Geishas, soft-serve ice cream covered in gold foil, beautiful parks, temples, and more. Kanazawa seems to have it all and then some. From the warm welcome on the pier to a farewell performance of local dancers waving goodbye to the ship the city of Kanazawa welcomes its visitors with sunshine and flair.
Kanazawa is a castle town dating from the 16th century. The feudal lords who ruled here invested in culture through its many parks and temples. It has always been known as a rich town and that is probably what sparked the indulgence of eating ice cream covered in gold. It’s a thing here. Really. Kongo passed on eating gold.
The crowded geisha district was pretty amazing. While the art of the geisha is dying out, plenty of local women (and me too) love to dress up in traditional costume and just walk around. They also like having their picture taken and they are pretty much in selfie heaven here.
It’s a national holiday period in Japan now and most of the country is on vacation celebrating the enthronement of a new emperor, Naruhito. This pretty much guarantees that wherever you go there are going to be lots and lots of people. The geisha district was packed!
Kongo also visited Kenrokuen gardens, which is more than 300 years old and used to be the residence of the daimyo, the reigning feudal lord.
This magnificent park is filled with statues and pagodas. Many of the historic trees are propped up to keep the branches from falling off.
Many couples walked through the park in kimonos and it added an extra layer of beauty to the natural landscape of the garden.
Kanazawa means “marsh of gold” and legend has it that a poor peasant dug up potatoes and gold flakes fell off the tuber. Maybe that’s where they got the idea of eating gold ice cream.
Throughout the park are ponds, streams, and little hills. The park itself sits on a large hill that provides a nice view of the city.
Travel safe. Have fun!