Ishikawa History Museum: Epicenter of Local Tradition & Culture

Aug 20 2020
Aug 20 2020

Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History is a place of discovery and continuous learning for everyone interested in local history and culture. The museum plays an important role to protect the history and culture of Ishikawa, and carries over 170,000 items in its collection. Visiting the museum is the best thing to do when you are in the area to learn about history and culture!

History of the Museum

Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History


Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History has 3 characteristic buildings made of distinctive red bricks. The buildings used to be used as an arsenal for the Imperial Japanese Army during the Pacific War. After the war, they were used by the Kanazawa College of Art.

In 1986, the Ishikawa Prefectural Folklore Museum moved to the current location and opened as the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History. Upon re-purposing the buildings as a museum, the buildings’ exteriors were restored to their original state, and the interiors were renovated to harmonize the cultural assets that are the buildings themselves with the museum’s exhibitions. The buildings were designated as an Important Cultural Property by the government in 1990 for their excellent conservation and conversion to a museum. In the following year, the museum also received the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize.

Resourceful Exhibitions of Ishikawa’s History and Culture

Each building serves a purpose to exhibit various items with historical and cultural significance. Descriptions in English are in place for each exhibit, and there are audio guide services in English, Chinese and Korean for further details.

ishikawa history museum

Building 1: History Discovery Hall

Ishikawa’s history and folk traditions from ancient times to the modern era are explained through collections of actual goods, diorama, videos on a big display screen, and explanatory panels. The museum’s “Enter the World of Samurai” section is a must-see to learn about the lives of Japanese Samurai warriors. You can also discover a number of interesting insights into the history of the Kaga Domain, a feudal domain in Japan’s Edo period which covered most of the Kaga Province and Etchu Provinces as well as all of Noto Province (Today’s Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures).

The History Discovery Hall also contains the Special Exhibition Room to introduce featured, travelling exhibits. At the time of writing (October 2018), there is a limited exhibition of the costumes used in kabuki (a Japanese type of classical dance and drama); over 40 magnificent dresses will invite you to this surreal world just like kabuki performances did for their spectators for hundreds of years.

Building 2: Hands-on Interaction Hall

One of the most popular workshops at the museum is an experience session, where you can dress up in historical clothing. This experience session entertains visitors of all ages at any time of the year.
The museum offers a wide variety of traditional clothing that was worn by various individuals of various social standings in the past; traveler’s attire in Edo period, samurai armor, beautiful kimonos for a samurai princess, noble attire for the imperial family, top hats and tailcoats recreating the atmosphere of Westernization in Meiji and many more. Learning about history is much more entertaining when done in such an interactive manner, especially for younger visitors. At the Ishikawa Historical Museum, we can all time travel back to old Ishikawa!

Building 3: The Kaga-Honda Museum

The Kaga-Honda Museum exhibits items related to the well-known Honda samurai family. The Honda Family were one of the eight clans called “Hakka”, holding the highest status within the Kaga Domain. These clans supervised political affairs during peacetime and acted as military commanders during times of war. The samurai family continued to be assigned with important duties from the beginning of the Masashige Honda era, who was the founder of the Honda clan until the end of Tokugawa Shogunate.

The exhibition at Kaga-Honda Museum largely consists of battle formation gear such as complete horse harnesses and horse trial equipment. It is one of rare museums displaying samurai artifacts, which you cannot find often in other museums in Japan. The museum also exhibits highly-valued items such as furniture, old texts, illustrations and other artistic objects. You can easily spend a day here admiring the incredibly deep culture and history of feudal Japan by learning about these items.

Passing on the Precious History and Culture to the Future

Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History


Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History plays a significant role in providing people in the area with educational opportunities. Its admission fee is only 300 yen for adults and 240 yen for university students. There is also a combined ticket with the Kaga-Honda Museum at 500 yen for adults and 400 yen for university students. The museum offers free admission to individuals high school age or younger. It encourages people in Ishikawa to visit and learn about the local history and culture so it can be passed on to the next generation and into the future.

How to Visit?

From Tokyo to Ishikawa
It takes about 60 to 80 minutes by airplane from Haneda Airport or Narita Airport in Tokyo to Komatsu Airport in Ishikawa.Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History is just 3-minute walk away from the famous Kenrokuen Garden. Re-entry is permitted on the day of ticket purchase, so you can even visit other attractions nearby and come back to the museum later if you feel you missed something!Bus
Take a Hokutetsu bus from the Kenrokuen exit (east exit) of JR Kanazawa Station. Get off at Dewamachi stop after a 5-minute bus journey. The museum is 8-minute walk away from the bus stop.

It takes about 10 – 15 minutes from JR Kanazawa Station.

It is about a 30-minute drive from Kanazawa Nishi Interchange on Hokuriku Expressway. The museum has free parking.

Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History
Address: 3-1 Dewamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken 920-0963 Japan
Tel: +81 76-262-3236

Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History Kanazawa

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