Nakagawa-san has informed us a few weeks back that he will be visiting his mother-in-law in Kanazawa(金沢) and would like to bring us along for the trip. Lin-chan agreed to it immediately. For my side I have to wait till 2 days before to confirm, as it has been rather exhausting to be out on every rest days for the last few weeks (and also the autumn leaves have not arrived yet). Nonetheless, I eventually agreed to it.
The plan for the early morning is as follows: Nakagawa-san will go on to Lin-chan's hotel to fetch her at 7am, follow by my place at 7.10am and eventually the rest of the family at 7.20am. We departed from their home at around 7.40am. As it is pretty early in the morning, Lin-chan and me got breakfast from the nearest convenient stall and we are off on our journey.
The first leg of the journey takes around 2 hours which wind through the mountain ranges to the north. The weather is pleasant though a northern chill is scheduled to sweep through Japan over the weekend. Nonetheless, the sky is sunny where occasional cloud cover shadows over the rolling hills below.
We arrived at the first pit stop which is around 800 metres above sea level. It is here where cars and coaches stop for a while and allow its passengers to have a quick break or a light meal. The wind is rather strong up here with temperature plunging to 11 degrees celsius. Over here, we have a beautiful view of a hill at the back which is a rather famous skii spot in this region.
After a 20minutes break, we are off on our journey and we continue northwards, through the mountainous tracks. The roads cut through the mountains as we make our way to Shiragawa-go (白川郷).
Along the way, we stopped by at an enclosed catchment of water. There is a dam in the area. Unfortunately it is off-limits to visitors but we can still walk along it.
We continued on and we arrived at Shiragawa-go around 11am. There are lots of tourists at this place. Besides the local Japanese, the foreigners are mainly the Taiwanese. To get to the main village, we have to cross a suspension bridge.
Shiragawa-go is famous for its mountain huts where its roof top are inclined at a steep angle, resembling 'hands in prayers'. They are call Gassho zukuri(合掌造り) in Japanese. Winter in these areas have continuous snow fall, thus the huts are designed such that snow will slide off easily once it fell onto the rooftops.
We visited one of the houses to see how the interior is like. There is a hot pot in each house where members can warm themselves up.
A view of the mountain huts close up.
We took a few group photos here. Here is Nakagawa-san with his family.
Lin-chan, Nakagawa-san family and me.
While having a rest, we bought the famous local snack from one of the shop, it is actually BBQ rice sticks.
As we walk further up, it is coming close to lunch time. So we just drop by a food shop.
I ordered mountain vegetable soba (山菜そば).
After lunch, we slowly made our way back to where the car is parked. It is also after lunch where the kids will normally take an afternoon nap.
We got back to the car and off we go. Nakagawa-san mentioned that he is bringing us to some beach place next. The place is call Chirihama Beach (千里浜海岸) which I later came to find out. You can drive on the sand just next to the sea. Even buses drive through the beach.
There are many sea galls in the area. The beach faces the Sea of Japan directly. As compare to the seas in Singapore, the sea waves here are rather strong. Which is perfect for wave-surfing.
We came to a place where there are many stalls selling local seafood. That is Nakagawa-san's car in the picture below.
We went for the BBQ shells and BBQ octopus. It is just great sitting by the sea and having seafood.
Kanazawa Station Area
After a good afternoon snack, we proceeded with our journey southwards along the beach to Kanazawa. We will first meet up with Grandma (Nakagawa-san's mother-in-law) and we will be going for dinner together. We decided for a restaurant at a large shopping mall just next to the train station.
The recommendation is a 2000Yen plus dinner meal. Kanazawa is rather famous for its seafood produce.
I don't normally put much photos of people in my blog, but here is an exception. Below are our complete group photos.
We have Momo-chan, Shimizu-san (Nakagawa-san's wife) and Toshimune-kun.
Here we have Toshimune-kun with Grandma.
Me and Nakagawa-san.
After dinner, Nakagawa-san dropped us back to our hotel. We placed our luggage and decided to explore the station area a bit. The main station building is designed rather uniquely.
There is nothing much around the station area. So we just got our next day breakfast and went back to our rooms. The Kanazawa Central Hotel is reasonably priced at 4515Yen a night. The rooms are larger than those in Komaki and it is very new.