Japan – Kanazawa, museum madness



Today was designated culture day, I didn’t think there was that much to do here at first but boy was I wrong aboout that! The information our host kindly gave had so many museums listed and I discovered that you could get a cultural pass for 510Y which allowed entry into 16 different small museums.

So first up was Nagamachi district, where I purchased my day pass at Shinise Kinenkan Museum. The woman working there was so cute that she even gave me a origami paper crane for longevity. As each of these museums are so small, it can take around 15min to cover it if not quicker. All the displays are in Japanese so all the information you have is on a leaflet which isn’t very comprehensive. With the pass, I also got a stamp sheet where you get a souvenir for the 3rd, 5th, 7th or 10th museum you visit. This becamse my days challenge to reach 10 in one day and get the best souvenir.

At the Shinese Museum, it showed an old pharmay and some wedding traditions such as the crafted yarn balls. Kanazawa is very proud of it’s crafts here, and so it should! I really like seeing old traditions and how they are made.

The next museum was Maeda Tosanokami-ke Shiryokan Museum, which explained the life of the Maeda family who were very important samurais. It gave more of an insight to upper class samurai life and explained some about the Kana clan who ruled the area. There were some cool samurai outfits here.

The samurai house which is in the district, is not covered by the pass and cost 500Y, which is a bit too expensive for what it was. There was nothing spectacular about it and they even wrote in the leaflet that it was only a glimpse into the house style as most samurai houses were destroyed or repurposed. If on a tight budget, give it a miss..

I then moved onto the Higashi Chaya district, and was feeling lazy so I got on a loop bus which cost 200Y and took around 10mins. Here my first stop was the gold leaf museum, which I actually thought was the most interesting so far as it gave a detailed account on ho gold leaf was made. The exhibitions displays were fantastic too, I really understood the hard process and really made me appreciate the handiwork. It is again a very small museum so if you’re a quick reader then it doesn’t take long to complete. There’s also some fun interaction too if you enjoy learning about paper and metals…

Moving on, I had a really lovely walk around the geisha district which is so much prettier and authentic compared with the streets in Kyoto. You could really sense that the high powered men went there for entertainment. Here I paid 500Y to see the inside of a Geisha house, which is something I hadn’t come across yet in Japan. It was well worth it, it was an original building with its original layout. They had made authentic displays to show where the performances were held and how the kitchen area looked. I thought this was a brilliant insight to Geisha life.

To work on my 10museum test, I then visited briefly Tokuda Shusei Kinenkan Museum, who is an author (I learnt that when I got inside). Everything there was in Japanese and I had not read any of his work, but I’m pleased to say I have some must reads now!

Next up wasthe Phonograph museum, which wasn’t very Japanese at all but a very impresseive colletion of phonographs. They have some demos throughout the day of the automatic piano which sounded awful, and some of the phonographs which I didn’t stick around for.

Just behind the Phonograph museum was the Izumi Koyoka Kinenkan Museum which again was all in Japanese, even the leaflet so I have no idea what this one was about. I got my stamp though!

Across the road wasthe Kanazawa Bungeikan – the library. Not read any of the works, and listed a couple authors I should read but that’s all there was there. Then just down the road again was Terashima’s house, which was almost exactly like the Samurai house I visited earlier but larger with some more samurai detail. Worth a visit with the pass.

I then had a quick lunch break, as I walked towards Omi-cho market. The food here is not good… I couldn’t wait to cook my own dinner again. Luckily you can buy fresh fruit and veg from the market woohoo!

Walking some more towards the Kanazawa Noh museum, which is about the perfomance of Noh. They have an awesome dress up here where you can try on the many masks and put on the outfit. If you don’t do that then give yourself a quick 5 mins for a look around, as I haven’t seen Noh I couldn’t appreciate it that much, but they do show you some quick snippets and it seems really interesting.

THE FINAL museum of the day was the 17 great people of Kanazawa, I read the leaflet and that was interesting. All the displays were in Japanese. And tah dah I got my souvenir of a small wedding yarn ball on a phone charm, really pleased with it. It’s so pretty!

For dinner I cooked a spag bol.. and it tasted alright! Not sure about the mushrooms I put in, but atleast it was some veg.



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