In the middle of my trip from Toyama to Kyoto, I stopped by in Kanazawa. I knew nothing about this city, except the gate in front of Kanazawa Station. After arriving at the station, I walked toward the exit which was more crowded, and saw a part of a tall wooden construction and guessed it was the gate. Yes, it was! The gate is huge and beautiful, as well as the station building which is so modern with glass and iron construction. To see the beautiful combination of wooden gate and glass building, I recommend you to see it from across the street.
As the station is located on the main street of the city, you can easily see department stores and restaurants around it. I decided to explore the city by bike. I asked for a city map at the Tourist Information desk, and found a bicycle rental not far from the gate. The bicycle rental service is called machinori, and has docking station around the tourist spots. The staff was helpful, telling me the best route to see the main spots so I would not be late returning the bike.
My first destination was the Chaya District to see a typical traditional Japanese house. I noticed this area was similar to Kyoto's Gion, filled with a number of wooden houses and a place where visitors can find geisha. Most of the buildings are two-story houses functioning as restaurants and souvenir shops. This area is situated by a river dividing the city. Like other rivers in Japan, it is clean and a nice place to hang out and enjoy the sunset.
Then, I went to Kanazawa Castle. It took about 30 minutes for me because I wanted to enjoy the city. The castle is simple with white turrets and a lengthy walls. There is a small garden along the path to one of entrances. It is free of charge, but there is an admission fee to enter the turrets. Outside the area of castle I found a large city park where many people spend their afternoons. The main entrance of this castle faces the famous Kenrokuen Park. Unfortunately, it was closed and I could not see the inside. I was running out of time to use my bike, though, so I rode it quickly back to the office.
After having dinner at one of restaurants near the station, I looked around the another side of the station. It was as great as the gate side is. While waiting for my bus, I sat and adored the gate in the evening, as well as watched the people walking around the station.