Travel Notes: 24 hours in Kanazawa
Scenic Routes are Good if you have the time!
Kanazawa Station in the afternoon sun
Ninja Temple in Kanazawa
We finally got on the road out of Takayama around 10:15am and headed west for the highway. I didn’t find the highway entrance, and instead we took a sort of side-road through the mountains and along a river. I kept seeing the highway peeking out of the tree tops high above us but I missed the entrance…probably since it was in Japanese. It’s probably better though because the side road was much more scenic and the highway is expensive! We took it a little later on to save us some time, and it cost 1500 yen= $20!! Keep in mind Kanazawa is only 125 km away to begin with!
Once we arrived, we found our tiny hotel (no couch surfing hosts could be found) and if was too early to checkin but they let us park our car early which was great since they only charged about $4 for parking! We set out on foot but soon found it too hot and ducked into a mall to cool off & get lunch & a Starbucks. We ended up just walking around a bit & then going to the movies later to stay cool. Plus it was couples day and the tickets were basically buy 1 get 1 free! We saw The Amazing Spiderman in English with Japanese subtitles. (They did have this movie available dubbed in Japanese as well)
The next day after a pastry & coffee at Starbucks we walked the 2.4 km in the morning sun & heat to the Ninja Temple! We were scheduled for the 9:30 tour & we needed to be there 10 min early so we left around 8:00am. We had to remove our shoes before entering and pay about $10 but it was really cool! There are over 20 hidden stairs and traps and secret rooms and even though the tour was in Japanese, they gave us these little binders with photos of each room and descriptions in English about what was being said.
After the tour we walked over to a few shops to do a little shopping to stay cool again, and then off to Kenrokuen garden, which was much cooler than the street. It was very nice and probably a mini version of what Kyoto probably looks like, with a fountain, a pond full of koi fish, and little footbridges scattered around. Once we covered the park, we hopped in a taxi for a quick trip back to the hotel to get our car and hit the road again. On the way back we went through Toyama, the nearest city to us. We took all side roads on the trip back even took a small detour that brought us to the coast and saw some nice mountain views as the sun was setting.