The Hokuriku Arch Pass is a 7 day unlimited ride pass from Tokyo to Osaka via the Hokuriku area (Nagano, Niigata, Toyama, Kanazawa and Fukui). It is available to people arriving for short term travel of up to 90 days and can be purchased outside Japan slightly more cheaply than after you arrive. It allows some travel in Tokyo, the Hokuriku shinkansen line as well as the JR lines from Kanazawa to Kyoto and Osaka. The pass will also get you discounts at attractions along the route. Check the website here for detailed information.
Spend time here exploring Takaoka and traditional bronze wares or the beautiful thatched roof houses of Gokayama. Alternatively, in season (late April to November) head for the Tateyama Alpine route to really experience the majestic Japan Alps. This route requires a different ticket, but the arch pass does provide a discount. Get more information and inspiration here.
Sometimes called ‘little Kyoto’, there is so much to do here. From the Omi-cho markets, to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art to the famous Kenrokuen garden. You’ll want more than a day to explore. For more ideas, check out 5 Things You Can’t Miss in Kanazawa.
Kanazawa Higashi Chaya by Andrea Schaffer, Flickr Creative Commons
Omi-cho Markets Daderot at the English language Wikipedia, Creative Commons
Myoryu-ji by Daa Nell, Flickr Creative Commons License
Zenko-ji by 633highland, Creative Commons
Other photos by the author or in the public domain