This garden is the third largest in Japan. This is our second visit to Kenroku-en. Our first was over 15 years ago. We started in a drizzling rain and ended in torrential downpours. There were a few sun rays in between.
June-July really are the worst months to visit Japan but given my vacation schedule, June-July is preferable over December-January. Imagine this park in fall with the maples changing colors or spring with a riot of azalea color. Maybe some day. We enjoyed the beauty of the structure of the park without the theatrical color aspect. We still love it.
We escaped the rain at the garden’s teahouse. We drank green tea and nibbled on the most beautiful tea cookies while sitting on tatami mats and admiring the garden view.
The rains became intense. So, we decided to end our visit to the garden and walked over a mile back to our hotel. Our little collapsible travel umbrellas kept our heads dry but we arrived back soaked through and through. Fortunately, it was over 80 degrees and it was like being kids again.
The original castle was constructed in the late 1500’s. This was the beginning of the town of Kanazawa. Much restoration was completed in the last few decades. We explored through the castle buildings and the beautiful gardens in the castle complex.
Being over 65, we got in free. This is the first time I have experienced in Asia where a tourist got the same rights as the locals. Every where else, tourists pay regardless of local customs.
Kanazawa was spared bombing during WWII. Many old structures remain. A few areas have blocks of preserved structures. Much has been torn down and replaced with modern structures. Following are a few photos of these areas.
We went inside an old teahouse where geishas entertained rich men with music, dance and tea ceremonies.
The hot new thing in Kanazawa is a soft serve ice cream cone covered with a sheet of 22K gold leaf, which is edible. Guess gold prices are down. These cone go for about 10 USD. These were selling everywhere.
Tomorrow, after another surprise Japanese breakfast, we will walk from our trusty Hotel Trusty to Kanazawa Castle and gardens. Only 3 blocks away.
Arriving Osaka from Shanghai at 10PM, we overnighted at the Nikko Kansai Airport hotel. The next morning we trained for 4 hours from Osaka to Kanazawa via Kyoto.
We arrived Kanazawa and taxied to our hotel. Good new Hotel Trusty. Laugh at the name, so Asian. Everything gets an English language name even though it makes no sense. Brand new and contemporary in style, next door to Salvatore Ferragamo and across from Gucci. Guess we won’t be shopping. Our hotel tariff includes breakfast. Very Japanese fare.
We ate a lot of these goodies and not so goodies. Fortunately, they also had a Western section. Most guests here are Japanese. They are both.
The following photo is my oxymoronic post of the day.
Today we begin our exploration of Kanazawa. Future post will encompass two areas, ancient architecture and the park gardens. Sayonnara for now.