After school today we had no activities scheduled so we were free to go wherever we wanted. Of course, we decided to take this opportunity to (finally) go shopping downtown in the fancy department stores and fashionable shops. Seeing as the downtown area is a 15-20 minute walk from school, we figured we’d take a stroll down the main street and do some sightseeing at the same time.
We came across the entry way for a shrine nestled on the side of the street and decided to check it out before going shopping.
This shrine (as I later found out) is dedicated to Maeda Toshiie, the founder of the Kaga Clan and forefather of Kanazawa city. Oyama jinja was very beautiful, especially the garden area and pond.
Of course, they also had my favourite attraction: Koi fish pond!
We walked around the shrine for at least an hour, examining every area with much attention. While I was snapping pictures of one part of the shrine, I met a local photographer who seemed interested in the same objects as me. It’s nice to know I have a good idea for these things ^^
After our visit, and paying my respects to the shrine, we left feeling relaxed and ready to take on the shopping district. At this point, the group split up into smaller 2-3 people units because everyone wanted to see different things. Sophie and I went off together to the more traditional shops and came across a yukata dealer (which just so happened that they were having a huge sale on that day). The shopkeeper was a very nice lady who allowed us to try on some really pretty yukata, This was our first time wearing yukata so the lady helped us dress by showing us how to put it on and tie it up.
Sophie ended up buying the yukata she tried on at the shop (in advance for the matsuri scheduled next month) and I walked away empty-handed (even half-price was still too expensive for my poor little wallet). The yukata I tried on was very nice. The lady hand-picked a bright pink one for me (she seemed to think I had a very youthful/vibrant personality hence, bright colours).
Once we were done with our yukata shopping, we rejoined the rest of the group down at the game centre for a good run at the UFO Catchers (claw game). This was my first time playing in a game centre and I was really excited by all the machines and neon lights (childlike, I know). We found one machine in particular that sold adorable Pikachu heads (used to put the train/bus pass in them) so naturally, I HAD to have one (being such a huge Pokémon fan). After only ２００円 (each game costs １００円), I won my beloved Pikachu plush. Oh, the immense joy I felt at winning it!!
After a few hours (and a few dollars spent), we decided to finish the day by going for diner at an izakaya. Again, this was our first time going to an izakaya so we had quite a lot of fun figuring out the menu and how to order items. I ended up taking orders for everyone and we had a great time filling our stomachs with all of the goodness.
So many firsts today: 1st time visiting a jinja, 1st time wearing a yukata, 1st time playing in a game centre and 1st time eating at an izakaya.
Day by day, I’m growing to love Kanazawa so much that it feels as though I’ve lived here all my life!