Suzuki Museum (Buddhist Studies)
Kanazawa is a modern thriving port with tree-lined wide streets and large stores. The Nagamuchi district near our hotel has preserved some samurai houses, with mud and straw yellow stucco walls topped with tiles. Luckily Kanazawa was not bombed during the war, and sustains many local handicrafts and traditional culture. Kenrokuen is ranked as one of the three best gardens in Japan (which is saying something). It is a strolling landscape garden typical of the Edo period, with little villas, winding streams, stone bridges, incorporating the six attributes of a perfect landscape garden: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, watercourses and panoramas. Castle Park is a green moss carpeted, beautiful place, like stepping into another world. Hisagoike Pond, with its superb Midoritaki waterfall and Kaisekito Pagoda,on an islet reached by a stone bridge, is near Yugaotei, a building from 1774 that was raised to perform the tea ceremony. If you visit Kanazawa you must visit the splendid D.T.Suzuki Museum, a contemplative oasis devoted to the memory of a great 20th century Buddhist scholar (see photo above). We loved Kanazawa, not least because its open spaces and precincts contrast so much with towns like Kyoto. Next destination Takayama.