Sunday 28/10 (2/2)

From Florence:

We got all ready in the car and we were ready for a trip of 1-2h to Kanazawa. During the trip we kind of slept all the time because we were tired. We arrived at a garden and it was so pretty. There were all the fall colours and it was really nice. We passed by one garden and on our way to the second we saw a Japanese wedding. It was so nice because everyone was in a kimono. Even the bride! When that was over, we went to the second garden that was also really nice. We finished with the gardens and we still had a 10-20 minute drive to the hotel. We arrived at the place and it was so confusing because we didn’t know where the hotel was. Mom went looking for the hotel and actually found it but they said that they had 2 branches and this one was the first one and that we were on the second one. So we went to the next place and we found it. From the outside, it really looked bad but when we went inside, it wasn’t that bad. There was a kid room, a manga room and a lounge room. We were in the last floor (4th floor). In the rooms there were 2 bunk beds and a extra mattress and everything for the one on the floor in the middle. The mattresses were really comfy. The only bad thing was that the shower stream wasn’t really good but the rest was good. For dinner we went and ate sushi. They were delicious! We came back and went to bed really fast. That was our day. Bye.


From me:

It was a brilliant idea to rent this car. I don’t know how we would have managed without.

We reach Kanazawa at 10am, our stop of today. We are all starving. We decide to wait till noon (the opening of the restaurant) to eat a pizza.

Meanwhile we go and walk in the Kenkorun-en, ranked as one of the top three gardens in Japan, and then the Gyokusen Inmaru Garden. In between, we see a Japanese wedding. We also pass in the Kanazawa Castle Park.

At noon sharp, we enter the pizzeria, hold by an… Irish guy. The pizza and the pasta are good.

We go inside Tokyu Hands. Halloween sales are in full speed (3 days to go!).

We find one of the best bakeries of the trip (‘Mariage de Farine’), where we buy excellent chocolate breads and a baguette.

It’s a bit tricky to find the hostel that we recently booked. That’s the great advantage with booking.com: we can easily cancel a booking. I had booked another hostel but it was not great and expensive (that’s the only solution I found at that time) and Isabelle recently managed to find a cheaper solution. As always in Japan, Isabelle and I sleep on the floor. The tenants are very nice and give us much advice.

We leave the kids at the hostel and we take the bikes from the hostel to go to the ‘21st Century of Contemporary Art’. The building itself is nice (a low-slung glass cylinder of more than 100m of diameter). There are interesting artworks including the ‘Blue Planet Sky’ of James Turrell. We especially like ‘The Swimming Pool’, by Leandro Erlich whose creations transform an entire space into a world of humour and wit and throw viewers’ perception into confusion. This particular creation (‘The Swimming Pool’) is an original concept: from above, viewers see what looks like a full pool of water with fully clothed visitors walking around the bottom of the pool. From below, the blurry vision of looking up when underwater is recreated using a thin piece of transparent glass with a 10cm-layer of water running over top of it. Complete with a climbing ladder, ‘The Swimming Pool’ is a fun and interactive installation that creates the illusion of being underwater whilst remaining completely dry.

We go back to the hostel where we have to wake up the kids, who are sound asleep.

Kanazawa is known for its fresh seafood from the nearby coast. We go, on foot, to the nearby (impressive) Kanazawa station where the hostel tenants recommended us a good kaiten-sushi. But the queue is so long that they don’t even allow people to queue anymore… We go to the other sushi restaurant beside where we have to order sushi sets. It’s a good way to force us to order something different from our traditional salmon, tuna and shrimp sushis. We eat in a small room. It’s a very nice experience; we are also happy to try other kind of sushis.


Sunday 29/10 (1/2)

We park the car at the train station. Nice breakfast in a French bakery in the mall of the station (chocolate breads).

We go to the Omi-cho Market, on foot. It is a bustling warren of fishmongers, buyers and restaurants. It’s a great place to watch everyday people in action or indulge in the freshest sashimi and local produce. That’s what we do: we eat fresh urshin and shrimps. It’s amazing to see people queuing in front of sushi restaurants at 10:30 in the morning…

It’s raining heavily.

Leaving Kanazawa (towards Tokyo, our final destination in Japan) is not easy: it’s the Kanazawa marathon today and many roads are closed. But Isabelle guides me efficiently, as always. What a co-pilot!

This stop in Kanazawa was very quick so we couldn’t visit much (and the weather didn’t help…). We didn’t visit the DT Suzuki Museum or the Geisha and Samurai districts.

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