The Kaikaro Teahouse is located in Kanazawa’s Higashi Chaya (East Teahouse) district. Japanese teahouses are traditional establishments where guests may be entertained by Geishas. While most of those establishments are exclusive, the Kaikaro Teahouse is open to the public. The teahouse features many lavishly decorated rooms on the second floor. The visit includes tea and a traditional Japanese desert (Kuzukiri) where noodles made of Kuzu starch are dipped in a sweet syrup covered by a thin gold leaf.
The 21st century museum of contemporary art in Kanazawa features modern art from around the world. The museum itself is an interesting piece of modern architecture with a circular design encircled by glass walls allowing for plenty of natural light to go through. One of the famous exhibit of the museum is Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool”. Visitors can enter the swimming pool through an access from the basement. The pool is covered by a glass ceiling with a shallow layer of water that gives the illusion of a real pool to the observers above while other guests are walking at the bottom.
Japan is known for its deliciously fresh fish and seafood. The city of Kanazawa, being a coastal town of the Sea of Japan, is no exception. The Omicho market features hundreds of booths selling fresh and diverse seafood. Many restaurants are also located in the market and feature raw fish dishes such as the Kaisen-don, assortments of raw seafood on a bowl of rice.
Kanazawa Castle is a large castle located in Kanazawa, just to the North-West of the Kenrokuen garden. The castle was destroyed many times through history due to fires and earthquakes but it was restored every time. The most recent work on the castle employed traditional Japanese construction techniques, preserving its historical value. The roof tiles, which give to the castle its distinctive color, are made of lead which could have been melted to make bullets during wartime.
The Kenrokuen garden in Kanazawa is one of Japan’s “three most beautiful landscape gardens”. The garden used to be the outer garden of the Kanazawa castle and has been open to the public since 1871.The garden features elaborate water system to keep each section of the garden well irrigated. Many professional gardeners can be seen taking an expert care of the various plants and flowers featured in the Kenrokuen garden.
Kanazawa Station is currently the terminus of the Hokuriku shinkansen line which is still under construction. The distinctive features of the station include a large glass dome and the iconic Tsuzumi wooden gate, symbolizing a traditional Japanese drum. The area surrounding the station features several shopping malls. A fountain clock also indicates the time as well as welcoming visitors to Kanazawa.
Hakuba is a famous ski resort of the Northern Japanese Alps in Nagano prefecture. In 1998, the ski competitions of the Nagano Olympics were held at the Hakuba ski resort. Other than ski in winter, the Hakuba resort offers a magnificent mountain scenery with famous mountains such as the Kashima-Yarigatake and mount Yarigatake. It can serve as an elevated starting point to some serious hikes in the Northern Japanese Alps.