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Feb 27, 2008 07:27 PM

Help with Kanazawa

Hello fellow chowhounds,

This board has been an incredible resource for my boyfriend and I as we plan our trip to Japan in May (no worries folks, we are avoiding Golden Week ;). We are going for two weeks to Tokyo, Kyoto, the Kiso Valley and Kanazawa. We have been been doing a great amount of reading and thanks to all the great reports on this blog we have managed to create a very solid list of food and restaurants to try in Tokyo and Kyoto. However, we haven't really found too many comments on Kanazawa. All the travel guides mention how beautiful it is and the freshness of the seafood and food, but we haven't read any recommendations of specific restaurants to try while we are there. So here are our questions:

1) Does anyone have any recommendations for restaurants in Kanazawa?
2) We have budgeted for one good kaiseki meal during our trip, would we be better off having our kaiseki dinner in Kyoto or Kanazawa?
3) Any Ryokan recommendations for a Ryokan in Kanazawa? We saw that there are some amazing places, like Gora Kadan, however, Gora Kadan is out of our budget (sniff, sniff, supersniff), and would be looking for a place where we can spend about $200 per person/night.

Many thanks in advance for any input we can get!

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  1. Gora Kadan of Hakone, you plan to go to Hakone for Onsen (hot spring) ?

    5 Replies
    1. re: skylineR33

      Hi Skyline, we originally considered it, but now we want to try to stay at a nice Ryokan in Kanazawa

      1. re: I_heart_ramen

        I am sorry that I can't be of very specific help in naming restaurants, but from what I can tell, Kanazawa would be a wee bit better for kaiseki. I have had kaiseki there and it blew me away. Kanazawa has one up over Kyoto city in the proximity of the ocean i.e. fresher fish. May isn't fantastic for sashimi but it's not as bad as August.

        Also, I believe that Kanazawa has a more affordable price for kaiseki. You kind of pay more simply because its "Kyoto" kaiseki. I live in Kyoto but I loved Kanazawa. It was beautiful and lacked the hordes of tourists.

        As a side note - I also recommend Tonryu soba for ramen in Kyoto, sort of near Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji). It whips the llama's arse.

        1. re: Klimbim78

          I'd heartily recommend Miyoshian in Kenrokuen Park. Here's a previous posting (about halfway down the page) with photos.

          1. re: Robb S

            Klimbim, Robb S. Thank you for the recommendations!!! We will start researching some good Kaiseki in Kanazawa. Miyoshian looks great, and since we are definitely going to Kenrokuen we will eat there. And thanks for the Ramen rec for Kyoto, any type of ramen we should try in particular?

            1. re: I_heart_ramen

              As some will tell you, when in Kyoto, ramen shouldn't be the focus. However, I think it depends all on your taste. Personally, while I enjoy tofu and buy it often, I don't believe yudofu is worth the kaiseki prices.

              Even when Japanese tourists come to Kyoto, they don't think they have GOT to eat Kyoto-style stuff. Maybe one meal would be a Kyoto-style thing and the rest will be just "normal" restaurants.

              So having said that - tonryu soba makes a lovely bowl to slurp. When in the shop they will give you a menu with pictures, so dont worry. I recommend their karaage fried chicken and shrimp gyoza (ebi gyoza).

              Kyoto station has a "ramen street" in one of the higher floors (8th? 9th?). It has the famous ramens from around Japan.

              A very popular one is Sumire, from Hokkaido. Personally it was far too oily for me. I have absolutely nothing against fat but this was a bit much in terms of mouthfeel and then keeping it safely in your tummy.