Kanazawa Manten Hotel
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... the Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Gardens. It looked very crowded at first, with lots of tour groups, but we soon got away from all that havoc and found peaceful spaces to enjoy.
The castle construction showed superb craftsmanship. Some of it had been destroyed by fire and expertly rebuilt from old drawings. It is larger than we expected and the grounds and structures kept in immaculate ...
... with the heavy lifting. Japan is efficient in many ways, but it also appears to be into job creation, with it sometimes taking up to 4 people just to halt traffic so one vehicle can cross a driveway across a busy footpath. And they love a uniform, regardless of the role, even a parking attendant gets a uniform.
A few general observations before we get to Kanazawa:
1. You rarely see litter bins (or as the Japanese call ...
... we decided to make today an "easy going day". We slept in, travelled by bike, did not fill the day with too many activities and we decided to finish with a massage. Willem went for the foot reflexology and i chose the full body care. We both came to the conclusion that these little Japanese ladies have very strong hands: the massage was half way between torture and heaven. It was fantastic ;) Now we're ready for Kyoto ...
... walk. 1st to the market where we tasted some local food (see pictures). We also bought something that looked that huge grape but actually tasted like prunes. Delicious ;) Then we went to Kanazawa Castle, a big white building in a beautiful park. We saw some gardeners trimming the trees with so much care and attention. It was like bonsai work but for normal sized trees. Crazy Japanese people :) we love them for that :) In the castle ...
... and panoramas. The garden is beautiful…but different than we think of with American or European gardens. Emphasis is on greenery and water, rather than our usual emphasis on flowers. That said, in the spring they do have cherry blossoms and plum blossoms along with irises. The garden includes some trees that are 100+ years old and the oldest fountain in Japan (1861…not fancy, simply an upward spout of water). It is definitely a place worth visiting.