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Craig Apr 6th, 2013 12:50 PM

Kanazawa Questions for KimJapan and Others
We have 2 full days in Kanazawa. It seems that there is much to do around the Castle and Kenroku Garden, including the Gyokusen Garden, Prefectural Products Center and the Prefectural Art Museum. Is there good shopping and eating in this area and thus should we plan on spending a whole day here?

We like to visit historical homes and it appears that there is one in the Geisha District where we are staying (Shima-ke) and one in the Samuai District (Nomura-ke). Are these worth visiting on another day and are there shopping or other attractions in these areas? How do we fill out that second day? Are there any not-to-be-missed temples, such as Myoryu-ji (which I have seen described as "touristy but fun")?

Lastly, what is the best way to get around Kanazawa efficiently? We don't mind walking but I don't have a good feel for distances in this town.

rhkkmk Apr 6th, 2013 01:37 PM

Bob's pedi-cab is the best source of transportation. Ask for don to be your driver

KimJapan Apr 6th, 2013 06:30 PM

Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen in the morning, 21st Century Museum and DT Suzuki. Lunch in 21st C is good, or nearby Japanese Sekitei does a nice lunch and is atmospheric (Bill mrwnrfl went there). Then walk through the shopping area beside 21st C and head to the samurai district where the Nomura House is. From there, taxi to Higashichayagai and visit Shima or Kaikarou and the many small shops there. That's a packed full day that you'd have to start right after breakfast with taxi to Kenrokuen and keep moving.

You could visit Omicho market and meet a sushi chef who will buy fish with you and then together you make sushi rolls and have lunch. Or my current favorite food experience is a Sake Cocktail Paired Dinner - stunning cocktails (non-alcohol also an option), lovely setting, delicious food, gracious service.

The Prefectural products center is maybe interesting to look and they offer a few things you can try hands on, but overall it's touristy. The Ninjadera, Myoryuji, is appointment only, no English aside from the sheet of paper they give you to borrow and no interpretation allowed. Nearby, however, a pickle and miso maker welcomes guests for tasting by appointment and it's in an old machiya with a lovely secret inner garden.

There are buses that run the tourist route, but I'm on the impatient side and find them frustrating as they run on a loop and are not frequent enough to suit me. I use taxi when I don't drive my own car. It is not expensive as the distance is short - average ¥1000 trip or less.

What are you looking for in terms of shopping? I have in mind for you a visit to a lacquer and maki-e artist who will sell his work directly to guests and it is mightily exquisite work indeed and the prices, while not inexpensive, are far less than if you bought similar through a gallery.

KimJapan Apr 6th, 2013 06:31 PM

Do you have interest in tea ceremony? You can have that right in your machiya - they'll come to you.

kja Apr 6th, 2013 10:54 PM

> Myoryuji, is appointment only, no English aside from the sheet of paper they give you to borrow and no interpretation allowed.

True, but I didn't think any interpretation was necessary, and as touristy as it is, I found it fascinating and well worth the visit.

> Gyokusen Garden

Loved it! Definitely fit it in, with a tea ceremony, if you can and have any interest.

Craig Apr 7th, 2013 08:36 AM

This is good info, Kim. Thank you.

A couple of years ago you posted a list of restaurants which included Sekitei (mentioned above) on the following thread:
Would you say that the list still current?

I should point out that Jeane and I usually do not eat much at lunchtime. We usually have plenty to eat at breakfast and dinner, preferring to limit ourselves to snacking during the day, rather than stopping for a big sit-down meal.

We hope that you will join Peter, Linda, Bob, Karen, Jeane and I one night for a meal while we are all in Kanazawa...

hawaiiantraveler Apr 7th, 2013 09:49 AM

Hai kudasai, definitely a meal on the day we are not having the geisha served dinner would be fantastic as we will be there only two nights this time around.
Depending on where we stay I am envisioning taxi will be our main mode of Kanazawa transport.....Kyoto too for that fact.


Craig Apr 7th, 2013 10:42 AM

Yes, Peter - looks like taxi is the way to go in both cities. Time is too precious to wait for public transportation.

Kim - in addition to restaurant question far as shopping goes, that's Jeane's "thing", not mine. Unfortunately when we travel, she usually does not know specifically what she wants to buy beforehand. It is possible that the lacquerware will appeal to her, but no way to predict. Best for us just to browse in your suggested areas...

KimJapan Apr 8th, 2013 03:53 AM

You'll have plenty to browse! We're on for dinner. Can't wait!

KimJapan Apr 8th, 2013 03:55 AM

I have more restaurants...

Kathie Apr 8th, 2013 07:26 AM

Kim, I'd be interested in more restaurant recommendations.

KimJapan Apr 8th, 2013 03:03 PM

I'm in the middle of preparing a list with map for guests. It will be done soon!

rhkkmk Apr 8th, 2013 08:21 PM


mrwunrfl Apr 13th, 2013 10:01 AM

Seikei was really nice. We were escorted upstairs to a private room of traditional style with a view that included trees already tied up for winter. Waited on by graceful women in kimono. It was a very Japanese experience.

Seisonkaku villa is a gem that I missed on my first two visits to Kanazawa.

Craig Apr 13th, 2013 12:04 PM

I'm thinking Sekitei would be great for dinner...

Smeagol Apr 13th, 2013 12:42 PM

Ohhh me to.

kja Apr 13th, 2013 04:39 PM

Another vote to visit the Seisonkaku villa.

KimJapan Apr 13th, 2013 07:39 PM

I like Sekitei better for lunch. Dinner is good. But it is expensive and there are many less costly options that are excellent. Very busy with guests now but finishing the restaurant list is high on the to do list.

KimJapan Apr 14th, 2013 12:48 AM

Sekitei's website and menu (but it changes contents by season)
lunch ご昼食
dinner ご夕
kids お子様のお食事
tempura (counter seating only) 天麩羅

If I'm going to spend money dinner I prefer, in the same restaurant group, Rokkakudou - I'm not even a steak lover but Rokkakudou has the best teppanyaki. Japanese beef dinner sets start at around ¥7,000 per person, New Zealand beef a bit less. There, too, the lunch is a great deal with a ¥1,500 special on weekdays.

Bernard is small, like 3 tables, husband chef wife front team, French dining. It is my favorite for food and creative, fun, delicious, chef-loved food. The owners are lovely, the food outstanding. My husband likes it but is not as hot on it as I am because, I think, he just doesn't care about French food ever. ¥8,000 per person dinner no choice except for main course (typically beef, lamb or pork choice). It's the only place I can eat AND like foie gras.

Arroz, Spanish, is my other go to. It's just plain excellent and fun, and the chef owner is friendly. We always over order because everything is good. He does sets but we always order a la carte. I really like the seafood mountain and piru piru. Paella is a given and he'll make whatever you like whether it's on the menu or you just think it up.

For an inexpensive and varied dinner, across from Kanazawa station is an upscale izakaya called Daiba. They even have an English menu. Tons of food and drink usually costs us ¥3,000 per person ordered a la carte. They have sets but I like to order bit by bit what everyone likes.

I'm starving. Tonight going for sake cocktail pairing dinner, in half an hour. Too bad I'm the driver - but they are making non-alcohol versions for me.

Kathie Apr 14th, 2013 07:46 AM

Thank you, thank you, Kim. These sound like great suggestions. I assume we will need reservations for Bernard... will we need reservations for Arroz? Do either of these places serve lunch?

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