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Other museums

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Should you hunger for further cultural enrichment, Kanazawa has many more museums, several of which are clustered around Kenroku-en. The best is the informative Ishikawa Prefectural Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts, or Ishikawa-kenritsu Dentō-Sangyō Kōgeikan (石川県立伝統産業工芸館), displaying prime contemporary examples of Kanazawa’s rich artistic heritage, including lacquerware, dyed silk, pottery, musical instruments and fireworks. None of the articles is for sale but all have a price tag, so if you take a fancy to one of the gold leaf and lacquer Buddhist family altars, for example, you’ll know that it costs ¥4.5 million.

The Ishikawa Prefectural History Museum, or Ishikawa-kenritsu Rekishi Hakubutsukan (石川県立歴史博物館), housed in striking red-brick army barracks buildings dating from 1910, has displays including a detailed miniature reconstruction of a samurai parade, a grainy black-and-white film of Kanazawa from the early twentieth century, and a reconstruction of a silk-spinning factory.

On the other side of the neighbouring Honda Museum, the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, or Ishikawa-kenritsu Bijutsukan (石川県立美術館), has beautiful examples of calligraphy, kimono, pottery, lacquerware and other relics of the Maeda clan, displayed along with a more eclectic collection of contemporary local art. There are usually special exhibitions held here, which cost extra.