Day 4: Arrival in Kanazawa Port, Japan
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The sound from the doorbell woke me up. It was already 6am and the breakfast I ordered was finally delivered. It was a great morning, by the way. I felt better and my foot felt better, too, compared to the previous night. I was already able to walk without so much pain which meant I was fit enough to join the day’s tour. Yay!!
At round 9am, the ship finally docked at Kanazawa Port. Upon disembarkation, we were welcomed by a group of women wearing traditional kimono. We also took photos of the prefecture’s mascot named Hyakunamsan.
Our first stop was at Kenrokuen Garden. I was still struggling to walk and my ankle was a bit painful but I still managed to join the tour and appreciate Kenrokuen Garden.
The garden is really beautiful wherever direction you look at. No wonder it is considered as one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. It reminded me of our old wall calendars that showcased the beautiful gardens in Japan. According to our guide, the garden is a former private family garden of an old ruling Samurai.
Right in front of the garden is the Kanazawa Castle Park. Our tour guide, Kyomi Tsurusawa, said that the castle has a variety of unique stonewalls that can be found nowhere else in Japan. Since we were running out of time, we just took pictures of the façade and the castle’s entrance before heading to our next destination.
It was almost lunch when we arrived at our lunch place called Matsukiyo Restaurant. Being a highly recommended restaurant in most travel and food guides, it is not unusual for lines to build in front of this restaurant. Located within the vicinity of Omicho Market, this restaurant is famous for its sushi and tempura bowl.
Due to my recent gout attack, I had to stay away from eating raw fish and other variety of seafood. It was a good thing that the chef grilled several slices of fish for me.
After lunch, we were given 30 minutes to explore the Old Omicho Market.
Omicho Market is a traditional Japanese market with over 180 shops. Today, it has transformed into a busy and colorful network of covered streets lined with about 200 shops and stalls selling local seafood and fresh produce. Some of the stalls also sell flowers, clothing, handicrafts, kitchen tools and other locally-made products.
We then visited Higashi Chaya District to have a hands-on experience in making chopsticks with gold leaf designs at one of the long-established gold leaf manufacturers called Sakuda.
Another interesting spot we visited was the Geisha District. The place reminded me of the town of Takayama because of the similar structures and because most of the houses are painted in black.
Our last stop was the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. One can summarize the attraction of present-day Kanazawa as “coexistence of modernity and tradition”. The museum is what symbolizes present-day Kanazawa and exhibits a wide range of modern art by artists from all over the world. You can spend a long time there without getting tired and bored from looking at the exhibits.
One of the museum’s selling points is its unique architecture, which is one of a kind in Kanazawa. This circular building has 112.5 in diameter with no façade or main gate.
Among the public spaces inside the museum that caught my attention were Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool”, a pool where people appear to be underwater (entry inside the pool requires paid admission), and James Turrell’s “Blue Planet Sky”, an exhibit exploring light as a medium. The latter has counterpart exhibits around the world.
Watch Cora’s Vlog about our Tour in Kanazawa, Japan
Many thanks to Ms. Ayumi Whittinghill of Kanazawa Port Promotion Association and Ms. Mina Masui of Ishikawa Prefectural Government for giving us the opportunity to explore the beautiful tourist spots near the Kanazawa Port.
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