Today, after a slow morning of last-minute packing, we headed to Shibuya Station one last time. On the way, we pondered some unanswered questions from our time in Tokyo: Why are there bird sounds piped out of speakers at the metro stations? Why are there clear plastic pristine-condition umbrellas lying around everywhere? How long will the beautiful little street of handmade structures made by homeless people continue to exist when the city is trying to “clean up” the area in preparation for the 2020 Olympics? Where IS the city’s best ramen shop? Should we have let the photographer from Little Friends Management whisk Max off for a career in teen modeling?
The Shinkansen (aka the Bullet Train!) for Kanazawa left Tokyo Station at 12:30 and we arrived at 11:00 so we got some food and hung out to kill some time. When we finally got on the train, we were surprised at how much room we had and took full advantage of it, spreading out luxuriously. During the three hour ride, we read, slept, played a board game and had quiet time. Before we knew it we were in Kanazawa!
We’re staying at a ryoken, “a type of traditional Japanese inn that originated in the Edo period (1603–1868), when such inns served travelers along Japan’s highways.” according to Wikipedia. It is sparsely decorated with only tatami mats, a little table, two low chairs, two futons and a pot of hot tea. Once we were settled, we took a nice little walk around our neighborhood and made our way to the river in time for a golden sunset! A delicious yakitori meal and a soak in the communal bath was a perfect end to the day.