We awoke to slightly cooler temperatures and overcast skies for our full day tour in Kanazawa. Our first stop was Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s three best gardens dating back to the 1600s. A recent rain shower highlighted the many different shades of green as we strolled around the garden and visited the remains of Kanazawa Castle across the street. From there, we continued to the Higashi Chaya District, a formerly flourishing geisha district that remains active today. We admired the traditional architecture and enjoyed browsing in elegant shops to see the gold leaf, pottery, and kutaniyaki, which is the pottery from this region. Meanwhile, another group of guests visited Omicho Market, the city’s largest seafood market dating back to the mid-1700s.

After returning to the ship for lunch, we set off again for the Nagamachi Samurai District, a picturesque area of the city with earthen walls and narrow lanes where samurai once lived with their families. We toured the Nomura House, one of the former samurai houses turned into a museum, where we admired the gorgeous details and picturesque garden.

Back on the ship, our afternoon continued with a moving sail away performance from the Kuratsuki Kids’ Centre, which consisted of baton twirling and taiko drumming. David Cothran, certified photo instructor, delivered a presentation entitled “Smart Photography with Smart Phones in Japan.” Captain Heidi Norling welcomed us over cocktail hour, and our day in Kanazawa ended with a wonderful dinner with new friends.