I spent the last day and a half in Kanazawa, a medium-sized city on the west coast of Japan’s main island. Known for maintaining a traditional feel mixed with modern advances, Kanazawa has a lot to offer in a variety of forms. From its compact geisha district, to its famous garden, and lastly of course its seafood.
Starting off, I arrived in Kanazawa in the early evening on Wednesday, and spent all night hanging out with my 2 Japanese roommates. They were both around my age, and were very excited that I could converse with them in Japanese since their English was poor. I still have a lot of room to improve my Japanese speaking ability, so any chance I can get to practice it is great. After we got dinner, we bought some beers and snacks and had our own little party at the hostel.
It really was a great learning experience. One of them, Ryo, has been riding on his scooter and traversing Japan for the past few weeks. The other, Seki, is a big outdoors person and just hiked through the Japanese Alps. It’s great meeting all kinds of people while traveling, which is why I think hostels/guesthouses are the way to go.
Moving on, today I took care of the sightseeing I wanted to do in Kanazawa. I went to the Kenrokuen Garden, one of the top three gardens in Japan. It was superbly well-manicured, and the clear weather today allowed for great views of the garden’s ponds, groves, bridges, and the like.
It was quite crowded because it looked like several elementary and middle school kids were on field trips there. It was really entertaining to walk past them. Often, some of them would yell ‘Hello!’ (or more like, ‘Herro’) because they wanted to say something in English. I would then respond in Japanese, which was always fun because of their surprised reactions.
Then in the evening, our hostel owner took a few of us guests around town, and then we all went for sushi. As the post title mentions, Kanazawa is quite famous for its fresh seafood, and particularly its sushi is very high quality. Needless to say, the sushi was incredible. I had quite a lot of raw tuna, mackerel and salmon, and even one piece of raw octopus (took a while to chew that one!).
I visited a couple other parts of Kanazawa during the day as well, including the small geisha district and the modern art museum. All in all, Kanazawa was a very welcoming city with great scenery and even better food.
Tomorrow, I’m heading west/southwest to Okayama, the beginning of my Western and Southern Japan route.
Thanks as always,