October 21st. 22nd.
On a Saturday morning, Korogaki no Sato Shika is a very busy michi no eki. The car park is full and people were arriving by local bus to queue up for the vegetable shop that opened at nine. We did not try to shop as the store was very crowded and the queue for the checkout, dauntingly long.
Kanazawa Noh Museum
So, we set off for Kanazawa Noh Museum arriving a little before midday. The town is very busy and we crawl in traffic looking for the museum parking. This, of course, does not exist but there is a large, underground parking garage for a bigger museum(21st. Century Museum) nearby.
The Noh Museum is very small but D. is happy to try on a Noh costume and mask. There is little English explanation but, ironically, a questionnaire on the quality of what little there was.
I am not a big fan of Noh but even I was impressed by the stitching on the Kimono. So fine, so delicate and, unusually, so accurate – the sparrow depicted on one and a mandarin duck on another are very well executed and the tiny, delicate flowers just exquisite. For me to praise needlework is proof that this was something special.
Leaving the museum, we come across a multi-cultural event outside the Kanazawa 21st. Century Museum. Here we try some Taiwanese street food. A kind of flaky pastry pancake with spring onions, cheese, fried egg, Katsuobushi (John Lennon’s “Shaved Fish”?) and okonomiyaki sauce. This is very good and, we suspect, from a real street stall in Taiwan it would be excellent.
As we are concerned about an approaching typhoon, we go to an Aeon to get supplies for two days and go to a coin Laundry in the same complex. Washing accomplished, we make for Mikuni our michi no eki in Fukui.
Arriving here at dusk, the place seems fine but the toilet is a long way from the parking spaces. As heavy rain is forecast for the night, this is a serious consideration so we move on to Sakai michi no eki, a further 15 minutes’ drive away. In itself, Sakai is less attractive but we can park very close to the toilet so, we decide to stay.
Fukui City Art Museum
A damp morning that gets progressively worse as a large typhoon, that eventually envelopes the whole of Japan, approaches. We drive to Fukui City to visit Fukui City Art Museum. To escape the constant heavy rain, we have decided it is a museum day. The parking is free always a good sign.
There is an exhibition of the work of Takata Hiroatsu, a sculptor, who was born in Fukui in 1900. Neither of us had heard of him but we were pleased to discover his work. Obviously well connected, he was part of an intellectual elite in the 1920’s and 30’s. He lived in Paris in the 30’s where he created busts of Cocteau and Gandhi among other poets, writers and philosophers. A very good value exhibition – not that we paid to view the special exhibition – just to view the permanent exhibit.
＊Fukui City Art Museum ; 100 yen / adult
Fukui Prefectural Museum of Cultural History
Leaving the museum, in pouring rain, we drive to the Prefectural Museum of Cultural History.
First, we visit an exhibition dedicated to a famous monk Taicho, of whom, again, I had never heard, and Hakusan (The famous mountain and temple complex). Unfortunately, it is mainly of scrolls and ancient books. There is no English explanation, so it’s lost on me.
Then we visit an exhibition of early and mid-Showa artefacts. This is interesting enough as many of the artefacts on display were still very much part of daily life when I arrived in Japan in the late Showa years.
We also visit an exhibition of stone age tools and early pottery. The interest in these is directly proportional to the intensity of the downpour outside. At this point, it is being enlivened by a steadily increasing, stiff breeze.
＊ Fukui Prefectural Museum of Cultural History ; 100 yen / adult
Academia Hotel Fukui
After the museum, we have lunch in Ootoya, which is one of D’s favourites, then, after some necessary shopping, we head for the hotel we have booked to shelter from the typhoon. This hotel turns out to be a good choice. It is very cheap but offers large rooms and an onsen. So, we check in to the Academia in Fukui around four, take a bath and watch the depressing results of the general election trickle in.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.