Japan … “I want lots of travel tips on Japan!” – “The food … You will die.” – “Kanazawa is one of the best foodie places in Japan!” – “Enjoy that sake. …” – “You are a lucky girl, Elena …!”
As I am waking up to my fifth day in the “country of the rising sun”, I am excited to think of all the encouraging feedback I have received from my readers, friends & followers as well as from people right here in Japan. “The world is truly interested in Japan”, I keep saying to my dear hosts in Kyoto & Kanazawa, “especially concerning local travel tips & Japanese food.”
It is about time, therefore, I publish a mouthwatering collection of foodie travel tips from Kanazawa, the place of Gold, Miso, Sake – and Creative Travel, that is.
Food first though. All the good things … have always happened when people gather for food & drinks. Even the Samurai, I learn, have dropped their swords swapping wartime for peace inside a Japanese Tea House. So where would you go upon arriving at Kanazawa Main Station, hungry after a two-hour train ride from Kyoto? “You can have lunch right where you are staying, at the Nikko Hotel Kanazawa. They have a great Sushi restaurant for lunch, and you will love their breakfast, too.” Word by my dear host Kentaro, of Kanazawa Creative Tourism Group here in Japan. Once again it is proven: You can never go wrong listening to the local people.!
One of the best places to explore the local food scene of any destination or city is meandering your way through the local food market. Not far from the main station, “Omi-Cho” Market is a true foodlover’s paradise!
Sometimes, the best way to explore a new city is to “get lost” … In keeping with the way back to the place where you have come from, of course. There is, however, something delightful in taking a sneak preview on local city life when you have only just arrived. Omi-Cho Market, I discover, sits at the top of the main street running all the way up from Kanazawa Station. Quick and easy to find, I recommend you to go there, as it is also the starting point for exploring the more quieter, historical part of town beyond.
Kanazawa, the place of Sake … “You are a lucky girl, Elena. This is a very good Sake, and fresh, as it is the season for it. Let’s have a toast – Kampai, as we say here in Japan!”
Celebrating the good times, each and every day, means I get to enjoy “the best Sake currently available”, Prof. Masao Mizuno of the Kanazawa Creative Tourism group tells me with a wink. Him & Kentaro are my wonderful hosts here in the UNESCO Creative City of Kanazawa, and my oracle for all things food, culture & travel tips around the local city centre. On the occasion of us meeting, Prof. Masao Mizuno has gathered a bottle of milky-looking, fresh sake from Omi-Cho Kanazawa market for us to enjoy. As I show the picture of the bottle to different people in Kyoto & Kanazawa, I always get the same appreciative looks: “Good choice! Lucky you!” I smile helplessly, but happily: In the absence of understanding what the beautiful-looking Japanese characters on the actual Sake bottle mean, I am left with nothing but the pure pleasure of enjoyment. Sake is Japanese rice wine and has about the same percentage of alcohol as Port wine. I LIKE!
For the complete (big) picture of all things foodie & creative travel in Kanazawa City, enjoy a peaceful “Zen” moment of watching my Flickr Photo Gallery embedded here: