Tokyo -> Kanazawa
My time in Tokyo had come to end and even though I hadn’t seen everything, I was ready to move on to a smaller city. Tokyo itself was fairly peaceful, however the people you meet at the hostels can be rather full on. After 5 days of socialising 20/7, it was time for some freedom and solitude.
Again, the JR rail pass came into use and it was so easy. Show the pass to the guard and walk into the station, no reservation required.
As the train reaches its top speed of 320km/h I can’t help but question again, how the UK is so far behind in technology and efficiency. The same question I had when I took the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai. It seems that we spend far to much time bickering in politics than improving. The UK rail network is a total disgrace compared to what I was experiencing. Every train is on time within minute accuracy, there were plenty of seats for everyone, and the conductor even bowed when he entered each train cart.
I feel there is so much the West and the East can learn from one another, but as a society we seem so stuck in our own ways. I honestly believe that all it would take is for the politicians of every country to take a year off, go travelling and experience the world. It would start a revolution like we’ve never seen before.
Japan continues amaze me just like China did but we can’t forget, that every country has it problems. China with its human slave trade and Japan with its disturbingly high suicide rate and although I’d like to write about both, I feel I do not know or understand near enough to do so without having paragraphs full of ignorance and misconception.
Shiro Guest House
There wasn’t THAT much choice for hostels in Kanazawa and the ones that were there seemed to defeat the purpose of the place wanting to be more of a drinking scene than anything else.
In the end I opted to pay a little extra and stay in a traditional Japanese guest house.
From the outside, there was little to give away what I’d find inside.
The common area below was a traditionally Japanese seating area and it was a great place to talk to Japanese people, even if it was over google translate.
The place was immaculate, just like with most things in Japan. All the instructions and maps, hand written and crafted by the owners wife.
The only qualm I had with the place was that my dorm room was close to a road and the windows were paper thin which
I’d like to think of Kanazawa as the garden of Japan, with its countless species of plants, flowers and trees. There is not that much to write about this place, so I thought I’d just share some pictures which really don’t do it any justice. If you come to Japan, absolutely bring an SLR camera if you have one and if you don’t, consider investing in one. Theres been so many times where I wished I had a better camera than my iPhone 6s.
I’ve seen a lot during my time travelling, whether that be astounding architecture or beautiful scenery but nothing quiet prepared me for the Castle of Kanazawa. Spanning 300ft wide, the blinding white structure glistened in the sun. It was a statement of power and beauty, and boy did it show it.
Japanese Tea and Sweets
After a day of exploring the garden and castle, I still had a fair amount of the day left so decided to stop for some traditional Japanese “afternoon tea”. I’m not exactly sure what the sweet was however it had the consistency of icing sugar but tasted bitter and the tea tasted exactly the same as normal green tea but was a much thicker green colour and had froth on the top. It was a nice experience and I’d recommend anyone to try it at least once.
I had done some other things in Kanazawa as well including the 21st century art museum, however I’m not a massive fan of old art and there was an entrance fee for the main exhibition so decided not to go. I did however go to the free part and it was rather interesting. If you have some spare time its definitely worth a look!
All in all Kanazawa may not be on the “Traditional” tourist trail, but I’m extremely happy I made the trip. It was beautiful place but definitely something which can be done in 1 day, 2 nights.