Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Ninja town, Nagamachi - Kanazawa

One of the very first destination we visited in Kanazawa *apart from its amazing Omicho fish market, a pitstop to fill our stomachs* was this ninja district. Haiyeaaak!!!! Chop chop chop wham piak boom!!! *ignore my lack of athletic and martial art skills*

Kanazawa was the second largest city after Kyoto that was spared during the world war massive bombings. Hence most of its heritage culture and buildings were retained and preserved. These mud wall cottages/houses with heavy tiled roof were conserved as it was 400 years ago.

One can just lost track of time walking around this place. There were some really nice shops lining the streets, from tableware to handicrafts and items made with gold leaf. One could spend some time here transported back during the samurai era when it was at its peak.

The powerful samurais called Nagamachi their homes. Kanazawa was the castle city of the Kaga Clan during the reign of Maeda family who ruled for almost 300 years and samurais then were regarded as powerful feudal lords.

One can't help but noticed all the straw mats tied to the mud walls. These are not permanent feature. It's being installed to protect the beautiful old and ancient mud walls during the "de-frost" period. Do u even call it defrost when the snow melts??? hahahahaha

or thawing???
Okie it's not meat....anyway.....Kanazawa is a city that welcomes heavy snow every winter up to a few metres. So during the thawing/de-frost pre-spring time, the straw mats called "komo" are being put there to protect its walls. You only get to see these between December and March every year, which added characters to the narrow alleys.

snow thawing...hahaha
someone bring me a microwave to de-frost this bench!!!

JS: "what's that Monkey?"
Monkey: "I don't know, I can't read, but if its doors are open, anyone can go in right?"
and it turned out to be a beautiful home-ware shop.
then there's another samurai house that was opened....
being curious me, Monkey basicallly snooped her nose into every single house here.

and it turned out to be a private house with a beautiful zen garden at the back.

JS: "Get out!! this is someone's house"
Monkey: "Oh maybe they can serve us tea and sweets!!!"
JS >.<

Yes it's a house
Nope we did not get invited for tea :P

this was a paid museum of the famous Nomura-ke, it belongs to a high ranking samurai.

The cupboard of cranes made from gold leaf. That would make a really nice souvenir. :)))

Nomura-ke has got such a beautiful and stunning garden at its backyard!!!! The trickle sounds from its lil pond made it even more zen.

JS: "Monkey get up!!! they are not gonna serve us tea. No tea u understand? Wakarimasu-ka???"
Monkey :(((((
It's so cold in the winter....I want my tea~~~~~

There's another smaller garden in the center of the house like an air-well. How many gardens does one need anyway? but I won't complain :))) Most of Japanese gardens usually consist of a few elements from pebble stones, bamboo, manicured plants and trees, wood, fountain/water feature.

aesthetic is so important in the japanese interior design, each "nail" surface is covered with a deco like the above.

Even this!!! I guess it means something??? good luck??? I dunno to balance the "sharp" edges? Feng shui???
The Samurai's gear and attire
I guess director George Lucas got his inspiration for Star Wars from here eh? Hehehehehe

there ain't any koi fish in the canal
Onosho canal is the oldest one among the odd 50 canals in Kanazawa. 

finally I can't end this posting without having picture of JS trying to do his version of samurai stance. I think more like he's trying to pick up bacteria with his fingers :P I call it the chef's-picking-up-salt-fingers-stance


We then continued our journey to another Samurai House with a lot of traps and invisible tunnels and confusing doors. That I will keep in another separate posting :)))

Kanazawa is really a nice quaint city. We came here for the sushis but we got more than that :)))) Such a cultured place with interesting sights to do and to see. After all one of Japan's top 3 most beautiful garden is located here :)))

So if you are interested in Kanazawa, do more readings and research for your next trip here:

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