Osaka, here we come! - of Gold Ice Cream and Kanazawa Castle

Woke up to another day in Japan! 

Day #2 - Kanazawa


On the second day, we left home at 10.15am. It was supposed to be 10am but we Malaysians mah! Ok lah, actually we spent quite some time in the kitchen preparing lunch - nasi lemak with Khadijah's instant sambal tumis instant Khadijah's. Berbaloi gak aku beli - memang sedap!

From Fukui, we drove about 1 hour to Kanazawa.

1st stop -  21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

This museum is all about contemporary arts in this century (we are still in 21st century, right?) All types of arts can be found here - comic characters, paintings, art installations and many more. Too bad I am really buta huruf about art, so I couldn't really appreciate the museum that much. 


Apparently Detective Conan character is also a work of arts


It's all about perspective - from above, watching people walking at the bottom of a swimming pool while from the bottom, subjects looking at people on top



Watching from above is free, but if want to have the underwater experience, you have to pay

Nothing much to see in the museum, so we went outside to find these installations:

Colour activity house - something about filter arts. Anak2 aku appreciate la lari keluar masuk tempat ni..


In the museum compound. Kalau snow turun baru nampak cantik, putih di mana-mana *nanges*

Less than hour later, we decided to go and have lunch in the car. Nak piknik kat padang kat atas, sejuk pulak. Brrr! Glad to have brought home-cooked lunch sebab bila sejuk, rasa lapar pulak sampai Suami Terchenta tambah 2-3 kali!


2nd stop - Kanazawa Castle

Since Kanazawa is a tourist attraction spot, this place was crowded with local and foreign tourists including us. Seriously, Kanazawa is a really beautiful town I wanna stay here and eat gold ice-cream every day!

The pathway leading up to Kanazawa Castle

Yup, you read me right! Kanazawa is famous for producing gold leaf, made by beating gold leaf to extremely flimsy sheet. They use the gold leaf on almost everything from decorating temples, religious artefacts, handicrafts to even food!

All along the way, we passed countless of souvenir shops selling handicrafts as well as ice-cream and snack shops selling exotic flavour ice-cream including gold ice cream. Belum sampai ke Castle, kiteorg dah berhenti menyinggah beli aiskrim. Can't imagine eating ice-cream in the cold weather, no? But that's what people in Japan like to do!


Gold sheet on our ice-cream. Khayla loved it so much that she begged us to buy another cone (tak de nye lah anak!)

This is one food you oughta try (¥780 @ RM27 kalau tak silap). Baru betul2 kaya!

After walking for about 15 minutes (including a few stops at the shops to admire the myriads of souvenirs), we finally reached Kanazawa Castle. Tall, white gates concealed even taller, white castle building within. We learned that the castle was built in the 16th century by Lord Maeda Toshiee who ruled over Taga clan for more than 280 years. It has been repaired on several occasions to preserve the cultural architecture and has been used as military base as well as university campus before.

Actually there's not much activities going on except touring around the castle ground and admiring the Japanese architecture.  One has to pay admission fee of ¥310 to enter the diamond-shaped turret or the warehouse, otherwise admission to the castle compound and the Kahokumon-gate is free. 


Kanazawa Castle behind us. Felt like we were transported to 16th century in Japan!

Sebijik macam dalam drama Jepun kuno

Tak habis-habis nak melompat!

The view from Kahokumon-gate

The inside of the main gate (Kahokumon-gate). This tower was rebuilt as closely as the original gate which was burned down in a fire

The gate entrance

After touring the Kanazawa Castle, we moved on to Kenrokuen Garden which was just across the road from the castle.


3rd stop - Kenrokuen Garden


Dubbed one of the most beautiful gardens built by feudal lords, Kenrokuen, which means "having six factors", was given the name because of the six attributes that bring out the perfect landscape of the garden: spaciousness, tranquility, artifice, antiquity, water courses, and magnificent view from the garden.

If you are wondering why there is a cone-shaped ropes attached to the tree branches, it is called yukitsuri (literally snow hanging), meant to protect the branches from breaking from the weight of snow. Guess there's no need for that since it is not snowing this year, huh?

Trees hung with yukitsuri


Our little family

So serene... Felt like I just wandered into a magical forest! 

Man-made pond and stream, maintained by the Lord Maeda's family for centuries. The water is crystal clear!

Susah nak ambik gambar dengan Khayla sebab dia asyik nak lari tak nak bergambar

Khayla was really enjoying herself in the garden because she can run around and dragged her feet in the small pebbles that littered the pathways. Kid seemed to have so much energy even though she hardly ate anything! Perhaps it was due to the cold weather?

Memory with my cheeky daughter

4th stop - Higashi Chaya district


Next, we made a short stop at the famous Higashi Chaya. Why is it famous, you ask? This is the place where tourists can view historical rows of teahouses reminiscent of the Edo period. Geishas used to strut along the row of houses and entertained guests in the teahouses. This area is steeped in Japanese traditional culture, which makes a rich experience for first-time tourists like us.

With a couple dressed in traditional kimono attire. Orang Jepun selalunya pakai kimono masa Tahun Baru dan perayaan tertentu.


Traditional teahouses
We even visited Hakuza Hikarikura, where we saw various things made with gold, for example these fruit cakes:

Fruit cakes with gold crust

Sepatah haram pun aku tak faham sebab semua dalam bahasa Jepun


Teahouse covered completely in 24K gold. Kau hader??
Gold seemed to be the biggest industry here, and everything from cakes, tea and ice cream to facial tissue and face masque are mixed with gold! The only thing we could afford is gold ice cream LOL!
5th stop - Kanazawa Station

Last but not least, we made a stop at Kanazawa Station. Besides being a transportation hub for the district, there's also a really big souvenir shop in the station where we wanted to get souvenirs.

Kanazawa Station served as the main entry point for visitors coming to Kanazawa

Taking a photo in front of the Tsuzumi Gate which is the landmark of Kanazawa Station


Just outside of Kanazawa Station, there is a really huge red-colored landmark known as Tsuzumi Gate. The design is based on Japanese traditional hand drums (tsuzumi).

After snapping photos, we headed to the souvenir shops where various Kanazawa's souvenirs are on sale. Most of the souvenirs are Kanazawa pastries since Kanazawa is famed for their sweet treats! I felt like I wanted to stay here and savour all the pastries in the shop! They looked so yummy with various candy colors and sweet fillings!

My favourite snack / pastry in Japan - mochis! This photo made me drool!


Family photo in front of Kanazawa Station

Last stop - Makan malam @ Coco's di Fukui

Before we headed home, we had our dinner back in Fukui. I loved this restaurant because it is kids-friendly. While waiting for our food, they doled out coloring pencils and coloring paper so Khayla & Khadeeja are kept occupied with their activity.

Khayla busy coloring her Doraemon character
We ordered pancakes for Khayla and they gave a chocolate  pen so she could decorate her own pancake. Isn't that a wonderful idea?


Khayla drawing a smiley face on her pancakes

As for me, the cold weather made me crave for hot and spicy food - so I ordered seafood paella with hot sauce.


My paella was really delicious

With food being out of the way, it was time to head back home and rest for another journey the next day - to Nagoya.

To be continued..

2 comments:

  1. Hi Kak,
    Wanna ask its convenient to drive at Osaka? me and my family will travelling to Osaka soon with 2 kids. Thinking to drive or using public transport to Osaka,Kyoto and Takayama.
    any suggestion or recommendation itinerary.
    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hi Pityee! Thanks for dropping by. Takayama is quite further up from Osaka, almost 4 hours journey by car/bus. It's probably convenient to rent a car to go to Takayama rather than taking public transport especially if your kids are still young. But if you are sightseeing within Osaka city, taking public transport is more convenient. As for Kyoto, I think it's probably better to drive if you wish to cover more areas (if you only have one day to do your sightseeing around Kyoto). We only managed to cover Kinkakuji and the Bamboo Grove (Arashimaya) in one day since we had to cover the areas on foot. Otherwise, public transport is not too bad too.

      Hope this helps!

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