Category: Kanazawa


Last day in Kanazawa

With today being the last day in Kanazawa, I decided to head to Ōmichō Market (近江町市場) for an early lunch, and enjoy the local speciality, donburi (seafood served over a bowl of rice).  The market wasn’t very busy today for some reason, with many of the shops closed, so while the weather wasn’t good earlier in the week I was glad I went and got the photos I did.

After lunch I headed out with a plan to look for some local pottery, but decided to take my time and stop along the way at Ōyama Jinja, and take some photos.

    

On the grounds of the shrine was a pond with some coy in it and a few benches, so I took a bit of a break.

While there, an older couple came through with a tour guide and when they decided to take a break I ended up chatting with them for a bit.  They were from england, and had decided to keep their travel plans rather than cancel and even with everything happening in Tokyo and Fukushima still not settled, were enjoying their vacation thoroughly.

I was headed out to the Teramachi District (寺町 next to explore the local pottery at the Kutani Kosen Gama Kiln.  It took a bit to find even with multiple maps, which might explain why I was the only visitor that day.  They gave me a tour and I was able to see a number of pieces in various stages of firing and painting.  I picked out a couple of items and then made my way back to the hotel to prepare for an early morning departure to Takayama the next day.

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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.

    

I had planned my trip to Kanazawa to coincide with the Sakura Matsuri festival which was supposed to take place this week.  My timing, unfortunately, wasn’t the best – the sakura hanami were not in full bloom yet, and little sign of a any festival along the shores of any waterway actually existed.  It didn’t help that it rained most of the first day I arrived.

Walking up to my first day in Kanzawa, I headed towards the train station a few steps away from the hotel, and took a couple pictures of the impressive station architecture and “water” sign.  Yes, the sign which welcomes you to Kanzawa actually writes in water, rotating between the city name, the time, and “welcome”.

From the station, I decided to head towards Ōmichō Market and wander around.  A pile of tea was offered at one establishment, something “sticky” at another, while seafood was offered at the majority in one state of preparation or another.

After wandering around for a while and snapping some photos, I grabbed some sushi for brunch at one of the Conveyor belt sushi (回転寿司 kaiten-zushi) restaurants.  It isn’t the same as Tsukiji (築地), but with the sea close by it’s just as fresh and tasty.  And for those concerned (not me!), nowhere near Fukushima.

I wandered towards Kanazawa Castle Park, and promptly got caught in the rain, which even with an umbrella made for a wet and camera unfriendly time.  I decided to try the  21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, but they were closed for the day (Monday).  I had forgot most things are closed on Mondays – given the weather and the prospects of finding something else to do, I decided to head back to the hotel and end the day there.  I needed a break anyways…

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