Driving and Transportation


Many people who live in Kanazawa drive. If you are considering purchasing a car and driving as well you will first need to get a Japanese driver’s license or have your license converted to a Japanese one. In order to do this, you will need to apply for a transfer of your license at the Driving License Center (Unten Menkyo Center) which is located in Uchinada. The Ishikawa JET Resource Website provides a detailed explanation that will take you through this entire process.

Please keep in mind that Japan has a no tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving. If you are pulled over by the police and asked to take a breath analyzer test you do not have the right to refuse it.

For information regarding basic traffic rules, signs, etc. please refer to the following website.
Japan Automobile Federation

Public Transportation

Within Kanazawa City the public transportation available is limited to buses and taxis.

The most commonly used bus is the Hokutetsu Bus, however there is also flat bus services as well as many tourism buses (Kenrokuen Shuttle, and Right and Left Loop Buses). If you are planning to use the buses purchasing an IC “ICa” card will make using them much easier. You can purchase an ICa card at the University Coop Convenience Store (located in the Shizenken next to the cafeteria). The card will cost 2000 yen (500 yen for the card and 500 yen for an initial charge). It is possible to recharge your card on the buses (simply ask the bus driver) or at a charging station (there is one located near the Shizenken cafeteria). When you leave Japan, you can return this card and get the 500 yen card fee reimbursed. It is also possible to use your ICa card as a commuter pass, however it if you do not transfer buses during your commute then this option does not necessarily equal a discount.

Most commonly used Hokutetsu Bus schedules (as of July 2023)

  1. Kanazawa Station – Kanazawa University
  2. Korinbo – Kanazawa University

To search for other bus routes and times please refer to the Hokutetsu Bus Schedule Website.

Hokutetsu Bus Schedule and Fares (Japanese only)


If you decide to ride a bicycle you will need to register it with the police. If you buy the bicycle new this process may happen at the shop where you purchased your bike. If you buy a used bicycle, then you will need to re-register your bike. Registering your bike will make it much easier to report a stolen bike to the police in the event that your bike is stolen.

You can purchase a new bicycle from the AEON bike shop or Cycle Base Asahi which is also located in Mori no Sato.