Kanazawa, the Japanese City Time Almost Forgot

March 19, 2015 7:54 PM

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Kanazawa, the Japanese City Time Almost Forgot

THE FIRST THING I NOTICED as I stepped off the train in Kanazawa was the hypermodernity of its railway station, which is covered by a glittering glass dome. The second thing I noticed was the utter absence of foreign visitors. This was a contrast from the few days I had just spent in Kyoto, which is one of my favorite Japanese cities but this time seemed to be overrun with Western tourists in rented kimonos mugging for the smartphones on the ends of their selfie-sticks.

Kanazawa, for the moment, anyway, is a refreshingly low-key affair. This 16th-century castle town of some 460,000 on Japan’s west coast has remained blissfully off the radar of most overseas travelers but has long been a favorite getaway for the Japanese, explaining why tickets for this month’s inau...

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