Tree with its roots above ground
Kanazawa. What is there to do in Kanazawa? The answer: Kenroku-en, or the Combined Six garden. We were slightly skeptical that a garden could hold our attention for an afternoon, but we were quite wrong. It was absolutely beautiful and amazing!! Jeff and I have both started to morph into green thumbs, its a bit strange, but its the truth. I am always conspiring over what to plant in future gardens, and ever since Jeff has gotten his bonzai, he is obsessed over the pruning of trees. We're a weird couple, I know. But there was definitely enough to hold both of our attention, as well as some pretty incredible scenery to entice our buddying photography side.
We spent the morning strolling through the garden, looking at crazy trees with roots that grow above the ground, cool ponds, looking for interesting angles for pictures.
I found another snow cone place, so I was pumped- I love Japanese snow cones!!! We look at our watch, and we have just enough time before our train to Takayama
to hit up a sushi place. Excellent! We go to a sushi restaurant that is right above the city market, and have an incredible lunch. This place was amazingly hi-tech! You ordered from a touch screen TV right in front of your place. Absolutely delicious!!!! So delicious in fact, that we lost track of time, and realized frantically that we had only 10 minutes to catch our train!! So there we were sprinting down the sidewalks, I would guess a little under a mile, trying not to throw up the sushi we just ate, sweating buckshots, only to arrive 2 minutes late!!!! CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The next express train was not leaving for 2 hours, so we decided to get adventurous and take the local trains, which would get us there around 30 minutes earlier.
Octopus and mint sushi, raw shrimp and tuna sashimi
Let me say- that was quite an adventure, from having an old Japanese lady try to figure out which trains we were supposed to take, from winding along steep mountain gorges, to changing trains in the middle of nowhere, to the half-thrill, half-dread of not knowing if we would actually end up in Takayama or not!!! We did arrive at our destination, Yeah! and along the way we saw some of the most amazing scenery in the world!! It wasn't such a bad thing after all, to have missed that train!
We arrive in Takayama at our hotel, a Japanese only place that is ridiculously cheap that gives you dinner and breakfast. I had found it from someone else's travel blog (Paul's travel pics= http://paulstravelpics.
blogspot.com/2008/03/japan-15-day-slow-trip-thru-west.html) and so I knew that it was going to be phenomenal. We were not disappointed, and once we get into a city that has reliable internet, we'll download the pictures and everyone will be in shock and awe. For dinner we were served a 12 course kaiseki menu, basically 12 courses of small plates of insanely fancy, intricate and incredibly delicious food. I can't even describe it, you just need to see the pictures. Most of the stuff, we had only a faint idea of what we were eating, sometimes it was obvious, sometimes a complete mystery, but always incredibly delicious! To go with our incredible meal, we had as much sake as we wanted to drink!!!! If you can believe it- this hotel, with dinner and breakfast included, is only 63 dollars per person per night!!! The entire time we were eating, we were trying to calculate how much a meal like this would be in the states, and our guess would be around 200 bucks for just dinner!!! And we get three days of it!!! YEAH!
Tomorrow, we're staying around Takayama to check the town out, and then the next day we're doing a day trip to Nagoya for the SUMO BASHO (sumo tournament!!!!)