Sunday, August 5, 2018

Japan Travel: Kanazawa 金沢: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kenroku-en, Kanazawa Castle, Kenroku-en Post Office

After the gastronomic adventure at Omicho Market, we took Kanazawa Left Loop Bus to 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Our children had fun time running and playing at the art museum. Running and playing at an art museum? Yes, you heard it right! The installations at the outdoor area are so fun to play with!

Our children ran around and in "Colour Activity House" to play catching. This offers a new perspective to see things in different colours!

"Wrapping" is another installation that the children had fun playing catching.

 After running for a while, they were tired and rested on these lovely seats.

An interesting installation with multiple reflective surfaces to take photos!

"Klangfeld Nr.3 für Alina" consists of 12 pipes. We split into two teams to play this game - Pei Pei and I spoke into one pipe, then Hao Hao and DaDi had to find the correct pipe to hear our voice! Even if you are alone, this installation offers surprises when you speak to or hear from a stranger!

One of the most famous installations at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is this "The Swimming Pool". It was quite funny to see other visitors doing all poses at the bottom! Entrance fee is required to enter the the bottom of the pool, so we gave it a miss.

Another famous sightseeing spot in Kanazawa is Kenroku-en 兼六園. It is classified as one of the Japan's three most beautiful landscape gardens. It is just a few minutes walk from 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

There was a long queue to take photo on this bridge. So I wondered why would that visitor sit there and be part of others' photos.

Viewing Kanazawa from the observatory.

On the map, Kanazawa Castle is just located opposite to Kenroku-en. So we crossed the road, and walked alongside with Kanazawa Castle.

We saw part of the castle, but to our horror, we couldn't find the entrance! Later then we saw a sign, indicating that we had to enter Kanazawa Castle from a bridge that was connected from Katsurazaka Gate 桂坂口 of Kenroku-en!

The children were too tired to walk, so DaDi looked after them at the base of the castle, while I ran across the road, climbed up the staircase, crossed the bridge and I was standing directly above them! That sounds so funny as I am thinking about this now.

It was late afternoon and the sun was shining from the back of Kanazawa Castle. So if you want to take better photos of Kanazawa Castle, visit in the morning!

Other than convenience stores, another place that I visited often during this Japan trip was the post office Japan Post! Other than postal service, there are also cute and beautiful merchandises. I actually wanted to buy My Neighbourhood Totoro bag, but it was sold out at all the post offices that I visited. Another reason for visiting Japan Post is that it offers beautiful postcards and scenery stamp 風景印 (fukeyin), and each post office would have different designs that are only available in that particular post office. You can check the designs of scenery stamps from Japan Post.

I visited Kenroku-en Post Office which was just directly opposite to 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. When I asked for the scenery stamp, the staff informed me that I had to purchase a postage stamp. I told him that I was not sending the postcard, so the cheapest postage stamp was 70 yen. The staff really knew how to take my money, he offered another special postage stamp with the design of  Kenroku-en and it cost 82 yen. So take my money! The staff helped me to paste the postage stamp on to the postcard, and even asked me the exact position on the postcard to paste the postage stamp. Before he did the scenery stamp on my postcard, he first tested on a piece of rough paper. After stamping, he carefully placed a piece of paper on top of the postcard to prevent the ink to smudge, and put the postcard into a plastic bag. The customer service was amazing!

Useful Kanazawa Travel Information

How to Get to Kanazawa by Train
From Tokyo - take Hokuriku Shinkansen (about 3 hours)
From Osaka or Kyoto - take Japan Rail Thunderbird Limited Express (about 2 hour 40+ minutes)
From Nagoya - take Japan Rail Shirasagi Limited Express (about 3 hours)

Kanazawa Loop Bus

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (8p.m. on Friday and Saturday), close on Monday.
Admission fee: 1000 yen for adult, 800 yen for tertiary student, 400 yen for elementary and high school student, 800 yen for senior aged 65 and above.

Opening hours: 1 March to 15 October 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., 16 October to end of February 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission fee: 310 yen for adult aged above 18, 100 yen for children aged above 6

Kanazawa Castle
Opening hours: 9 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. (last entry at 4 p.m.)
Admission fee to enter the buildings: 310 yen for adult aged above 18, 100 yen for children aged above 6

Tips for Visiting Kenroku-en and Kanazawa Castle:
  • If you are visiting Kenroku-en and going into the building of Kanazawa Castle, you can purchase a combo ticket Kenroku-en+1 at 500 yen.
  • Enter Kanazawa Castle by crossing the bridge from Katsurazaka Gate 桂坂口 of  Kenroku-en (don't make the same mistake as us).

Our Central Japan Travelogue June 2018

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