Finally made it to the Castle !
20.01.2020 - 20.01.2020 7 °C
We pack our expanding suitcases. Not sure how but they seem to expand during travel, whilst clothes inside them seem to shrink! Weird travel phenomenon!
Off to traverse the trains again and on our way to Kanazawa......a beautiful little town we visited last time! Judy’s first visit so we are all excited yet again!
Upon arrival we met Kazuyo and her husband who own our little machiya that we are staying in. They took our luggage for us so we could explore before our check in. Off we walked towards yet more markets, the Omicho Markets. I remember these fondly- coloured and flavoured local beers, gold leaf Icecream, freshest sushi and sashimi and lots of crab! We wandered up and down the littles roads, and side streets our senses all aware of the delicacies around us! It is indeed cod season, with cod testicles for sale everywhere. Maybe we are only noticing it now as we know what it is! It’s relatively cheap......still not enough to buy some more. Judy, Jack and Mick headed to a little restaurant with curry......Japanese curry is sweet and delicious whilst I was hankering for sushi!
Next stop was the Kanazawa Castle Park. A huge expense of gardens and free space with a moat, and watchtowers! Such an impressive building. Whilst it has been heavily renovated the woodwork and crafting is spectacular.....even for a person who knows nothing about carpentry. The angles are actually diamonds, with 2 angles at 80 degrees and the other two at 100 degrees forming a diamond shape for all Roof beams are arched, and there is not a nail in this building at all. The smell of the cypress and other woods is so nice.......I smelt uprights a few times to soak it up!
All along the main building connecting the two corner turrets are open sections along the edge, below the windows. These were opened to drop stones on invading warriors. Windows all had slots for gun holes ( clearly later in history). We remarked how much Micks dad would love it- there are examples of the building method everywhere and it’s slightly lost on us non carpenters.
We made our way back to the Machiya to check in. It’s called Soufuen, and we were met by Kazuyo who was in her kimono. They are so tiny.....maybe I need to live here for a while and thin down. Travel does nothing good for my waistline. She showed us around the house, so confusing as cupboard doors and actual sliding doors all pretty much look the same. It was and is like a mini maze! It has been lovingly restored with some modern amenities perfectly mixed with ancient building techniques. Exquisite indeed.
We sit at the table ( on the floor, no chairs) and she makes us Traditional way and serves us a sweet each. So beautiful and humbling. We bid her farewell and excitedly argue about who is having the first bath.
The bathroom is traditional in that you sit on a teeny wooden stool and fill a wooden bowl with water. You wet your body with the shower. Soap yourself up from the bowl then pour the soapy bowl over you, and rinse of with the shower. You are now clean and cleansed to enter the bath. The bath is a traditional goemon-buro, made of iron. In the old days you burned firewood underneath.......added a few vegetables and voila- boiled human! Well it’s all true except adding vegetables! It was soooooo beautiful and deep!
We argue over who has the first bath then head to Korinbo for dinner. Korinbo is an old part of town with restaurants at every door!
exhausted yet again it’s time for sleep! Judy and I are on the floor in futons and Mick and Jack are in Western Beds. It was settled with the toss of a coin! I won!