History is integral to Kanazawa's identity and charm, but the city has also forged a modern face. Tourist information about Kanazawa from non Japanese sources, often seem to describe it as a backwater, far from Shinkansen lines and of minimal relevance. While it's a relatively small city - about 400.000 people, 'backwater' is myopic. Admittedly here was a surprising lack of chain fast foods in central Kanazawa, but I don't see that as such a bad thing and shudder to think that modernity would be judged by the number of KFCs and Yoshinoyas! The history and architecture is well preserved and a sightseeing loop bus makes getting around very simple. The modern highlight of Kanazawa is undoubtedly the Museum of Contemporary Art, reported to be among the best in Japan http://www.kanazawa21.jp/en/ (anfortunately we were there on a Sun afternoon / Monday when it was closed - a great pity), also the Castle Park area. Ishikawa Prefectural Government has taken over the Castle area, formerly the site of Kanazawa University and has turned it into public parkland. There is a positive vibe in the city and it was no great surprise when Hiro said Ishikawa regularly tops the list of 'most satisifed with my prefecture' surveys.
|Sushi shop near the railway station|
Good and not expensive, on the sushi scale.
The highlight was flounder with a dipping sauce with
flounder liver. On looking at it, it was apparent it was an
eat first, ask later dish.
|Higashi Chaya district|
Chaya's kanji mean tea shop - I was surprised to see it
translated as Higashi Geisha district - though the tea house
do have a strong association with geisha.