Wednesday, February 8, 2017

a random journey to Kanazawa

Actually I was planning to make a come back to this blog last year. I made this draft around the beginning of last year, but somehow I didn't finish it and it become forgotten. I decided to continue and publish. Hope you enjoy this article :)

I made a really random journey to Kanazawa on January last year. I said it random because my friend and I decide to go there just less than one week before our departure. All the preparation were done within four days (as the best I could remember). Honestly, as a perfectionist I never travel as random as that before, but it was fun! Let me start :D

After about three hours bus trip, we arrived at Kanazawa Station at noon. By the time I step my foot in the station, I can feel that nostalgic feeling. I've been there (almost) exactly three years ago for an exchange student program and made a lot of unforgettable memory. My japanese friend pick us up and we had lunch at station. Finding halal food in Japan nowadays is much easier, however it still challenging. Seafood usually the only choice I have in most of the restaurant. I had a delicious unagi that day. We were heading to 21st Century Museum after fulfill our stomach with delicious-(relatively)cheap food. Back then, I didn't enter the exhibition and just enjoying the free admission museum hahaha. So, this time I decide to buy the ticket. Although I am not really into art, I found it's interesting to spend some time enjoying those art in the museum. Please go to the website for further info.

One of free artsy stuff in 21st Century Museum. You can see my friend in the photo lol

Finish with some artsy, my friend brought us to take a look at Kanazawa university. Three years ago it was full with snow and this tropical girl is so happy to see snow, but last year there was no snow. It looks so different but still success to bring back those sweet memory :") After put our luggage and check in the guest house, we were strolling around higashichaya. It only takes less than 5 minutes on foot to go there from our guest house. This district is a popular place to see many old japanese house, and we even can take a look on geisha house. Since kanazawa is well known for its gold, although it was a very freezing afternoon, it didn't stop us to enjoy a cone of gold ice cream. The owner of the shop was so kind, he told the staff to make it for us although they just close the business. I can't describe how delicious the ice cream was. It was so soft and milky, I understand why people line up like crazy before it closed. We were the lucky last customer!

At the first night, we didn't really do many things outside. We just had dinner while somehow got a better understanding of kanazawa map. Three years ago, I always commuting from one place to the other place either by the university's bus or my japanese friends' car. So, I didn't really have the idea of how exactly we were moving. It just during this trip, I understand kanazawa's map..which is pretty simple hahaha.

The fireman festival. I'm super freezing even just by watch it.

On the second day, we bought one day pass and head to Kanazawa Castle. We bought the ticket for both the castle and kenrokuen, it is cheaper that way rather than you buy it separately and you can save the ticket for the next day if you feel like tomorrow gonna be a better day to visit the garden (like what I did, hoping the snow will fall and make the garden more beautiful). Every first monday on january every year (the second if the first one is national holiday), there is a fireman festival in the castle. We arrived there just on time and amazed by how great the performance was. It was a freezing morning but they give their best on the performance with water and almost naked!! I don't know if it because I'm a tropical girl so I feel it's crazy, but I did really enjoy the show! :) Kanazawa castle was the first castle I've visited in Japan, and I (once again) enjoyed that nostalgic feeling while explore the castle.

Kanazawa castle. The first japanese castle I visit four years ago :")

Finish with the castle, we were heading to Furusato Ijinkan or can be translated as Great People of Kanazawa Memorial Museum. As its name, it has collection and history of famous people from Kanazawa. Since my friend wasn't interested, so she waited in the first floor while I'm exploring the museum by myself. The ticket price is around 300 yen. I even took a selfie in the area of Jokichi Takamine, one of the most famous person on my field.

Another thing I like from Kanazawa is the city it self is not that big. Many interesting place are located close to each other. We went to the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts. We can see many forms of traditional crafts from Ishikawa, as well as buying some if you are interested. When we went to the museum, there was an exhibition to make a gold craft. With less than 1000 yen we can make the crafts and bring the result home. I'm happy with the result, especially because we can choose the design we want. The sensei kindly told us step by step, so even with our not-so-fluent japanese we can make it! I am a craft enthusiast, this kind of activity is always on my list whenever I travel (as long as it's not that pricey).

A photo posted by Almsul Alfi[アルフィ| اَلْفِ] (@almasulalfi) on

We spent the afternoon by shopping, having dinner, meeting up with friend, and strolling around kanazawa station. If you have chance to visit Kanazawa, taking photo in front of the station is one of the thing you should do. It has unique design and one of the icon of Kanazawa. On this short escape, we took photos both day and night. Well, it's quite challenging at night especially because I didn't bring tripod for my camera.

Kanazawa station at night

On the third day, we start our journey by have breakfast at the popular fish market in kanazawa: oomicho market. We had our stomach full with delicious sushi. We went there really early in the morning just after we move our luggage to coin locker in the station. Most of the shop still not open yet by the time we were arrive, and by the time we out there is a long line outside the restaurant. Again, we were lucky customer! :D

With full stomach, we were heading to the Kenrokuen. We decided to go there on our last day, because we were hoping to see the garden covered with snow. However, the snow was hardly can be seen. This park is one of the three famous garden in Japan known as Nihon Sanmeien, together with Korakuen in Okayama and Kairakuen in Mito. It has the oldest fountain in Japan. You can enjoy strolling around the garden while enjoying its beauty and have some tea. I love to collect postcard, especially the unusual one. I got some wood postcards and bookmark there :) The location of Kenrokuen, Kanazawa Castle, and The 21st Century Museum are really close to each other. So, you can explore all of them in the same day.

Kenrokuen in the winter..without snow T.T

Before heading to the station where our bus will depart, we were strolling in Nagamachi Samurai District. It was not as crowded as Higashichaya District, but you can take some good photos there. It was very freezing morning in Kanazawa compare to Nagoya. As tropical girls, we were quite struggling to deal with the cold wind. If you want to come to Kanazawa on winter, better prepare yourself lol

Finally we went to FORUS and had some quite luxury lunch. It was during the lunch time, therefore most of the restaurant were having a long line. But, it was delicious and we were not ready to come back to reality! :)

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