Kanazawa’s best known traditional stores. Right outside the station’s east exit you can also find the Forus shopping mall which has four floors of fashion, a bookstore, a music store, and a cinema. Both of these shopping centers also have excellent dining sections and you can also find a lot of independent stores and restaurants in the streets around Kanazawa Station’s east exit. The nearby Porte skyscraper also has a limited number of fashion boutiques on its lower floors and a dining section in its basement.
Musashigatusji is a major intersection just over a kilometer from Kanazawa Station which has shopping opportunities an all sides.
On the south-east side you have Omicho Ichiba Market where you can buy fresh seafood, fruit and vegetables, sake, and confectionery. Directly across the street is the Meitetsu M’za department store which stocks fashion, housewares, and travel goods and also has a great souvenir and crafts section called Kuromon Koji.
On the north-east side of the intersection is the Hakomachi shopping center. Here you can find a good range of gift and souvenir shops, and sweet shops in particular selling some of Kanazawa’s best confectionery. There are also some restaurants on the 2nd floor, but they can’t really compete with the fresh seafood restaurants inside Omicho Ichiba.
Access: Musashigatsuji is a 5 minute bus ride or a 15 minute walk from Kanazawa Station. Here is a map of the location.
Popular Hotels near Kanazawa Station
Korinbo is the main street in Kanazawa’s central commercial and business district and has many major department stores and shopping malls. These include the Daiwa department store, the Korinbo Atrio shopping complex, and Tokyu Square Korinbo (formerly Korinbo 109). For the top international and domestic fashion brands head to Daiwa and Atrio. For more general goods and cheaper brands head to Tokyu Square.
Access: The Korinbo bus stop is right outside the Daiwa department store. This is also a useful stop for the Nagamachi samurai district and within walking distance of the Tatemachi and Katamachi shopping districts. Korinbo is a 10 minute bus ride from Kanazawa Station. Here is a map of the location.
Tatemachi is a shopping street not far from Korinbo which is lined with almost 200 shops and eateries. It is known as the Hokuriku region’s top fashion quarter and is particularly popular with young people, but you can find a great variety of styles here. As well as the Patio and Oval shopping malls, there are also many smaller independent fashion boutiques, cafes, bookstores, cosmetics and accessory stores, and hairdressers. In addition the street is lined with trees and is pedestrianized from noon to evening, so it is a very pleasant area for a stroll.
Access: Tatemachi is a 5 minute walk from the Korinbo bus stop. The weekend Machi-Bus will take you there directly from Kanazawa Station in just 15 minutes. Here is a map of the location.
A short walk south of Korinbo is Katamachi: a busy commercial district full of shops, restaurants, and hotels. This area really comes alive in the evenings as a neon-lit entertainment center with bars, pubs, clubs, and izakaya style restaurants providing plenty of nightlife. There a few shops selling fashion and other goods here though. Look out for the Katamachi Kirara shopping mall and Prego shopping arcade.
Access: Katamachi is a 12 minute bus ride from Kanazawa Station. Here is a map of the location.
How to Get There
The Left Loop Bus departs from bus stop #7 every 15 minutes and stops at Musashigatsuji, Korinbo and Katamachi. The Kenrokuen Shuttle departs from bus stop #6 every 20 minutes and stops at Musashigatsuji and Korinbo. Both of these buses cost a flat rate fee of 200 yen.
From Korinbo you can actually walk to Katamachi and Tatemachi in 5 minutes. However, on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays there is a special Machi-Bus service that stops at all the major shopping districts and it only costs 100 yen to ride. This Machi-Bus departs from bus stop #5 every 20 – 30 minutes.
Hyakubangai is the collective name for all the shopping and dining areas inside the Kanazawa Station building. There are three main areas: “Anto” on the south side of the station concourse, “Rinto” on the north side, and “Kutsurogikan” on the west side of the station. Together these three sections make for one Kanazawa’s best shopping malls with plenty of local specialty goods, fashion brands, and some of Kanazawa’s best eateries all concentrated in one area. Read more
Kanazawa Forus is a popular shopping mall which is located right outside the east exit of Kanazawa Station. The seven story building contains four floors of fashion, as well as a bookstore, a music store, a cinema, and a great dining section on the 6th floor. The dining section has branches of some popular local restaurants and is especially popular with travelers who are staying at nearby hotels. Read more
Omicho Ichiba is a lively covered food market where you will find 186 different stores, selling seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, and confectionery. There are also a number of grocery stores, clothing stores, flowers stalls, and restaurants. The market has a very cheerful atmosphere and is a great place to explore Kanazawa’s food and drink culture. Read more
Meitetsu M’za is a large department store in Kanazawa which sells a range of goods including fashion, cosmetics, houseware, children’s toys, travel goods and stationary. Of particular interest for tourists is the Kuromon Koji section on the 1st floor which sells a wide variety of local specialty foods and souvenir crafts. There is also a food market and restaurant section in the basement. Read more
Tokyu Square Korinbo is one of the major shopping malls in Kanazawa. Previously this building was called “Korinbo 109”, but it was renamed and re-branded as “Tokyu Square Korinbo” in 2016. Within the building you will find a branch of the Tokyu Hands lifestyle shop, a supermarket, clothing stores, cafes, restaurants, a book store and a cinema. Read more
Daiwa is a high-end department store in the Korinbo shopping district of Kanazawa.Although fashion is the major focus in Daiwa there are also traditional craft goods, a gourmet restaurant section, and a basement food hall which offers a mouth-watering array of fresh produce and local culinary delights. Read more
Atrio is a shopping complex in central Kanazawa with many luxury fashion brand boutiques. The building has 4 floors built around a large open central atrium with a variety of clothing stores on each level. Read more
Kutani-yaki is a traditional style of porcelain which is notable for its deep, vivid coloring and highly detailed and elaborate designs of flowers and birds. The Kaburaki Kutani Porcelain Shop & Museum in Kanazawa’s Nagamachi district holds a shop, a café, and a small exhibition area where you can view some fine antique pieces of this colorful local ceramic ware. Even if you aren’t tempted to buy some souvenirs here, it is an interesting place to explore while strolling through this historic area of old Kanazawa. Read more
Gold leaf production in Kanazawa dates back 400 years and today is one the city’s many flourishing traditional crafts with gold leaf decorated goods featuring heavily in the city’s souvenir stores. One of the most popular specialty gold leaf stores is Gold Leaf Sakuda. Read more
Prego is a small shopping arcade in the Katamachi commercial area of Kanazawa. There are just seven businesses in Prego which are built around an attractive open air courtyard. These include a café, a restaurant, and a variety of fashion boutiques. The style and the layout of the buildings around the courtyard creates a charming Mediterranean atmosphere and makes it an unusual but pleasant spot in which to shop, have a meal, or take a break. Read more
Kakinokibatake is an area of shopping streets that lies between the commercial district of Korinbo and the museum district of Hirosaka. There are a number of small independent shops and boutiques here, but mainly this area is known as a gourmet district with a large number of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Read more
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.