Today was to be our last day in the Ishikawa prefecture (after yesterday’s adventure), but we certainly wanted to make the most of our time.
After an early morning rise and a quick ride on the Kitasen Ishiwaka Line, we were back in Kanazawa, the capital city of the region.
Now, we planned to depart on the Shinkansen at around 5 pm, so we had a few extra hours to enjoy the city before we actually left.
As soon as we arrived, we stored our luggage at the main station and headed over to the Nishi Chaya District. This area is commonly known as the Geisha Area of Kanazawa and place where Geisha houses still exist to this day.
Although there’s not too much to see on the street itself, you can still take peek at the beautiful and historic houses of the Geisha District and learn more about the are in the Nishi Chaya Shiryokan Museum, which we hopped into.
Once inside, we got to learn more about how guests are entertained by Geishas and more about the practice.
We probably only spent around 30-60 minutes here, but it was well worth it before heading over to work up an appetite before lunch. Which, was something else entirely.
After a super short taxi ride from the Geisha District, we headed to Kincha-ryo which might be one our my favourite Japanese restaurants I’ve ever been visited.
Just like the Ryokan in Hakusan City, the Kincha-ryo restaurant was a kaiseki lunch of many courses.
As soon as we arrived, we were guided through the restaurant and into an area and intimate little cubby that overlooked the city – it was marvellous.
After some tea and some ice-cold plum juice, we started with our delicious courses.
Firstly, this was a small plate of raw tuna and roe, followed by a mozuku drink which is made from seaweed and quite salty. Afterwards, we gorged on some Octopus and miso soup and rice which is often served as the penultimate course of a kaiseki lunch.
Finally, after all the dishes, we made it to pudding of fresh fruit.
It was all so beautifully presented you kinda didn’t want to eat it. It looked like art and is easily up there as one of the best dining experiences we’ve had in Japan.
After filling up and conscious of time, we headed straight across to the Teramachi Temple and the Ninja Temple to take a wander around the older areas of the city. Now, the Ninja Temple is a fond name that the temple has been given due to its construction.
You see, when it was constructed, the temple was created with lots of secret passageways and little secret hideouts to hide from possible intruders. Nowadays, this isn’t the case but you do need to book a guided tour to go inside as you can get lost in the maze and walkways.
As we didn’t book, we gave this one a miss but had a good little wander around the grounds and saw some of the hidden features like the hollow stairs (where people would hide).
By this point, the midday sun was still strong, and so we decided to visit Tsuda-Mizuhiki-Origata for an indoor (and air-conditioned) experience of making Mizuhiki-zaiku.
For me, this was another challenge. I’m not sure what it is about my hand to eye co-ordination but for some reason, I just can’t seem to do anything well that remotely feels like sewing.
Thankfully, we had a totally patient teacher who almost had to spoon-feed me the twists and turns of making our pin badge. Though I’m so glad she did, we actually ended up creating it all by ourselves!
Within no time at all, it was 4 pm and almost time for the bullet train back to Tokyo. The Ishikawa Prefecture had been such an incredible surprise.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect before we visited but totally loved exploring somewhere that bit different.