3 days itinerary at the Japanese alps: Kanazawa, old Japanese living cities and Takoyama
The autumn colors are all around the Japanese alps since it’s colder than in Kyoto. It was great to spend 3 days in the Japanese alps. We rented a car to explore the Noto peninsula and the surroundings of Kanazawa. Below we summarize the highlights of our trip
Rice terraces touching the sea at Noto peninsula
The Noto peninsula actually has rice terraces directly in front of the sea! They are in the style of Bali but in front of the sea, which is pretty interesting. Moreover, some LED lights at night showing the profile of the different rice terraces.
Driving the car by the beach at Noto peninsula
You can drive a couple of km along the beach with the rented car! Directly close to the sea. It’s a fun experience to do since it seems that you’re driving in the sea itself :D It's similar to the north of New Zealand or Fraser Island in Australia.
Exploring lost shrines and beautiful coast lines at Noto peninsula
There are many beautiful places at Noto peninsula with red rocks, rocks by the sea, holes inside such rocks made by erosion of water. It’s really nice to stop by from time to time to enjoy such beautiful viewing points. It’s also a very nice place to use your drone ;)
Visiting Kanazawa’s castle and park
Kanazawa is actually a beautiful city with many hidden gems. We didn’t have visiting the city in our plan at first but it actually surprised us. The park and the castle are nice to see during autumn with all the beautiful colors of the maple trees.
Exploring the old city of Kanazawa with the beautiful wooden streets: also a perfect place for souvenirs
Moreover, exploring the old city of Kanazawa is highly recommended. They have narrow streets only for pedestrians. All the houses are old Japanese style houses made of wood and this makes it a very beautiful district of Kanazawa and Japan in general. It’s also a paradise of souvenir shopping since they sell many pieces of ceramic and wood from different local renowned artists.
Eating exquisite food at Kanazawa’s fish market
We’ve already explored 4 fish markets (Sapporo, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo) and this has been our 5th but it didn’t disappoint us at all. The fish had really good quality and the vibes were really nice. Full of local people enjoying the fishes in all different kinds of ways of cooking (or not cooking ;)). And they have some really tasty fried potatoes with fish or meat inside that are really good.
You can even buy sushi in a vending machine :D
Visiting Gokayama: one of the oldest Japanese villages that is one of the few living world heritages
It’s very nice to see how the local Japanese people live in such old style houses with the grass-made roof that protects them from cold weather and snow.
Exploring the wooden streets of Takayama’s old city.
Takayama is famous for being an old Japanese city as well with the wooden houses and narrow streets similarly to Kanazawa’s old district. It was great to see such landscapes. It was a Sunday so there were quite some Japanese people doing tourism but it was still a beautiful place. And there’s a hidden pagoda with a huge Ginko and a maple tree that was very photographic.
Exploring the new city of Kanazawa
The main streets of the new city of Kanazawa close to the river are basically full of clubs and Karaokes but outside of that there are some places with many nice red shrines (similar to Kyoto's Inari shrine) close to the big park of Kanazawa. The station of Kanazawa has also a beautiful huge Tori made of wood and the museum of art of Kanazawa has a sculpture that is funny for taking selfies ^^
Assisting to a tea ceremony in Kanazawa
We participated in a tea ceremony in Kanazawa where we saw how a woman in Kimono was following all the rules that people have when preparing a matcha tea. We also had the chance to do it ourselves and it was a nice experience with a very tasty tea from Uji. YOu can check more on this ceremony at the tea section or in this post directly.
We ended our trip in the Alps by traveling to Shikoku, which will be our next stop. This has been an experience on its own since something happened with our Shinkansen JR pass and it took us 3 hours to get a new one. The machines of the JR trains don’t always work as expected and we happened to have exchanged the ticket with someone else's. We will explain the entire experience with the JR passes and the mistakes to avoid when travelling with JR pass in this post.
However, after we solved the problem we could enjoy the Shinkansen ride with a very beautiful huge red moon from the lunar eclipse!
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