When we arrived in Kanazawa, we entered a very modern train station and were surprised by the amount of tourists arriving in town. Of course we knew that Kanazawa would attract many visitors because of Kenroku-en, but it almost felt even busier than Tokyo. Must be Golden Week.
We dropped off our bags at the hotel and headed straight to Kenroku-en with the loop bus. Kenroku-en is known to be one of Japan’s three most beautiful landscape gardens. The garden used to be the outer garden of adjacent Kanazawa castle.
This water fountain is managed by natural water pressure and is not man made, according to one of the guides in the garden.
I love the green moss!
This is the famous two-legged lantern.
When we walked into the garden, we noticed how tiring the long hours of train rides were. It was a great place to sit, rest and relax. There were a lot of people, but the garden is so big that there is always a spot you can enjoy all by yourself. We stayed in the park about 2-3 hours before we decided to explore more of Kanazawa.
I actually just came to see the garden, but Kanazawa is so much more than just Kenroku-en. Kanazawa has a neighborhood filled with temples (called Teramachi District) and one of the temples I really wanted to check out was Myoryuji Temple. This temple is commonly known as the Ninja Temple due to its many trap doors, secret staircases/hallways/rooms/tunnels, traps and escape routes. Unfortunately, when we arrived I learned that you can only see the inside of the temple if you make a reservation beforehand.
We still had some time left before dinner and had to choose between two districts: Nagamachi (the old samurai district) and Higachi Chaya (the geisha/teahouse district). We chose to go to Higachi Chaya. We really liked the atmosphere and were even able to spot a model geisha 😉
I was craving for a sushi-bowl and looked up on google for recommendations. We ended up going to Omicho Market, a busy market near Kanazawa station. I read online that there was this place that had almost the same quality sushi as Daiwa Sushi in Tokyo. When we stepped in the restaurant, there was a sushi-chef sleeping on the floor so we weren’t sure if this was the right place. One of the other sushi-chefs (we later found out it was his son sleeping on the floor) told us we could sit anywhere we wanted and shouted at his son to make us some food. Haha! I’ m not quite sure if it was just as good as Daiwa Sushi, but it was a lot cheaper and it was excellent nonetheless.
I really liked Kanazawa, but am really excited to see what Kyoto has to offer. We travel there in the morning with a travel time of about 2 hours.