The first day in Kanazawa was perfect. It was sunny and warm without a single cloud in the sky. The second day, however, it was cloudy and cooler. We didn’t mind since it wasn’t raining and the sakura was still as pretty as ever.
For brunch, we decided to go to the Omi-cho market, which is an indoor food market that sells raw and cooked seafood, snacks, vegetables, and fruit. The market was a short walk from the hotel, about 10 minutes.
The indoor market takes up a long path with dozens of vendors on each side. Some sold sashimi in individual servings that you can buy and eat right there.
Other vendors sold cooked and grilled seafood on a stick that you can buy and eat while walking around the market.
There are also restaurants inside the market serving fresh seafood. We decided we wanted to sit down and eat so we opted for the first restaurant we saw since we were starving. Any place inside the market would be a good place to get sushi since it can’t get any fresher.
One of my friends ordered the uni, crab, and ikura bowl which came over a bed of noodles and rice topped with some gold flakes. Kanazawa is known for gold flakes and they put it on almost everything including ice cream.
My other friend and I ordered sashimi sets which came with salad, stewed fish, miso soup, rice, and tea. It also came with a small bowl of sea fungus that was cold and vinegary. Everything was delicious and I finished it all. The fish was so fresh and tasty that I was doing the happy dance.
I also ordered some uni which was probably one of the sweetest uni I have ever eaten. It was so good, I ate it slowly to savor it. My friend who had the uni, crab, and ikura bowl said he has never had such sweet uni before. I told him this is the real deal. We were in uni heaven.
After our wonderful brunch, we walked through the market for a bit and then headed to see the samurai house. It was on the other side of the castle so we took a stroll through the grounds again. We saw more sakura trees and also a bride and groom in traditional Japanese wedding outfits walking to take their wedding photos.
The interesting thing about Kanazawa is that you can walk down major streets and intersections that are modern with tall buildings and department stores, and then turn the corner and find yourself walking in an alley with old style houses. You never know what you’ll find.
It was a short walk to the House of Nomura Samurai Family, which is one of the last Samurai houses preserved and remaining. As soon as you walk into the house, you are greeted by a Samurai armour. There are several gardens inside the house.
The first garden is large and in the back of the house. You can sit along the ledge but not walk into the garden. It was very peaceful with lots of old trees and a stream. I imagine the residents probably came outside for their morning tea or to meditate.
The house has a second floor and there was a stone path that led to stone stairs. However, once you go out onto the rocks, there was another much smaller garden to the left.
I really liked this garden to the side. Although there wasn’t a place to sit to enjoy the garden, walking up and down the stone steps to get to and from the second floor made the journey more enjoyable. There were two rooms upstairs, both overlooking the large garden in the back. The house currently has a traditional tea ceremony which you can pay extra for in one of the rooms.
Back downstairs to the back of the house there was a room with artifacts from the feudal era. There were Samurai swords, written letters, and also coins.
What was striking to me was that Samurai were warriors and war lords who fought to gain control of land and we were standing in the very same place where they once lived. That really didn’t hit me until I read the thank you letter explaining exactly what was done by the Samurai. Reading the translation gave me chills. So much history here.
After the Samurai House, we searched for a cafe for a coffee break. We found a shop called Cafe de Flore. The husband and wife owners were very nice. They also made really good hot chocolate, macha tea latte, and waffles. They made the tasty whip cream from scratch. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures here but I do want to mention how kind the owners were. My friends have a 1 year old and they gave him complimentary crackers to snack on. They also gave him extra for the road. After our afternoon snack, we were going to walk back to the hotel, but it started raining. The owners called a taxi for us and even walked us outside to the taxi with umbrellas so we wouldn’t get wet. They really made our day.