We arrived in Kanazawa mid-day, and after checking the weather forecast we headed straight for Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castle (the weather was looking quite wet for the next couple of days). Kenrokuen literally means, ‘the garden of six sublimities’. It’s one of the most famous gardens in Japan and it’s a must see while in Kanazawa.
I loved all the little eateries and bars located inside the gardens, and the best thing…I saw a Geisha through the window of the teahouse – I wasn’t really spying, okay maybe I was a little.
Adjacent to the gardens is Kanazawa Castle, built in the 1580’s. It was nice for a quick walk around. We didn’t go inside since we had already gone inside the one in Himeji and I think they are very similar.
Thankfully we had seen a lot the previous day because the next day it rained a lot! We quickly walked through the Nishi Chaya District, it’s the smallest preserved Chaya District. We made our way to Teramachi (the historic temple district) and visited the ‘Ninja Temple’ which is formally called Myoryuji. Unfortunately no photography was allowed inside the ‘Ninja Temple’ and we can only assume it’s because they don’t want to give away all the secret passage-ways, trap doors, hidden staircases, and secret rooms. That building was crazy inside!
Kazuemachi and Higashi Chaya districts should not be missed if you’re in Kanazawa. The chaya (teahouse) were exclusive places where guests were entertained by Geisha. These two districts are nice to walk around and both of them are very well preserved.
Higashi Chaya District
Another area that is a must see is the Nagamachi Samurai District. This is where the Samurai and their families used to reside. We loved walking around here and imagining what it would have been like in the years of the Samurai. A very nice local man took some time to explain the area to us and he was very enthusiastic about it. The local people are so friendly!
We also went inside a restored Samurai house – Nomura-ke. It displayed some artifacts and showed the lifestyle of the Samurai. The garden at the house was really beautiful.
We both loved Kanazawa and in our opinion this beautiful city should not be missed if you’re visiting Japan.
Where we stayed: Hotel Mystays Premier Kanazawa 👍