An ancient feudal city
Dive into feudal Japan! Fascinating Kanazawa is a real gem thanks to its elegant houses, the historic districts dedicated to pleasure, its proud white castle and the Kenrokuen garden.
On an MSC cruise you will get to know this city, a much appreciated destination also for it handicrafts: the Kaga-Yuzen silk kimonos, Wajima's lacquer-ware and Kutani and Ohi ceramics are all exquisite. At the foot of the castle lies the district of Nagamachi, which you can visit on an excursion: the area preserves a historic atmosphere with its Samurai residences characterised by their "mud walls", private wooden entrance gates, narrow lanes and water canals. Kenrokuen, the green area surrounding the castle, is a real discovery: ranked as one of the "three most beautiful landscaped gardens" in Japan alongside Kairakuen in Mito and Korakuen in Okayama. Its colours change depending on the season. Teambuoco Shima and Kaikaro theatres are the two chaya districts open to the public: these areas once hosted exclusive restaurants whose guests were entertained by Geishas.
Shirakawa-Go was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995 and is famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri, some of which are more than 250 years old. That is wooden houses with steep thatched roofs, whose shape recalls the palms of the Buddhist monks joined together in prayer. In actual fact the roofs are designed to withstand the heavy snowfall during the winter.