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Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/23 23:10
Hi All,

In 2012 I visited the main sites of Kanazawa (garden, castle, main art museum) and did not think much of the city as a whole. Since then, I've travelled Japan much more extensively and my tastes and knowledge has refined a bit more due to this. People also keep on raving about this city on this forum so I've decided to give it another chance.

In July, I'm planning to spend 1 1/2 days in Kanazawa City as I plan on completing a cleanup trip of the sites on Honshu that I have not visited yet that I wanted to.

On my first half day, I was planning on visiting the normal major sites (garden, castle, Seisonkaku Villa). On the second day, I was planning on visiting some of the older districts, with a particular interest in old residences and museums which are a bit different. There is a great value museum pass for 550 yen for 16 museums which looks promising. Does anyone have any suggestions on must see museums or residences in Kanazawa?. I'm not really that interested in mediocre art or just old stuff for the sake of it, but the noh museum looks promising.....

For those who may be interested, the other locations I'm planning to visit include: Matsumae (Hokkaido), Morioka, Nyuto Onsen, Tamagawa Onsen, Kakunodate, Akita, Sakata, Sado Island, Kanazawa, Fukui, Iga Ueno, Hagi & Iwakuni. Hagi, Fukui and Kanazawa are the only places I have not visited yet. Fukui is on the list so I can visit the last of the original castles....
by mfedley  

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/24 09:14
I will provide an opinion: yes, there are some good parts to the city and I visit frequently, but usually just overnight because there are better places to go. I have noticed over the last few years some of the areas are much more tourism focused and that has taken away some of the character from some of the attractions. I also like some of the nearby locations (out of the city) that I have had the opportunity to visit and take guests to. However, other than a few particular things, I wouldn't rave about the place and it doesn't make a "top 10" list for me when there are other places that are less over-run with tourists (you'll notice that change since 2012), and when I look at the location on your schedule, some of those are really cool/interesting places to go.
I like your comment about refining your tastes - it happens when you get to do a lot of exploring and working out that just because something is popular/famous, doesn't necessarily make it good. Having the insight to compare between places is very useful.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/25 19:27
I am not very fond of Kanazawa, but what I really liked was geisha performance in Teahouse Kaikaro. It is in old district, and during the performance a lady also explains quite a lot about nowdays geisha culture. If you take also bento, then it is eaten in dinner-room and you can telk with geishas and ask questions etc. Guests were mostly forigners. Tickets can buy in internet.
This performance is different from Kyoto's Gion Odori (what I like too!), smaller and more intimate.
by girlwithpearl (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/25 20:21
lol, mfedley, your still-to-visit-list looks almost exactly as mine...

and the thing i like best in Kanzawa is the Omicho Market (ߍ]s) fish market. but, well, i am a foodee...
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/25 21:35
Thanks for the info. The list I had is where I'm travelling in July for 3 weeks. I've also need to travel to Kagoshima and Kumamoto, then I'll be finished with my travels to Japan.

I'll have a look into the performance, but I'm not sure that the main performance you mentioned links up with my days (it's a bit pricy as well 22,000 yen per person for the main performance). But the normal daily performance is a bit better priced (750 yen).

The market seems really up my alley - I think I now know what I'm having for lunch one day. I'm still spitting chips that I did not eat more fresh sashimi in Motobu and Ie Island in northern Okinawa. It was fresh, delicious and bloody cheap.....
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/27 00:30
If you haven't been to one of their shops elsewhere in Japan, try the World's Second-Best Freshly-Baked Melon-Pan Ice Cream. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g298115-d7851339-Reviews...
by SkipperL rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/27 04:36
Kanazawa is lovely!!!
Lunch at the market is a must, and the contemporary art museum is excellent. Therefs a local craft galllery nearby, and you can also do a range of craft workshops
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/27 07:39
I liked Kanazawa when I visited, but I am very fond of gardens so am a bit biased in that regard. I'm surprised I've been to a few of the places on your list since while I've been to Japan a lot, I don't feel as well traveled as some.

by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/28 08:59
Gardens are one of my soft spots as well. I used to live a 5 minute bike ride from Sankeien Garden in Yokohama which is I think significantly underappreciated. I used to own a yearly pass and loved watching how the gardens change every 3 to 4 weeks. It's something that most people never see, but I guess this is what got me into Japanese gardens.

Since I've been to all of the major Japanese gardens now, I'll probably have a better understanding of the main garden in Kanazawa. It's amazing what extremely hot weather does to a person.....
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/28 12:04
I'm not sure when you're planning to be there in July, but I'm hoping to visit here, we're big hydrangea fans:
https://odorunara.com/2012/07/22/in-search-of-kanazawas-hydrangeas-uta...

I have seen a few gardens change in Japan depending on season but not the way it sounds like you got to, I'm a bit jealous. Sakata had some small pretty gardens when I was there as well. :)
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/28 14:04
Apart from the mountains, I've found that most of the hydrangeas are finished on Honshu by late June to early July. They tend to be linked to the same time as the rainy season from memory....
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/28 17:58
mfedley: just curious: i also have basically been at all the main gardens of japan, but my all-the-time highlight is {뉀 Ru (Yushien Koen). (http://www.yuushien.com/yuushien/teien/teien_autumn.html)

i went there not expecting much, but i think it is better than all others, almost unknown to most tourist. but imo even better than adachi garden, that wins the price for best japanese gardens every year. have you seen it too?
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/28 19:18
I have not been to the one mentioned above. I've been to Matsue but did not have a car at the time, thus the decision not to visit as it seems a bit annoying to get to. I've been to the Adachi Museum of Art (the garden) and thought it was ok - but it was a bit overrated in my opinion.

The garden you mentioned looks promising, but I don't think I'll ever be able to visit it due to it's location. As it's on the San-In coast which is sparsely populated and I've already covered most of the major sites there, I don't think I'll go back to Honshu after this trip I'm planning.

You have inspired me to start a new thread though....
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/2/28 23:21
Yes, the hydrangea tend to be late June to early July. Perhaps I'm just over tired but I could have sworn you said your next visit is July, so in case that is early July, I figured I would just throw this park out there. I have been going to Japan late June to early July because that is when my daughter finishes school. We've seen some fabulous hydrangea. I miss seeing the azalea and have enjoyed chasing sakura, but I've always loved hydrangea.

Yushien looks gorgeous. I will have to add that to my list for a future trip. :D
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/3/1 08:51
Sorry for not looking explicitly rkold. I used to live in Japan and would leave in mid June and come back early August. I've got it in the back of my head that there will be no hydrangeas when I am in Japan.

I'll be in Kanazawa mid to late July, so there might be some when I visit.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/3/1 08:57
Thanks for the information about Yushien Garden-we'll be in Matsue in the second half of March, will definitely make that a place to visit. We'll be driving down the San-in Coast, ending in Hagi.

I very much like Kanazawa, and we hope to get to the Noto Peninsula by car at some point. Kanazawa is definitely getting busier-the Shinkansen influence, I imagine. The older districts are quite lovely, and the modern art museum is stunning.

Enjoy your trip!
by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/3/1 16:28
mfedley: yes, i also felt Adachi highly overrated (even i was almost alown there much time before all the hordes of tourists came) and - thats why Yushien is even more a positive surprise. (i didnt expect much, just didnt want to go where most tourists go, so i thought i give it a try)

It is also actually easy to reach from Matsue, even if you dont have a car, there is a direct bus (ok, it takes almost 45 minutes, but is a beautiful ride next to the lagune. take care it doesnt go that often). here is the bus time table:
https://www.ichibata.co.jp/bus/rosen/shuttle-bus.html
(use google translate)

and info:
https://www.visit-matsue.com/discover/outer_matsue/daikonshima

i think the reason why it is not so well known maybe just because it is not such an "old" garden like the other 5 famous ones. it was relatively new build but with all the knowledge of modern time about gardening, therefore it is so beautiful -it optimizes and perfectionizes the art from old the other gardens combined. defiantly a highlight there.

and even if all other sites in this area might be seen quickly, there are beautiful onsen places there (e.g. tamatsukurionsen). and nice onsen is always a reason to revisit something. :-)
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/3/1 17:17
I think I know what you mean by that. When I originally visited the area in 2014, it would not have been known even less then. It was also not on JG as well I think....

Strangely, my favorite part of Matsue was catching the boat around the old moat.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/3/1 21:42
I too am fond of Kanazawa and also recommend the DT Suzuki Museum for a bit of peaceful contemplation.

I also wanted to agree with others about Yushien. It's a fabulous garden and yes, MUCH better than Adachi, which is beautiful but such a sterile experience, being only able to appreciate it from the windows with loads of other people all vying for a good view point.

by Saru Bob rate this post as useful

Re: Revisiting Kanazawa - Some Thoughts... 2018/3/1 22:25
@Mfeldley, not a problem, I really have been over tired and thought I could have misread. I did a 5k on the 23rd, 10k on the 24th, and 1/2 on the 25th. All the races involved getting on a bus at 3:00 am for a ~5:30 am start. It was an awesome experience but left me exhausted.

We'll probably miss each other by a few weeks in Japan.

I've found that sometimes you can catch the tail end of flower viewing and it can still be quite pleasant, partially because the crowds have decreased. I enjoyed Sakata like that, though it seemed like a really sleepy town as is. (I went in '09.)

Good luck, your trip sounds awesome. :)

by rkold rate this post as useful

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