What a lovely town, set in between two rivers. Saturday, 26 March and we were off again on another adventure! This time to Kenrokuen Gardens, and the Samurai and Geisha districts.
Such a pretty drive with snow on the majestic Japan Alps. We passed through small villages consisting of several houses close together surrounded by some land. There were a lot of townhouses as well.
We started our excursion by walking through some winding streets with beautifully restored residences known as Nagamachi Samurai House Row. After removing our shoes, we walked through The Terashima Samurai House, circa 1770, for a closer look at how a middle class warrior lived. Every sliding thick-paper door had a picture of a landscape drawn on it. The gardens were very skilfully laid out, with a waterfall, streams, a bridge and various kinds of garden lanterns arranged here and there.
The Higashichaya Machi district was the next stop, established in 1820, it is the home of the geisha. Kanazawa is one of the few cities were traditional geisha still exist. We did see the building where the girls train for 5 years from the age of 15 years, but it is very difficult to actually see them. There seemed to be only one teahouse that offered performances to visitors – at a price!
We did see lots of girls in kimonos, however, and even a couple who were having their wedding photos taken. They were very surprised to be suddenly surrounded by about 20 people with cameras, but they graciously posed for us.
Our final stop was to the lovely Kenrokuen Gardens, of the celebrated “Great Gardens of Japan”. This 25-acre landscaped garden was opened to the public over 135 years ago and we spent an enjoyable time wandering the paths to see Japan’s oldest fountain, a teahouse dating back to 1774, winding streams and a pagoda donated by a warlord as well as all the beautiful trees.
Modern as well as traditional, we though Kanazawa has a lot to offer, and we enjoyed our day – especially the cherry blossom ice cream!