Chris Wiggin

Chris Travel Angel


Soon after graduating from University of California at Santa Barbara in 2010, Chris headed to Japan and has been loving every minute in Kanazawa ever since. Sticking true to his outdoor roots, Chris is outside as much as he can be in Kanazawa city. Whether it’s biking to the beach in the summer time, catching a ride up to the mountains in the winter, or making movies around town, the Japanese countryside is his new playground.

His/Her background

After swimming on his college team and studying Japanese in college, Chris decided to give teaching English in Japan a try after graduation. Being the only foreign teacher at his school, Chris was quick to make many Japanese friends, and he soon discovered the beauty of Ishikawa Prefecture. Having been part of the local close-knit community for a couple of years, he has made great connections with the people around town. From the best snack shops to the tastiest sushi, to the nightlife in Kanazawa, he loves to show off the unique local flavor of the area.

His/Her advice for you

Must-see :

Asanogawa river, just a quick walk from the famous Kenroku-en garden. A trip to Kanazawa is not complete without a stroll along the Asanogawa river, seeing the famous Higashi Tea District, and stepping back in time while walking down the streets of old Kazue-machi. Many of Kanazawa’s most famous arts and crafts can also be seen in this area.

See also : The Kanazawa Top 10, by Chris

To bring back with you :

Lacquerware or Japanese sake. Kanazawa is registered as a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art, so the crafts are world-class. The lacquerware in Ishikawa Prefecture is particularly famous, and a great gift, keepsake, or handy kitchen item for anyone. Ishikawa also has extremely clean water, and therefore great rice and delicious sake. Order some local sake at a restaurant, or you can pick up the most famous brands at the train station-- don’t leave without getting a taste!

Things to do :

A road trip through the Noto Peninsula : the perfect place to drive in Japan!

Words to Know :

“ii-ne,” (pronounced ii-neh) It’s like “that’s great, sounds good, wonderful, perfect!” all rolled into one. If someone suggests something and you think its a good idea…“ii ne!"

Dishes to Try :

Sushi. This area on the coast of the Sea of Japan is famous for its fresh fish. And if you don’t like raw fish, don’t worry. People take food very seriously in Kanazawa, so no matter what you order, you won’t be disappointed. For those on a budget, try the locally famous Kanazawa curry!

Traps to avoid :

Kanazawa is a great city, but a city nonetheless. What makes this area really special is its proximity to nature. Don’t be afraid to jump up to the beautiful Noto peninsula, go hiking around the famous Hakusan mountain, or dip into the world-class onsens of Kaga and Yamanaka.


"Chris was a great host. He met us at the door and gave us a comprehensive run through the house, local attractions and restaurants. He even booked a sushi restaurant for us."