Monday, August 03, 2015

Cooling Off in the Japanese Alps

Our host at the small hostel in Kanazawa is very persnickety about every detail of our stay: where to put things, when to shower, how to wash the dishes.  He lives in the hostel and uses the same facilities as the guests.  It is a little uncomfortable, but it gives us plenty of entertainment.  We met Bjorn, Jenny and the girls at the train station where we enjoyed our first Starbucks coffee since being in Japan.  We then took a bus to visit a historic tea house street and give Ada and Ruby some playground time.  The city of Kanazawa is very pleasant; it doesn't have the bustle of Tokyo, yet it is very modern.  In the afternoon we caught a tour bus up to the village of Shirakawago.  This scenic village nestled under lush green mountains features gassho-style architecture.  Crafted centuries ago the framing structure is fastened together with special rope and covered with two foot thick thatch.  The result is a building that can withstand monsoon winds and earthquakes.  We spent three hours exploring this unique village which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Back in Kanazawa we ate dinner and retired to our lodgings.

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