We took a trip to Kanazawa at the beginning of February. We have a Youtube vlog about our trip, so please check it out! Here is a little about our trip and the wonderful city itself.
(Note: Around that time in Japan, stories about a new virus from China were making the news. We were aware we had to be careful while travelling, and made sure to stop for bathroom breaks to wash our hands often. We also brought hand sanitizer, and didn’t go near large crowds.)
It was our first time to visit this area of Japan, and we didn’t really know what to expect! As it was a surprise trip, Daddy only mysteriously mentioned we would be going somewhere cold, so we prepared for low temperatures.
Kanazawa is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, located in the Hokuriku area of Japan lying along the Japan Sea. It was home to a powerful feudal clan, the Maeda, during the Edo Era. Many skilled craftsmen, musicians and tradesmen came to Kanazawa and it retains this high level of traditional craftsmanship.
There are famous products that come out of Kanazawa, such as gold- leaf, kutaniyaki porcelain pottery and soy sauce.
Although it does not often appear on many “must- see” lists of foreigners visiting Japan, it has beautiful gardens, castles and cultural treasures of its own.
Kanazawa has a rainy climate and experiences heavy snowfall in winter, which is clear by the lush greenery all around. You will see unique “Yuki tsuri” structures of ropes suspended from bamboo and attached to trees. These are used to catch falling snow to prevent branches being weighed down.
These Yuki tsuri structures on the pine trees are a very common sight and characteristic of Kanazawa.
Eki- ben at Shizuoka station: Before taking the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Shizuoka Station, we picked up “Eki- ben”, which is a boxed lunch filled with food from the local area.
Daddy got Maku- no- Uchi (Behind the Curtain) bento, the most popular choice. It was filled with Shizuoka’s ‘soul foods’ like wasabi (Japanese horse radish) paste, and kuro hanpen fish cakes.
Mommy chose the Fuji- san bento, shaped like Mt. Fuji! It was filled with locally grown vegetables, and “Sakura Shrimp”, tiny pink shrimp which are caught in Shizuoka’s Suruga Bay. It was healthy and delicious. A great start to the trip.
We arrived after a few hours. Seán did really well and was excited to ride some new trains. Along the way, Daddy told us where we would be going and we pored through the guidebooks.
Kanazawa Station is sightseeing spot in itself! Like Kanazawa city, the station has the feel of preserving tradition while incorporating modern ideas and styles. I had heard from Japanese friends that Kanazawa station is know as the most beautiful in Japan, and never quite understood until I saw it for myself.
The most striking feature is the huge wooden gate outside. It is designed like a Torii gate, these are structures that usually mark the entrance to a shrine. This gate has become an icon for Kanazawa city. It is known as “Tsuzumi Gate”. A Tsuzumi is a type of drum used in traditional Japanese Noh theatre, this reflects the cultural richness of Kanazawa.
There is also a glass and aluminium dome over the outer part of the station, protecting commuters from rain and snow. The station has won awards for its design and has been featured in lists of the world’s most beautiful train stations.
There are water features and lanterns outside the station, making it a spot where you will definitely want to stop a while and take everything in.
After off- shouldering our bags and taking a little breather, it was time to get some dinner! Our first stop on our trip was “Mori Mori” Sushi, a local “Conveyor belt” sushi restaurant in Kanazawa.
Daddy had done some research and found a much- loved kaiten sushi restaurant, with high quality sushi at reasonable prices. The interior was really beautiful, the staff friendly and at around 5pm it was not busy at all. It quickly filled up later on in the evening so I recommend getting there early!
We definitely wanted to try Black Seaperch (Known as Nodoguro), which is famous in the Hokuriku region. Though it is a white- fleshed fish, it has a high fat content and is loved for its rich taste and thought of as a ‘luxury’ fish.
They offer a variety of fresh raw, boiled and baked seafood, including the usual tuna, salmon and egg sushi (Seán loved the Natto soy beans!). They also have a great selection of specialties from the Hokuriku area, shellfish, crab and sea urchin.
It was really delicious, a little more expensive than the usual conveyor- belt type sushi restaurants, but the quality is also much higher. If you at it another way, Morimori sushi allows you to enjoy some of the most famous kinds of sushi in Japan for a more reasonable price than many high- level sushi restaurants.
If you are not into sushi, they also have delicious Miso soups (we ordered the seaperch and crab varieties), and other dishes.
We were enticed by the French Ice- cream dessert, so we got some for Seán after dinner. It came with cornflakes sprinkled on top- he was a happy boy!
2-chome-89 Fukuhisa Kanazawa Ishikawa
Check out our video to find out Mommy and Daddy’s top 3 things on the menu, and Seán’s best choice!
After dinner, we checked out a craft shop selling Kutaniyaki, which is a kind of painted porcelain pottery from the Kutani area in Ishikawa Prefecture. It is famous for its bright colours and unconventional patterns. We went home with two little plates chosen by Seánie himself. He really loves Daruma dolls and yellow chicks!
Next week, we visit one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens, Kenroku- en. It was designed with the principles of the six most beautiful aspects of a garden in mind, and did not disappoint!
Please leave a comment if you’d like any more information about anything in this post!
Thanks for reading!
Fuji family xx