Japan 2018, Osaka, Himeji, Nara, Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Tokyo

Day 45: Kanazawa

We had a 17:55 train to Tokyo, so we needed to see as much as we could of Kanazawa in less that a day – which we now know is possible.

We ate breakfast at the hotel, the first hotel I have experienced where they play LP’s through mega loud speakers for breakfast.

First stop was the beautiful Kenroku-en garden, one of Japan’s top three gardens. We spent an hour strolling through the beautiful garden.

Next stop was the Contemporary Art Museum, housed in a fabulous round glassbuilding. The exhibitions weren’t great, so it was a bit disappointing, as this museum is really hyped. One exhibit everybody liked was what looked to he a pool when you stood looking down at the water, but the water was only 4-5 cms on top of a thick plate of glass. Below the glass was a room people could enter, so that from above it looks like the people in the room were walking in a pool.

Next up was Kanazawa Castle and park, with a well preserved castle above the town in massive grounds. The castle is in tip top condition with a beautiful glass building just bellw where you can sit and see the castle when it rains – which evidently it does a lot, but not today, the weather was 25C and clear blue skies.

Next stop was the fish market where freshly caught fish are sold and perfect for a sushi lunch. The restaurant was packed and we had to stand in line, to get in. Both the sushi and miso soup were excellent.

Kanazawa has three areas with old houses and a fifteen minutes walk across town and we’d seen the two of them, one very natural along the river, the other a massive tourist attraction, with the houses turned into shops and cafes.

Back across the castle park, where we met a snake, ca. 1,5m long ….

and took more photos of the castle after eating an ice cream in the fantastic warm weather, and finished the sightseeing visiting Kanazawa’s most famous shrine and temple (picture from the shrine).

We collected our bags and took the bus to the station, which is also listed as one of Kanazawa’s top attractions, with the wooden gate, futuristic metal roof and fountain that tells the time and writes welcome to Kanazawa.

As I write this I am sitting in the train on our way to Tokyo and my last day in Japan – and it’s going to rain!

The last three days have again been a positive experience and another side of Japan. Kanazawa, due to not having any industry, was not bombed during the war, and why the city seems older (which is positive) than many other cities in Japan. In addition, the Shinkansen only arrived 3 years ago, making it accessible in less than 3 hours from Tokyo and there has been a boom in tourism since then. It really is well worth a visit and I gave no doubt one could easily spend 2 or 3 days here.

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