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Kanazawa looks like the Japan tourists have come to see

At the 21st Century Museum I found one of the few cherry trees still blooming in Kanazawa; since the museum offers free admission, it took people about an hour to get in

At the 21st Century Museum I found one of the few cherry trees still blooming in Kanazawa; since the museum offers free admission, it took people about an hour to get in

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is known for having art that visitors can touch or sit on; we used a bus day pass to get around the city although the waits were sometimes long

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is known for having art that visitors can touch or sit on; we used a bus day pass to get around the city although the waits were sometimes long

Ishikawamon Gate, built in 1788, is one of the few remaining original structures at Kanazawa Castle; the gate connects the castle to Kenrokuen Garden

Ishikawamon Gate, built in 1788, is one of the few remaining original structures at Kanazawa Castle; the gate connects the castle to Kenrokuen Garden

I actually joined the group for dinner the first night we were all together; the Japanese sat on the floor but the restaurant had chairs for tourists

I actually joined the group for dinner the first night we were all together; the Japanese sat on the floor but the restaurant had chairs for tourists

Ninja Temple, named because of its deceptive defenses, has 29 staircases and 23 rooms; featured are ways to fool the enemy such as hidden rooms, completely unexpected and reversible trap-like doors, secret tunnels and escape pits

Ninja Temple, named because of its deceptive defenses, has 29 staircases and 23 rooms; featured are ways to fool the enemy such as hidden rooms, completely unexpected and reversible trap-like doors, secret tunnels and escape pits

I was surprised at how large an area Kanazawa Castle occupies; after repeated fires, little remained of the original castle but it has been largely rebuilt using traditional architectural methods

I was surprised at how large an area Kanazawa Castle occupies; after repeated fires, little remained of the original castle but it has been largely rebuilt using traditional architectural methods

The eastern portion of Kanazawa is dominated by the stunning Japanese Alps; it is not ironic then that sister cities include Buffalo, NY and Irkutsk, Russia

The eastern portion of Kanazawa is dominated by the stunning Japanese Alps; it is not ironic then that sister cities include Buffalo, NY and Irkutsk, Russia

Such a cool welcome fountain at the train station; Kanazawa lies on the Sea of Japan on the west side of Honshu with a population of roughly 470,000

Such a cool welcome fountain at the train station; Kanazawa lies on the Sea of Japan on the west side of Honshu with a population of roughly 470,000

We visited the Omicho Market which is the most popular in town; the signs weren't in English so I had no idea what most items were (or what people did with them!)

We visited the Omicho Market which is the most popular in town; the signs weren't in English so I had no idea what most items were (or what people did with them!)

Bathrooms in Japan have fancy toilets that made me nervous about just finding the flush button; I've seen very few Japanese people smoking and, even outside, there are often designated smoking areas

Bathrooms in Japan have fancy toilets that made me nervous about just finding the flush button; I've seen very few Japanese people smoking and, even outside, there are often designated smoking areas

This is Kanazawa's famous Geisha district which is packed at night; the latticed wooden facades and second floor reception rooms are characteristic of tea house buildings at the end of the Edo period

This is Kanazawa's famous Geisha district which is packed at night; the latticed wooden facades and second floor reception rooms are characteristic of tea house buildings at the end of the Edo period

Kanazawa is famous for its intricate gold leaf work (the city produces 99% o Japan's total); the tradition of Kanazawa gold leaf work goes back 400  years

Kanazawa is famous for its intricate gold leaf work (the city produces 99% of Japan's total); the tradition of Kanazawa gold leaf work goes back 400+ years

The Nagamachi Samurai District is the only remaining samurai district that has been preserved; this area is where middle-class samurai families lived

The Nagamachi Samurai District is the only remaining samurai district that has been preserved; this area is where middle-class samurai families lived

This garden retains the atmosphere of the feudal period; much of Kanazawa's considerable architectural heritage has been preserved because it wasn't bombed during WW2

This garden retains the atmosphere of the feudal period; much of Kanazawa's considerable architectural heritage has been preserved because it wasn't bombed during WW2

Kanazawa, like every Japanese city so far, has had very helpful, tourist-friendly maps in English; they give you transit information as well as details on the main sights to visit

Kanazawa, like every Japanese city so far, has had very helpful, tourist-friendly maps in English; they give you transit information as well as details on the main sights to visit

Kanazawa Castle was the headquarters of the Maeda clan for 14 generations (they ruled this region in feudal times) until the arrival of imperial rule in 1871

Kanazawa Castle was the headquarters of the Maeda clan for 14 generations (they ruled this region in feudal times) until the arrival of imperial rule in 1871

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is adjacent to the castle and garden; I wanted to go inside (it was free!) but the wait was too long

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is adjacent to the castle and garden; I wanted to go inside (it was free!) but the wait was too long

Stones are used to hold down shingles on traditional Japanese houses; the stones also break up the snow and ice when the temperature warms up in springtime

Stones are used to hold down shingles on traditional Japanese houses; the stones also break up the snow and ice when the temperature warms up in springtime

I'd love to see how this intricate gold leaf work is done; Kanazawa is famous for tea with gold flakes, which is considered by the Japanese people to be good for health and vitality (they even had gold leaf ice cream too!)

I'd love to see how this intricate gold leaf work is done; Kanazawa is famous for tea with gold flakes, which is considered by the Japanese people to be good for health and vitality (they even had gold leaf ice cream too!)

There's something hypnotic about seeing the cherry trees in blossom; along with the chrysanthemum, the cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan

There's something hypnotic about seeing the cherry trees in blossom; along with the chrysanthemum, the cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan

To supply drinking water for Kanazawa Castle, a series of canals nearly 15kms long (built from 1583-1630), was connected to the moat system

To supply drinking water for Kanazawa Castle, a series of canals nearly 15kms long (built from 1583-1630), was connected to the moat system

Posted by VagabondCowboy 01:42

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