Adjacent to two of Kanazawa's most popular tourist spots, Kenroku-en and Kanazawa Castle, Hirosaka is a neighborhood offering both historical and modern culture. The shops in Hirosaka sell some of Kanazawa's finest arts and crafts from lacquerware and pottery to items gilded with Kanazawa's famous gold leaf. Formerly the site of the Ishikawa Prefectural Government Building and the current site of Kanazawa City Hall, Hirosaka has long been the center of government in Kanazawa. The main street, known as Hirosaka Avenue, is abundant with nature, and when spring comes the cherry blossoms lining the street attract large groups of tourists. In 2004, Kanazawa's 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art was completed, beginning an unprecedented fusion of modern and classic art. Other unique sites include the Kanazawa Noh Museum, the Kanazawa Daiyon High school Commemoration and Cultural Exchange Building, and the Kanazawa Reception Hall and Former Prefectural Office. With the wealth of cultural and historical significance present, it's no wonder that Hirosaka has been recognized as a dignified culture zone in recent years.
Hirosaka is known as a site of great importance in the history of Kanazawa. Cultural assets from the city of Nara during the Heian period (794-1185) lead historians to believe that a powerful family lived in Hirosaka during those times. Furthermore, artifacts from the city of Kamakura during the Muromachi period (1337-1573) suggest that small castles and temples also once existed in Hirosaka. During the Edo period (1603-1868) samurai residences lined the streets. The name Hirosaka, or "wide slope", comes from the nearby sloping road south of Kenroku-en and was given to the neighborhood during the Meiji period (1868-1912). In 1873 it was decided that the Ishikawa Prefectural Office, previously located in Mikawa, was to be temporarily relocated to Hirosaka. Constructed on 40 square meters of land, the Office was designed by Kenkichi Yabashi, who had assisted in designing the National Diet building in Tokyo, and was completed in 1924. The 2 four-hundred-year-old beech trees standing on either side of the entrance became a symbol of Hirosaka. Another famous historical site, the renowned Daiyon High school, was completed in 1894. Be it government, economics, culture, or science, Hirosaka has a long history as the home of great men and women.
Acknowledged by UNESCO as a handicraft city, Kanazawa is a place where working with one's hands is a way of life. Walking down the streets of Hirosaka, you are sure to realize this. There is no shortage of booths where you can experience making your own craft or galleries where modern art is on display. While experiencing the traditional culture of Kanazawa, you can also discover something new. So, please, come and take a stroll in Hirosaka.