Travel restarting: Kanazawa: An update from Kanazawa’s popular sightseeing spots
The distinctive red sculpture at Kanazawa Station
Having seen very few other visitors on my recent visit to Nikko, I was very interested to see how attractions in a small but usually popular destination like Kanazawa were weathering the situation. Arriving in the morning on a bright and very hot day, I found the city quieter than usual but far from a ghost town.
Fresh oysters on display
The next location on my list was the Oyama Shrine, located in a leafy, secluded precinct in the heart of the city known for its unusual gate building and small strolling garden. The shrine was perhaps a little quieter than usual, but at least a handful of other visitors came and went as I took a look around.
The Oyama Shrine's distinctive gate combines Japanese, Chinese and Dutch architectural features
View of the main building
The shrine's strolling garden
The reconstructed Nezumita-mon Gate
Interior of the Nezumita-mon Gate
Elaborate beams support the roof
View of Gyokuseninmaru Garden
From Gyokuseninmaru I threaded my way through the castle grounds, admiring the reconstructed watchtowers, gates and turrets. To escape the heat, I paused at the Tsurunomaru Rest House, an attractive space with interactive exhibits about the castle and a cafe, where I enjoyed an ice-cream and the panoramic view of an inner courtyard, which I had almost to myself. Altogether, I encountered a few dozen other visitors at the castle, but with that number spread across the extensive grounds it still seemed very quiet.
View of the Tsuzuki Yagura (watchtower)
The Hashizume-mon gate
View from the Tsurunomaru Rest House
The famous Kotojitoro Lantern is a popular symbol of Kanazawa
Higashi Chaya District
Edo-style machiya houses in the Higashi Chaya area
Many of Higashi Chaya's smaller teahouses remain closed
Attractive tsubo-niwa (enclosed garden) in one of Higashi Chaya's gallery spaces
From there I crossed over to the opposite side of the city center to check out the Nishi Chaya District, another well-known geisha area. Much smaller than its east-side counterpart, the Nishi Chaya District is confined to a single street with rows of the same elegant, wood-latticed buildings on either side. Here I saw just a handful of other visitors taking pictures, and all but two of the street's teahouses were closed for the time being.
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
Visitors to the museum are greeted by a sophisticated-looking screening device
Swimming Pool, a well-known interactive work by Leandro Erlich