Here's Why You Need To Make An Overnight Escape To Kanazawa | Clozette


Kanazawa (金沢) makes for a great weekend or overnight escape from Tokyo, now easily reached within two and a half hours by the new Hokuriku Shinkansen operating out of Tokyo Station — valid on both Japan Rail Pass and the Hokuriku Arch Pass. On arrival, Kanazawa Station surprises visitors with the modernity of its design that embodies traditional elements, populated with vibrant shops and dining options that are well integrated into the train terminal.




This capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture is often called Little Kyoto, where many of its 16th-century Edo-era buildings still survive in good condition, particularly in the Nagamachi Samurai district and the Chaya entertainment districts. Facing the Sea of Japan, Kanazawa is blessed with abundant seafood; combined with the fresh produce from the surrounding mountains, visitors are treated to a plethora of excellent restaurants serving Kaga Ryori, the traditional cuisine of Ishikawa.


Historical attractions abound in this old castle town, boasting numerous restored feudal residences and districts, as well as modern museums that lend a contrasting contemporary touch to its steep history.


Kanazawa's sights




The highlight of Kanazawa's sights is Kenrokuen (兼六園), considered to be one of Japan's three most beautiful gardens. Sprawled over 11.4 hectares of meticulously landscaped grounds next to the Kanazawa Castle, this past playground of feudal lords is interspersed with big and small ponds, streams, fountains, bridges and teahouses as well as the iconic two-legged Kotoji-toro stone lantern, a symbol of the garden. Artistically punctuated with manicured trees and flowers, it is one of the best spots in Kanazawa for that Kodak moment.




Look out for the Hakuichi store near the entrance of Kenrokuen, a famous shop chain that sells an Instagram-worthy gold leaf-wrapped soft vanilla ice cream, a specialty of this town that produces 99 per cent of the gold leaf consumed in Japan — used for the decoration of temples and shrines, in the making of traditional crafts and tableware, as well as for accessories and beauty products like face masks.




Another must-visit in Kanazawa is the Higashi Chaya district (東茶屋街). Chaya is an entertainment teahouse where geishas perform dances and play Japanese traditional musical instruments, an art form that dates back to the Edo period. The architecture of these charming teahouses is characterised by the lattice woodwork on the outside of the ground floor entrance and elegant Japanese-style guestrooms located on the upper floor.





Time flies as you wander the alleys of this ancient district lined with these quaint wooden teahouses, many of which have been restored and converted into restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops.


Shopaholics should check out the upmarket Hakuza store that tempts your wallet with a variety of gold products ranging from jewellery and bags to artisan tableware. A hidden gem located at the back of the store is the Hikari Kura, a well-preserved old warehouse whose exterior and interior are covered entirely with pure gold foil.




Another recommended pitstop in the Higashi Chaya district is Kaikaro, designated as a Kanazawa City Preservation Architecture. The short tour of this 200-year-old chaya — it still functions as a fully operational geisha house — offers a rare glimpse into the decadent world of chaya culture catered to the nobles of the Edo era: an exquisite interior dominated by vermilion-lacquered stairs and woodworks, opulent banquet rooms, a make-up room for the geishas with their tools of the trade displayed, and even a tea ceremony room lavishly furnished with gold-threaded tatami mats.

For history buffs, Nagamachi (長町) is not to be missed: you’ll be transported back in time to an atmospheric district where samurais and their families used to reside, with remnants of traditional dwellings replete with earthen walls and forbidding private gates framed by narrow backstreets laced with water canals.



Kanazawa is an endearing package that ticks all the boxes for visitors: compact and easy to traverse with clearly signed and well-routed buses (the JR buses are free for JR Pass holders); a good immersion into ancient Japan, and while it may not be as grand as Kyoto, it comes without the hordes of tourists; pleasing culture vultures with several small but engaging museums such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (stay tuned for Part Two of this three-part feature); and plenty of affordable and palatable dining experiences–Fuwari Izakaya served one of my best meals in Japan (stay tuned for Part Three of this three-part feature).


Kanazawa is accessible from Tokyo within two and a half hours by the Hokuriku Shinkansen that operates out of Tokyo Station. JR Passes are available at: https://bit.ly/2Y3Vibu. All Nippon Airways (ANA) https://www.ana.co.jp/en/sg/ and Japan Airlines (JAL) https://www.jal.co.jp/en/inter/ operate several daily flights and transfers (one hour) between Tokyo and Komatsu Airport where you can get a shuttle bus (40 mins.) or a train (30 mins.) to Kanazawa Station.
READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC


 


Forget about stilettos and strappy heeled sandals, there’s a new and fashionable footwear for us ladies and it’s “god-send” comfortable — Teva shoes. 


That’s right, Tevas are the clunky and strappy “river sandals” people use for extreme water adventures. They have become so popular among adrenaline junkies that even major sports brands have come up with their own rendition of these adventure shoes.

What’s surprising is that these sandals, held together using velcro and often comes in the colour black, have found their way into some of the most regarded fashion houses and even graced the biggest fashion events in the world.





Power brands like Prada, Roger Vivier and Marc Jacobs have come up with their own rendition of the sandal and designers like Sandy Liang and Collina Strada actually used Tevas on the runway in last year’s New York Fashion Week for Spring 2019.

They're well on their way to being as popular as other widely prominent “ugly shoes” trend such as the cringe-inducing dad sneakers, now elevated by fashion houses Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton.

But like all fashion lambs, we’re willing to follow and give Teva-inspired shoes a try. But how do we pull off these utilitarian sandals? Here’s how to wear Teva-inspired shoes to make you believe this footwear is actually cool.


Find the ones with heels




If you’re not ready to give up your love for elevated footwear, don’t fret. There are Teva-inspired sandals available that can give you a little bit of height. Anna Sui introduced colourful platforms on the runway in last year’s Spring NYFW while ASOS have come up with platform shoes that actually look chic on the streets.

While you're at it, try to choose those with bright colours to make a statement or better yet, choose one designed with beads like Roger Vivier Trekky Viv' Sandals.

Wear it with socks




Now before you raise your eyebrows at us, hear us out: Bella Hadid ate the runway wearing the Teva x Anna Sui flatform shoes during Sui’s spring 2019 runway — with socks!

If that’s not convincing enough, even Marc Jacobs released his own version of the platform shoes and made sure they also came out with socks. Meanwhile, designer Collina Strada transformed boring black Tevas by pairing them with bright silk socks and pretty designer clothing.



Wear it with a skirt




The thing with fashion is that you get to make a mark when you do the exact opposite of what you’re expected. Teva shoes are expected to be worn with boring adventure clothes like cargo pants or shorts.

To actually make the shoes look cute, try pairing the strappy sandals with something fun and fresh such as an A-line, knee-high skirt or even a long and flowy one.

Show off those legs




Wearing strappy, clunky sandals can be neutralised by showing off your toned and bronzed legs. Make sure your legs have been waxed, scrubbed and moisturised to make you feel confident about your gams. Try Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub to prep your legs and make you feel confident while wearing a short skirt or romper — and Tevas.



Keep feet clean and your pedi on point




The simplest and easiest way to make Tevas or Teva-inspired shoes actually look super cute is to make sure that your feet are clean and your pedi are well-groomed.

Even the most basic clunky sandals would come alive and fresh with a pop of colour coming from nail shades like Opi Nail Polish in Cajun Shrimp or Jinsoon Nail Polish in Tweety.


(Cover photo from: @steveakation)

READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC


 

Women can't style suits like men — says no one ever! One of the coolest things about fashion is its fickle nature. It doesn't matter what the current trend is, it never goes out of style and will come back around eventually. In this case, we're celebrating the return of power suits! Not only do they embody classy and sophistication, but wearing them also give a boost of confidence. Check out how the Clozette Community is rocking this style.


(Cover photo from: missCHI)


Dress in class with these power suits!