6th. April 2022
This is a driving day as we head for Kanazawa. Crawling up the west bank of Lake Biwa becomes tedious, so we opt for the toll-free motorway. This is a better choice as it is faster, we have a long way to go, and the view is much superior. Instead of car-lots and derelict hotels you get lake and mountainscapes. At some point, we hit the coast and drive with a placid Nihonkai (Japan Sea) on our left and high vegetation covered cliffs and small fishing communities on our right. But we are losing time, so cut inland again to find Route 8. We want to visit Nata-dera and Shirayama-hime shrine.
Nata-dera proves to be quite interesting and a good opportunity to stretch the legs. It is a large temple in terms of area and there is a circular route through mossy grounds with ponds and spectacular crags. There is a monument to Basho and a Koshin-zuka statue that, I admit, is quite hideous. It is all a bit run down as the temple clearly lacks the kind of finance available in popular places like Kyoto.
Shirayama Hime Jinjya 白山比咩神社
Shirayama Hime jinjya shrine is an important, famous shrine but sadly not an interesting place to visit. It is just big.
Arriving in the middle of Kanazawa our navi. wends us through extremely narrow streets to our Air B&B. This is an apartment, very central but a swung cat would be in danger of dashed brains. (Yes, I know it’s not that kind of cat)
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.