Day 14 – Takayama to Kanazawa – 2 July 2019 – visiting the Ninja Temple, dressed in kimono at Kenrokuen and Omicho Market

Kanazawa is a city north of Kyoto and north west of Takayama. It is home a stunning array of gardens and street stalls. Unlike other Japanese cities, many of the attractions are within walking distance of Kanazawa Station. We found getting around Kanazawa very easy and walk-able.

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We journeyed to the Myouruji or Ninja Temple. It is less a temple and more a museum. You have to reserve a spot to be able to join the tour. You can simply walk in. However, if you are lucky and they have open slots, you can turn up and join a group. If you can’t reserve, best to turn up early and get a spot.

If you are in the area, the area is full of feudal style houses. You will get the impression you are walking through a samurai village.

The Ninja Temple belongs to the Maeda family. A famous family during the Sengoku Period. The Ninja Temple is a must try experience. Unfortunately, you can’t take photos or videos within the premises. However, you can expect trap doors, fake entrances, holes for occupiers to escape and see through walls. It is an intricate and interestingly designed castle, built to trick enemies and potential foes. The tour guide had super interesting stories to tell.

I really enjoyed the tour, because the tour guides took you through the entire castle and showed you all the hidden secrets. It was so fascinating. One trick was a door that could only open if you opened it in a certain way.

We walked through the ninja and samurai area, taking in the sights. We passed Omicho Market, which had a fresh array of seafood and other delicious treats. We weren’t feeling ready for food, so we didn’t stay long. Omicho Market was a moderately sized market and was within 15 minutes walking from Kanazawa Station.

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We decided to head to Kenrokuen, which is a huge garden near Kanazawa Castle. We opted to get dressed in traditional kimono with the wooden sandals. Trust me, it was hard walking around in wooden shoes. The path towards the garden is paved in pebbles and rocks. A word of caution. Walk slowly and carefully.

There was a place near the gardens that we attended without a reservation. The store was able to assist and dress us up for a reasonable fee.

We paid the entry fee and were allowed to explore the massive garden. It is truly one of the best gardens in all of Japan.

The paths are well paved and take you to all corners of the garden. There were so many beautiful vistas to see and behold. We felt fortunate to be in kimono, as we took heaps of photos of us in the garden in our outfits.

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There were so many beautiful gems to capture.

Outside Kenrokuen and Kanazawa Castle are garden paths. I recommend walking through them, because there are free and great care is taken to make them look as stunning as they do.

If you are a plant or garden person, Kanazawa is definitely a place you should add to your list. There are so many wonderful plants and wildlife to capture. I have a catalogue of beautiful plants and wildlife in my photo album.

For dinner, we visited the Kanazawa Forus, which is a contemporary shopping center next to Kanazawa Station. It was full of interesting shops and restaurants. We stopped by an all you can eat restaurant and had some delicious beef or pork shabu shabu. You choose between Japanese wagyu or Australian wagyu. For obvious reasons, the Japanese wagyu was more expensive.

We were well served at the restaurant. Every request for additional meat was provided without any fuss or concern. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals. They provided us eggs for us to use as glazed for the cooked meat. We had two broths, one was Soy Sauce Soup and the other was Seaweed. We had a choice of any drinks and any vegetables and condiments.

We also wanted to catch up on the latest Spiderman flick, Spiderman: Far From Home. It had English and Japanese subtitles. Japanese cinemas are clean, well kept and ticket prices are affordable. We enjoyed the movie and the fun trailers that played before the movie started. It was so cool to see a movie in a Japanese cinema for the first time.

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Next time Day 15 – Kanazawa to Tokyo – 3 July 2019 – Ginza Pokemon Cafe, Akihabara, and the best ramen in Ikebukuro, Mutekiya.

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