Our program had a week-long trip to Kanazawa recently! I knew nothing about Kanazawa when I went, but on the way there I was constantly wowed by the sheer beauty of the landscape surrounding me. Actually I was pretty much wowed all the time. Kanazawa is located near the Sea of Japan and is bordered by the Japanese Alps. As a result, on the bus ride there we passed beautiful mountains shrouded in clouds. Check out the picture on the left!
We arrived at a village called Shin Okugawa, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was breathtaking! The village itself is known for its traditional architecture style and for having thatched roof houses. The houses were often located amidst rice fields, lily pad ponds, and fields of flowers. This picture on the right exemplifies the great size of the houses, as well as the flowers and greenery surrounding them.
The trees were wonderful to look at, too! The leaves in Tokyo have not begun to turn colors yet (even though it is almost November), but because Kanazawa has a colder climate and is higher up in altitude, the colors had were just starting to change while we were there. While in Shin Okugawa I basically just took a million beautiful pictures — I could fault nothing!
Something else pretty interesting I did while in Kanazawa was drinking tea… with gold leaf in it. Kanazawa itself is known for its use of gold leaf in many products — we encountered it in alcohol, lotion, lip gloss, and even iPhone cases! Drinking tea with gold in it definitely made me feel ultra luxurious. Supposedly a small amount of it is good for your body! And it definitely makes any product its in look quite eye-catching.
And now that we’re on the topic of gold, I might as well add that I made my own gold leaf detailed chopsticks! We went to the Sakuda Gold Leaf Studio, where they gave us tapes to create our chopstick designs with. Once we did so, we brushed glue over the taped area and applied a sheet of gold leaf to the chopsticks. The results were beautiful utensils that were way too nice to eat with. Oh, well! I’ll just hang mine up back at home in the US.
While in Kanazawa we also went to a beautiful garden named Kenroku En Garden! There were large trees, ponds, and waterfalls galore. The picture to the right is just one example of the great landscapes it offered! If you’re a nature lover like me, I cannot recommend visiting Kanazawa enough — there is just way too much beauty to be seen
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Marisa Lewis, and I am an East Asian International Relations Major/East Asian Studies Minor at the University of Virginia. I’m originally from Alexandria, Virginia (though I’ve got a lot of family in Thailand as well) and am super excited to be traveling to Japan! I’ve only ever been to the Japanese airport before – their toilets are awesome, by the way – and have always wanted to experience Japanese culture ever since I first started watching Pokémon as a kid. Don’t lie. You watched it, too! In my spare time I love to read, write short stories, bake, listen to music, and have adventures. I am looking forward to making new friends, stocking up on Japanese sweets, and experiencing all that Japan has to offer! But more importantly, stocking up on Japanese sweets. Where my mochi at?</span></p>