Today, with the weather more cooperative, I headed out.  The first stop was Nagamachi Buke Yashiki (長町), the Samurai district.  A number of old and well preserved houses and business establishments make up this area, some turned into stores while others are now museums (the rest being upscale residential quarters).  I toured a couple of the houses, and one building which has once upon a time been a pharmacy.

After wandering the area for a while, I headed to Kenroku-en (兼六園), the highlight of Kanazawa and one of the “three best” gardens in all of Japan (I’ve now been to two).  As part of the festivities this week, it turns out that the park was open to the public (free entrance), which was a nice surprise but probably encouraged larger crowds, and that made taking pictures a little tricky.  In any event, the garden itself was impressive.


And while the cherry blossoms where not in full bloom, there was enough that was to keep me occupied.

I wandered around for three or four hours, taking my time and snapping photos as scenes appeared – which happened often.

Tired, I decided to finish the day by heading to Higashi chaya-gai (東茶屋街), the Geisha District).  On my way, I stumbled upon some destructive construction going on, and had to stop and watch.  I think the construction crew was more amused by my interest than concerned for my safety.  Why is it always fun to watch things being destroyed?

After taking in the destruction, I finally found my way to Higashi, and wandered the old streets with the wooden slated front doors/windows.  Most things were closed, or closing, unfortunately, but I was able to take in a museum.

Shima, a former geisha house dates from 1820 showcasing combs, musical instruments, and other items from days gone by, and I wandered around inside.  The lighting was awful, which made pictures difficult, but I didn’t seem to mind too much at this point in the day.  Or perhaps I just took this “engrish” sign a little too literally….

Leaving Higashi, I headed back towards the hotel to find a place for dinner.  A full day of walking had helped work up an appetite.