JR Kanazawa station（11:30am）= Kenrokuen garden(from 11:50am / 70min)=Lunch in Kenrokuen garden（from 1:10pm / 60min) ＝Kanazawa castle garden(from 2:20pm / 70min) ＝Oyama shrine(from 3:50pm / 40min)＝Hotel in Kanazawa city（5:00pm）
Hotel in Kanazawa city（9:00am）＝Myuritsu temple(from 9:20am / 70min)＝Samurai residence(from 10:50am / 60min)＝Lunch in Higashi Chaya district(from 12:10pm / 60min)＝Higashi Chaya district, a tea store named “Shima” & Kazue machi Chaya district(from 1:20pm / 100min)＝Oumimachi market(from 3:30pm / 60min) = JR Kanazawa station(5:00pm)
I would like to introduce Kanazawa where I recently visited and had an impressive experience by watching the remains of castle town established by a local feudal load of Samurai worriers, Toshiie Maeda who did enormous role during Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573~1600).
Toshiie Maeda had survived as one of top Samurai worries and local feudal load of Kanazawa castle during the Warring states period.
He had served to his load such as Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi and great role for them to unify Japan.
Also his son Toshinaga Maeda had served to his load of Ieyasu Tokugawa who had established Edo area (1603 ~ 1867).
Due to above historical effort by the successive load of Maeda family, they could have kept the load of Kanazawa castle as number one crop yield of
1 million among the loads in Japan as the servants to Tokugawa Shogunate. The ancient atmosphere of current Kanagawa city such as Nagamachi Samurai residence, Higashi chaya, Kenrokuen garden, Kanazawa castle and so-on come from the heritage of Maeda family.
Following photo shows Maeda Toshiie.
Kanazawa is called “Little Kyoto” and promoting it as a town having traditional beauty like Kyoto.
Following are the main tour spots in Kanazawa city.
1. Myoryuji temple:
This temple was the place where worshipers pray for favors. Kaga Domain just in case built this building as a fortress to protect an attacking from Tokugawa Shogun. Therefore, this building has various mechanism to mislead the enemies to intrude such as a loophole to Kanazawa castle, a pitfall of offertory box, hidden stair under a floor board, hidden window behind a hanging scroll and so-on. The ceiling is set a lower height to prevent swords and spears can not be used. These trick existence in this building is the reason why this temple is called “Ninjya house”. The building seem to be two stories, however there are seven layers and the total room numbers as 23 and stair numbers as 29. The sightseeing inside this building need to be reserved as 30 minutes time and no English explanation by staff available, only Japanese.
2. Samurai Residence:
This area is located in Nagamachi district where there are many houses with earthen walls that belonged to Feudal load and still retain an atmosphere of feudal times.
This is the gardens of feudal-period soldiers consisted of three areas: a front garden, a side garden leading to the kitchen door and a back garden.
Mud walls / stone around the Samurai houses:
The thick walls are made of mud mixed with gravel and then hardened. The lower part of the mud walls are made by piling up round, half -ground (cracked) riverbed stones. The mud walls are covered with a singled-roof in order to protect the wall’s surface from rain.
3. Higashi Chaya district:
There are lots of souvenir stores and restaurants where you can taste Kanazawa local consumed gourmet in this district.
Machiya in Kanazawa:
Machiya is the urban housing where merchants and craftsmen had lived during Edo ara. Those buidings used to be built on the residence of town people inside castle town and port town.
The characteristic of the buildings are as follows.
- The buildings are built directly in front of the road.
- Each family’s house contact each other with frontage fully spread and stand side by side.
- This is not a terraced house but independent house with pillars and walls not be shared each other.
A tea store named “Shima”:
This tea store architecture is built in 1820 when Chaya(tea store) district had been established.
The upstairs of this house is a parlor for guests to whom Geisha entertain, therefore the upstairs is built by long length.
The veranda with handrail projected outside is prepared.
The room inside has luxuriant atmosphere by color of pillars be deepened with lscquered and the mud wall with Bengal red.
You can enjoy the atmosphere where customers used to enjoy with Geisha.
This architecture is a rare one in Japan which shows the culture of ordinary people in later stage of Edo era.
This was registered as National important cultural properties.
4. Kazuemachi Chaya town:
This Chaya town is one of the geisha quarters in Kanazawa. Red color lattices of Chaya, restaurants, stone pavement alleys are lined up on both side of Asano-river.
5. Oumimachi market:
This market was opened by Oumi merchant who had lived near Kyoto and moved to this district.
Various shops who sells fresh fishes, fruit & vegetable, dry matter, miscellaneous goods and so-on are lined in this market.
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