Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hokuriku Tour Part 1 - Tokyo + Kanazawa

For my uncle's 70th birthday, I took him on a trip to Japan. It's been a long time since we traveled together. When I was a small kid, he was the one who brought me to see the world, starting from Genting Highlands... LOL~

He decided to ask his 2 friends along and I'm glad they came along as that meant there will be more people to talk with and no awkward silence between the 2 of us~

Day 1 - Singapore to Tokyo
We put up at a small hotel near to Hamamatsu-chuo as we arrived late in the evening and didn't want to spend too much for a sleep.




Small but enough for the night~


Went hunting for a convenience stall on my own~

The seniors needed their rest, I needed by Japanese snacks!
Day 2 - Tokyo to Kanazawa
Checked out early in the morning and proceeded to Tokyo station. Collected our Hokuriku Pass and also bought a Kanazawa guide book while the seniors enjoyed their 1st Japanese breakfast. It was the 1st trip to Japan for one of my uncle's friends so he was really enjoying the sight, sounds and smell of Japan.





Booked online and gotten it at the JR station counter

My map for the next couple of days~


Lovely bullet train~




Slightly more than 3 hours later and we reached Kanazawa Station. It was still too early for check-in so we left our luggage at the hotel and went out to venture. Our itinerary for the day was mainly Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen (兼六園).



Along the way to Kenrokuen, we stopped for some cold soba. Its summer... its hot... some soba dipped in cold sauce sounded perfect for everyone...







Being in Kanazawa felt so different from Tokyo. The crowd disappeared, the noise replaced by the sound of insects, it really allowed you to escape from the rush and tumble of city life. Kenrakuen is supposedly one of the 3 Great Gardens of Japan, alongside Kairakuen and Korakuen,




Tasting of local beer is mandatory...
 From Kenrokuen, one can simply walk across to Kanazawa Castle. When compared to Matsumoto Castle in Nagano, this castle failed to impress. However it was relatively free of crowd so we were able to enjoy it at our own pace.




After Kanazawa Castle, we took the local bus to Higashi-chaya district (東茶屋). It felt a little bit like Gion, except once again, the crowd is not there. If not for the heat we probably would have spent more time exploring the area and having a tea in one of the shophouses. But the old men were tired and we decided to go back to the hotel for a rest before going for dinner.




Around evening time we stepped out of the hotel and roamed around Kanazawa central district. We simply walked into the first decent looking izakaya we could find and I treated everyone to dinner as my uncle's birthday celebration.







Food selection was fantastic, price was much cheaper than Tokyo and the quality was great! A meal with drinks came up to around 11,000円. I probably would have spent like twice that amount in Singapore, for half the quality.

After dinner everyone was tired having traveled the 500km from Tokyo... it was time for a good rest before we venture to Toyama on the next day~

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