Kanazawa Castle: a great feat of architecture

23 Dec 2016 in So Design

Discover the history of Kanazawa Castle, including the amazing wooden structure that contains no screws, nuts or nails!


The history of Kanazawa Castle set us back to the 16th century, and held by the Maeda family ( one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan ) at the end of the 1600s. During the centuries that followed the castle was subjected to many fires, and a major earthquake in 1855. In spite of all these historic events, the famous castle is now just like new.

Kanazawa castle

From the park entrance, the size and splendour of the castle make it an impressive sight. In the late 17th century, the castle was known as “the Palace of the 1000 Tatami Mats”. It was destroyed at many occasions, for example by the fires of 1759 and 1808, but was rebuilt each  time. In 2001, major parts of the castle were renewed and restored, including the main structures and watchtowers, with traditional construction methods.

Amazing restoration work

Kanazawa castle

Kanazawa Castle is said to be  the largest castle to have been built of wood since the Meiji period. A full restoration has been carried out, respecting ancestral Japanese techniques, and it is astonishing to see the imposing structure built of wood, 70% of which was grown in the prefecture of Ishikawa. Not one nut, nail or metal rod was used to join the various elements: beams and pillars interlock following an incredible assembling system. These mechanics are explained to visitors by drawings and models placed along the route, and by a remarkable 3D film that shows in details the different phases of building.

An astonishing tour

Since its renovation, the castle is an interesting place to visit because of the impressive length of the building but also for the most striking feature of all: the staircases. Some of them are extremely difficult to climb because the steps are very steep. Later in the tour, visitors are oftenly fascinated by the architect’s ingenuity in designing the castle.

An example? To prevent enemy attacks, the architects installed systems of windows and openings in each tower. Firstly to keep watching neighbourhoods, and secondly to throw stones at any assailants who might attempt to climb the wall. At the end of the tour, you can carry on walking in the castle grounds and the Kenrokuen Gardens, opposite the Ishikawa-mon Gate entrance.

Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga

A shuttle bus runs from Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga into the city; take advantage of this service to discover this incredible treasure of Japan’s architectural heritage.

Luxury hotel Japan



Contest: your chance to win hand-crafted washi objects

14 Mar 2018 in Contest

This month, we’re giving away 3 beautiful accessories, hand-crafted in the Japanese Alps using traditional washi paper. Fill in the form at the bottom of the article! Read more

Hohino Resorts KAI Kawaji (1)

The secrets of Japanese washi paper

22 Jun 2017 in So Design

It's used in Japanese art, furniture, clothes and wallpaper. But what exactly is washi – and how is it made? Read more


Kasuke, a Kaiseki restaurant that is architecturally unique

22 Feb 2017 in So Design

Savor a refined and tasty cuisine, making the most of local and seasonal products, in a remarkable restaurant nestling in the heart of nature. Read more



Contest: your chance to win a pair of woven Japanese slippers

23 Aug 2017 in So Design

Fancy your own pair of handmade slippers from Japan’s cotton-growing heartland? Enter our contest for a chance to win this stylish footwear! Read more


Furoshiki: the wrapping cloth that does it all

09 Jun 2017 in So Design

Need a bag to carry your groceries? A hamper for a picnic? Or wrapping paper for a gift? The furoshiki does it all! Enter our contest for your chance to win one. Read more

Hoshino Resorts Kai Hakone thé

Yosegi Zaiku: the extreme precision work of exceptional Japanese marquetry

02 Sep 2016 in So Design

The extremely precise and delicate art of marquetry is practiced in Japan, producing very thin decorative sheets for precious objects. Discover the secrets of Yosegi Zaiku’s technique. Read more

most popular articles