We took our time over the delicious Dormyinn Hotel breakfast this morning (mostly Japanese food and very exotic for breakfast, but delicious).
With many unfamiliar but yummy dishes under our belts and only one full day in Kanazawa we decided to use the Kanazawa Loop Bus (500Y for a full day pass) to see as many of the attractions of this amazing city as we possibly could today.
Our first stop was the well preserved Nishi (east) Chaya (teahouse) district and the Myoryuji (Ninja) Temple which served as a disguised military outpost in the time of the shogun rulers (founded in 1653).Nishi Chiya was a beautiful and historic old part of town for a wander around the laneways......
I think I will have to produce a coffee table book with all these beautiful images I have found in Japan (will be quite a stretch for my trusty old Snapfish publisher I think!)
......and beautiful contemporary buildings too!
Japan has the most beautiful and most immaculately clean public toilets in the world (they're very high tech too), and plenty of them!
There was only one museum in Nishi Chaya - the Shiryokan Museum, celebrating the life of one of Japan's authors of the early 19th century. It was a beautiful little museum (but all in Japanese so hard for us to learn about).
I like the way many Japanese women dress too - especially this older lady's outfit!
Next stop was at the famous Kanazawa Castle - established in 1583, but largely destroyed by successive fires over time. The castle is in the midst of an ambitious restoration and rebuilding phase and is already looking pretty spectacular...This Castle Gate was only finished in the past year.
This beautiful turret is part of the original castle's long storehouse rebuilt about 15 years ago.
The quality of work and design evident in the rebuild of the castle is amazing - no detail has been left to chance - even these simple wooden platforms are perfectly proportioned and spaced!
The Kenrokuen Garden, our next stop, is classified as one of Japan's best (big call!). The grounds used to be the outer garden of nearby Kanazawa Castle. They were first opened to the public in 1871.
We'd been walking a long time by now and it was starting to rain....so we headed back to the Loop Bus and got dropped off at the Omicho (undercover) Market. Most of the shops specialise in high quality seafood. We got there a bit before 3.00pm and produce was mostly sold out in many of the stalls. Rod managed to score this freshly roasted calamari and Rob and I shared some out of this world fresh and flavoursome sashimi as a late lunch snack.
As the rain poured down we found a cosy corner and a grande cup of latte at Starbucks (!!) to kill some time before the rain eased again. Eventually we found our way back to the amazing Kanazawa Station - finding some time to admire the architecture before doing an hour or so of shopping in the beautiful retail areas near the station.
Another yummy dinner tonight - ramen noodles, gyoza and beer and Maxie managed to find us some of our favourite rice balls with red bean paste for dessert.