Welp, I’m kinda late here! I’m writing this on the 10th but setting the date to the 8th.
Over the past few days, we went to Kanazawa, Okayama and Imbe. Kanazawa has been on my to-do list for years; worth it? Yes and no. The garden is probably gorgeous in summer or during cherry blossom season, but they’re a bit late this year and the whole place looked like a garden in the winter, no leaves on the trees, no flowers. It didn’t help that the sky is completely grey and has been for the past 4 days.
We arrived in the afternoon and napped/lazed around in our hotel room as my mom didn’t particularly feel good after the shinkansen. The next day was entirely dedicated to visiting the city:
We did the whole thing on foot. It’s doable especially if you’re fit, but you can also just take the loop bus (there are two of them, and they stop at every touristy spot. They’re easily recognizable (old style buses, more elegant than the normal city ones), and cost 100 yen each time you board them – just grab a one day pass for 500 yen and hop on whenever you see one.
We started by Omi-cho Market in the morning, stopping to try fresh eel. The market is rather big and protected from the rain as it’s a series of streets located under a roof. There is so many fresh products, especially fish and other seafood, or vegetables, that all we wanted was buy some and cook. It’s nice to go there, but go in the morning otherwise most of the merchandise is gone.
We then walked to Higashi Chaya, a historical district where geisha used to perform. It’s probably gorgeous in the winter or on a sunny day, and it can feel like you were thrown back in time if you ignore the fact that many of these houses have since then been repurposed as tea houses, souvenir shops or exhibitions – it’s discrete though, the general old-timey feeling is still there. As Kanazawa is not a priority for foreign tourists, you most likely won’t encounter crowds, especially if you don’t go in the spring.
More walking brought us to the castle and the garden. We chose to see the garden, which might not have been the wisest choice due to the lack of green and flowers. The little street leading up to both these spots is cute, though very short.
Mom visited a pottery exhibition while I went back to the station and went shopping at the AEON mall. She came back horrified as she had been dragged into a tea ceremony and couldn’t get the taste of matcha out of her mouth (she hates it just as much as I do). It must have been hilarious to watch as she doesn’t speak Japanese and only basic English.