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Nihonkai Tour 2018 - Day 1

This year’s summer trip will bring us from Kanazawa to Shimane and back to Kobe via Ako and Himeji. It’s the first time for me to travel along the western Sea of Japan. My brother and his wife are with us, and we’re excited to explore terra incognita. This blog will present a random collection of impressions and photos, and more thorough descriptions will later be posted to our Travel section in the Articles.

We started out on Friday and decided to avoid the highways as much as possible, travelling through Nagano and Gifu prefectures via Norikura. That turned out to be quite an adventure: narrow mountain roads with lots of buses and other traffic, though very scenic. Norikura has been added to our must-see list.

Yesterday, we visited Kanazawa. I have been here before when we cycled from Niigata to Kyoto (“Tour de Hokuriku”), but we could spend only a few hours on the town. Yesterday, we had an entire day, but it was not enough. If you want to to see the excellent museums too (such as the renowned Museum of the 21st Century), plan for at least two days.

Below a few highlights, starting with Kenrokuen, one of three magnificent gardens of Japan:

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Kanazawa Castle: a lot of reconstruction since I came last time. The Ishikawa-mon has been renovated and the second bailey (ninomaru) reconstructed. Impressive.

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Nomura Samurai Residence:

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We also visited the bukkeyashiki, the samurai quarters, and the Nakamachi with its teahouses and artisan (Kanazawa is famous for its gold leaves).

In the evening, there are light shows in the Kenrakuen and parts of the Castle Park.

We were quite amazed at the number of foreign visitors. In Nakamachi, more people spoke Italian and French than Japanese!

I wish we’d have more time. Kanazawa is a spectacular destination. We’ll be back.

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