Opting for an eclectic mix of Japan’s traditional culture and the country’s natural beauty, we decided to leave the modernism and madness of Tokyo for the end of our trip and shipped out on the morning’s first Shinkansen bullet train south for a fews days exploring Kyoto, Nara & Kanazawa. All turned out to be filled to the brim with culinary and artistic traditions and a delightful introduction to Japan before we headed into the more rural and relatively untouched Japan Alps.
A springtime visit to Kyoto comes with the world-famous pink and purple blossom gently floating around on every corner. Impressive temples and shrines with their most intricate designs line a maze of fascinating little roads with a generous sprinkle of immaculately kept Zen gardens to match. Fascinating street life and a never ending melange of eateries and markets, this clean and beautifully kept cultural hub proved to be a far cry from the chaos and social unease one sadly tends to see in many parts of Europe. The Geisha district especially with its canals, eclectic facades, hidden sake bars and traditional street life was especially appealing, especially as their is a seemingly endless sense of respect and appreciation oozing into local living which ever way you turn…
A relatively short train ride away from Kyoto and Nara (bearing in mind how amazingly efficient travel can be in Japan travelling light with a rail pass under your arm), took us to Kanazawa, the drawcard of the Horuriku region. A sprawling fishing town on the coast which we were told, in its heyday rivalled the artistry and craftsmanship found in Kyoto. The attention to detail and artisan traditions were exhibited beautifully in ‘Kenroku-en’, a peaceful and enchanting strolling garden on the edge of Kanazawa Castle park where one can literally lose themselves for hours…after which, a pitstop and refuel was necessary - a perfect time to stumble on a delightful rotary sushi bar in the heart of the Ômi-chô bus
- Joe Lasky Photography ©
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- Contained in galleries