Ishikawa prefecture and its capital Kanazawa only attract some 2000 Kiwi visitors a year out of a total 600,00 international tourists, but the visiting delegation expects that to rise this year. Yoshokazu Kitaguchi, director international tourism division of the prefectural office, says that the region’s proximity to Tokyo and Yokohama means it is ideal for clients to visit between Rugby World Cup matches next year.
However, its attractions will also appeal to repeat visitors and to those who are looking for a fresh but historical destination that forms a ‘golden triangle’ with the better known Tokyo and Kyoto. Kitaguchi says that 150 years ago, in the age of Samurai, Ishikawa was ruled by the second most powerful feudal lord in the country – only after Shogun. Reluctant to cause any trouble, the prefecture ruler put his energy into cultural and industrial pursuits.