Kanazawa is Japanese for rain
Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
21Trip End Jan 29, 2010
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Kanazawa is roughly on the same latitude as Tokyo, but on the western seaboard rather than the east. Our first day there, we went to see the crown jewel of the city - Kanazawa castle and Kenrokuen castle park. The castle was actually reconstructed in 2001, so it wasn't very 'authentic', however they show you the techniques they use to fortify their structures against earthquakes etc.
Kenrokuen is meant to be one of best three gardens in Japan. Unfortunately, the day we went there was the worst day imaginable for sight seeing - Kanazawa couldn't decide whether to rain or snow, so it sleeted the whole day instead. Nonetheless, the garden was very beautiful
It then rained for the next 2 days we were there, pretty much continuously. We went to the eastern mountain ranges, where there was a walking trail for temples and also an old Geisha district - but all of a sudden it started hailing on us - serious hail, and we decided the walking tracks were too dodgy and slippery to continue.
We also went to see a cool place called Myoryuji Temple (or more appropriately named Ninja Temple). This was a complicated 4 level, 7 'layer' construction with lots of booby traps and secret doors and tunnels built in, thus the name. It's not actually associated with ninja though. If you go to Kanazawa, be sure to make a reservation and stop by!
On our last day there, we went to the Kanazawa Museum of contemporary art, which had a cool light exhibition by a Danish artist. Ash reckons it's the 2nd best museum of contemporary art he's been to!