Travel Notes: Kanazawa, Japan

Travel Notes: Kanazawa, Japan

We spent five days in Kanazawa and it was my favorite city that we visited during our seven weeks in the country.  Kanazawa sits on the western coast of Honshu and has only been accessible by bullet train since 2015 (it takes just 2½ hours from Tokyo).  It's a bustling, busy city for sure, but much quieter, more compact, and easy to explore than Tokyo or Kyoto.  The Japan Alps lie to the east of the city and the coast to the west, plus the heart of the city is bordered by two parallel rivers, the Sai and the Asano. 

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Slowing Down

Slowing Down

Today is our last day in Kyoto.  We've been here for two weeks and I can count on one hand the number of tourist sites we've visited.  On the other hand, I've been to the nearby Umejenko Park almost every day, we've ridden bikes all over the city, we've cooked several dinners and breakfast each morning, and Rob and I have both been working out regularly.  It feels about as normal as life can on the road and it is just what we need right now.

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Tonsorial Teeterings in Tokyo

Tonsorial Teeterings in Tokyo

I view haircuts as a utility – I require them periodically, but if I get fewer and from cheaper vendors, I’ll save money over time.  But, there’s a point where I either have to deploy styling crème (gasp!) or a part that I just have to get a haircut.  We reached that point in Tokyo today.

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Travel Notes: The Japan Alps

Travel Notes: The Japan Alps

After leaving Tokyo, we headed northwest into the mountainous region known as the Japan Alps. We spent time in a remote village called Kijimadaira northeast of Nagano (where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held), traveled to the mountain town of Takayama by way of Morimoto Castle, and then headed west for Kanazawa.  We rode bikes in Hida, went to our first onsen at Maguse Onsen, met some macaque monkeys (or snow monkeys) in Jigokudani Yaen-koen, and ate our first soba noodles and roasted green tea ice cream.

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Life on the Road

Life on the Road

Japan is our first destination where life really is different.  New Zealand and Australia are easy - everyone speaks English and but for a few cultural nuances, its really not that different than America.  While parts of Tokyo feel like New York City, it really is wildly different here, starting with the fact that we can't read the vast majority of the signs and information displayed throughout the city.  

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