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My Days in Ishikawa Prefecture 「石川県への旅」

If you are in Japan for the first time, I’m sure you’ll end up traveling to well-known touristic destinations like Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima, but Kanazawa, on the West coast of Japan (around 2.30 hours from Tokyo station by bullet train) is a beautiful destination with several points of interest worth checking out.

If visiting a night or two, it makes sense to book a hotel close to the station, and avoid having to carry bags and suitcases around with you more than necessary. It also saves on taxi fares and at lunch/dinner time there’re plenty of food choices in the area. And… Kanazawa Station is awesome too ↓↓

kanazawa

The Tsuzumi ("drum") Gate at JR Kanazawa Station East entrance

The Tsuzumi (“drum”) Gate at JR Kanazawa Station East entrance

Kanazawa was one of the few major Japanese cities to be spared from fire bombing during WWII, so most of the architectural heritage has been preserved.  Walking near the Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge is like stepping back in time with its narrow lovely streets, wooden tea houses and old temples.

kanazawa

Nature’s colours are so beautiful! Have I told you how much I love moss? I do!

kanazawa

kanazawa

kanazawa

In the Higashi Chaya Teahouse District, there are tea houses that were constructed 200 years ago.  If you want the whole Japanese experience, go in and enjoy a cup of green tea and wagashi .  The old geisha houses and restaurants have these picturesque wooden lattice fronts.

kanazawa

kanazawa

kanazawa

kanazawa

Kanazawa

kanazawa

It wasn’t cold on Saturday, but it just didn’t stop raining.  It’s a good idea to bring an umbrella and rain gear.  Silver lining… Kanazawa looks beautiful in the rain!

kanazawa

Kenrokuen Garden is probably one of the most famous spot in Kanazawa and it is considered one of the “three great gardens of Japan”.  I know not everyone enjoys taking a stroll in the rain, but this garden is beautiful, filled with trees, ponds and waterfalls.

kanazawa

Kanazawa

kanazawa

Kanazawa

In Winter time, ropes are attached to the trees to support the branches under the weight of heavy snow. This is known as  “Yukizuri” and literally means snow hanging.

Kanazawa

Kanazawa

Kanazawa

Outside Kenrokuen is Ishikawa-mon, the back gate to Kanazawa Castle and the Seisonkaku Villa, one of the most elegant remaining feudal lord villas in Japan built in 1863.

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa was opened in October 2004. Designed by SEJIMA Kazuyo + NISHIZAWA Ryue / SANAA, the Museum is round in shape, completely white and with glass walls that give a sense of inside and outside ambiguous space. SANAA Studio have designed many buildings so far in Europe and the United States including museums (New Museum, NYC). And in 2010, they received the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Photo Via official Website)

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Photo Via official Website)

kanazawa

kanazawa

kanazawa

The “Armless Chair” by SANAA for Japanese furniture manufacturer maruni wood industry. I like to call these “Bunny Chairs”↓↓

kanazawa

kanazawa

That’s me loving this museum! The wall behind me, colored with flowers gathered from the suburbs of Kanazawa, is one of the commissioned works of the Museum↓↓↓

kanazawa

kanazawa

On Sunday, I traveled to neighbouring Shirakawago (白川郷, Shirakawagō) a beautiful area declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. Shirakawago is famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. More photos coming on Friday’s post but here is a peek

shirakawago

 

Hope to see you again Kanazawa! I’d love to visit you in Spring when your sakuras (“Cherry Blossoms”) are in full bloom ♡

 

thanks

Information:

How to get to Kanazawa?  Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kanazawa. More info HERE

Kenrokuen Garden:  Kenroku-machi, Tel: 234-3800, Open Hours: every day from 7 am to 6 pm (8 am to 5 pm from Oct. 16 to end of Feb.)  Admission fee: Adult : 310 yen. More info HERE

 The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa:  Tel. 220-2800, Open Hours: 10 am to 6 pm (closing at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays) – Closed: Monday (Next day if Monday falls on a holiday) and year-end through New Year holidays. Visitors can enter the free zone from 9 am to 10 pm everyday including Mondays. Admission fee: Around 800 yen (fee varies with special exhibitions), Official Website HERE

 

All photos on this blog were snapped by me unless otherwise noted. If you see something you’d like to share, please be sure to provide a link back to this space. Thank you!

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