I had heard that Kanazawa, located between the western mountain ranges of Honshu and the Sea of Japan, was often referred to as Little Kyoto. I was not disappointed. This is the most charming place and one which I sincerely hope we will visit again.
A Castle town with beautiful gardens, narrow streets, traditional precincts and some intriguing samurai houses, it is easy to walk around and explore several parts of the city in one day.
We stayed in a typical Japanese dwelling in a cute neighbourhood within walking distance of the station.
Familiarising ourselves with the area, we walked first to the Omicho Market which sells everything from fish to clothing.
A short stroll further on and we found the magnificent Kanazawa Castle with its magnificent Kenrokuen Gardens. The gardens have been Heritage listed and are a place of serenity with winding streams, lakes, ponds and landscaping.
Moss was everywhere and many of the trees were centuries old.
Another quaint area is Higashi-Chaya-Gai which is an old area along the river where there are old samurai houses and narrow streets, lots of tiny restaurants and craft shops. We saw some Kimono clad ladies walking slowly along the street and immediately imagined ourselves back in time.
We saw a few ladies wearing kimono and one totally fascinated me and I wondered about the comfort of this type of dress – particularly on a bus one day when one lady was unable to lean back in her seat due to the obi behind!
It is the simple things that make a place memorable – and we will always remember Kanazawa with affection and hope to return one day in not too distant future.