Kanazawa is the capital if Ishikawa Prefecture and holds many wooden Edo period buildings, a fine castle, shrines and the magnificent Kenrokuen Gardens. We took the Shinkansen from Tokyo to get there in 2,5 hours.
Shinkansen Tokyo to Kanazawa
We took a Shinkansen train from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa. It’s not cheap, costing 14,380 yen each(about $140 CAD), but is very fast!
This was my first ever Shinkansen journey. The train was beautiful, comfortable and smooth! It goes without saying that it was also clean, like everything else in Japan.
These are a delight to walk around and apparently rate as the third best gardens in Japan. The Gardens are in the middle of the City and as with everything else in Kanazawa can be reached on foot.
There are several sections to the gardens, as well as ponds to visit. Essential elements of a Japanese garden include; water, ricks, trees, flowers, bridges, lanterns, fences and fish.
Kanazawa Castle Park
The Park is adjacent to the Kenrokuen Gardens and contain the reconstructed 16th century Castle, with different entrance gates and moats. Japanese castles are impressive structures and in my experience are built with huge rocks and very thick walls.
It was great to wander around the Park before heading down to see some of the wooden Edo period buildings.
Edo period wooden buildings
There are in fact two areas where these buildings are found – one which contains lots of buildings and lots of people and a smaller area which is more peaceful. This is located behind the Toyoku Inn (where we stayed).
The small streets which contain these houses make for a good stroll. Whilst most of these buildings now contain restaurants or shops they have been very discretely designed and so the facades still look authentic, on the whole.
We wandered through the delightful shrine area to get to the Castle Park the second day we were in Kanazawa.
I love wandering through markets and this is a good one! Lots of seafood around and lots of restaurants to eat all that fresh seafood. We had a wonderful sashimi lunch with a set of three sakes to try. So good!
Bus from Kanazawa to Toyoma
We were lucky that the bus to Toyama stopped outside the hotel that we had stayed in. We’d left our bags at the hotel when we checked out and collected them just before taking the bus to Toyama which took about two hours.
Travelling is pretty easy in Japan with long distance buses stopping near the train station and there are also normally lots of hotels there too. Unlike many countries, the hotels around the railway station are not seedy at all. We stayed again at a Toyoku Inn which are reasonably priced business hotels.