One Year in Kanazawa, Japan

In 2010 to 2011, I studied at Kanazawa University, Japan, for 1 year. I lived in Kanazawa city, Ishikawa prefecture. It was absolutely not a big city, but I enjoyed a lot my life there. I also had some trip to some other cities (Kobe, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, etc.), but my most favourite city is Kanazawa. (…Ok, and Tokyo also. Who doesn’t love Tokyo?)

Kanazawa has very fresh and delicious sashimi and sushi.
My friends said that I can eat delicious sushi in any sushi restaurant in Ishikawa prefecture, but not 100 yen’s sushi – which was still delicious for me.

In Kanazawa, there is a very beautiful garden.
The name of the garden is Kenrokuen. My friend said it means something like a combination of six elements (“six” is “roku” in Japanese; back to its name, kenROKUen). But sorry, I don’t remember what are the six elements. He also said that this is one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.

I went to Kenrokuen 5 times in a year. I went there once at Spring, twice at Fall, and twice at Winter. I didn’t go there in Summer because it was too hot! For me, Kenrokuen gave different scenery at each season. The most beautiful scenery for me was in Winter and Spring. Also for each season, they usually have light up at night. It gives different scenery. I loved the sunny winter day there, but night time in winter was not special for me. But I loved Fall’s light up! The red leaves and the light gave an amazing sensation for me.
If you go to a big city in Japan, you probably will see so many individual people. But in Kanazawa, there are plenty of great people. Especially old people, they are so nice!
Greeting us every morning with a very bright smile, asking if there is any problem when you look like you need help. Not everyone like that, though.
Only my very slight observation, but in my opinion, once you speak English to them, there are some options that might happen:
1. They will reply to you with English, they happy about it because they are learning English.
2. They will avoid you or give an unlikable face (which actually because they feel tense) because they can’t speak English and don’t want to try it at all. They live in Japan, and will always stay there, so they don’t care about English.
3. They still talk a lot; in Japanese.
Option 1 usually happens if you talk to college students, especially graduate students. But not with schoolers.
Option 2 happens a lot to some people. Sometimes they even avoid you before you talk because they know you are not Japanese and they afraid you will talk non-Japanese language to them.
Option 3 is for old people. Some of them, even if you already told them you don’t understand Japanese, still talk a lot in Japanese.

In Kanazawa, people commute by bus; not by train like in the big city. The bus fare was expensive for me. To go to my university from my apartment, I had to pay 670 yen, so about 1340 yen a day.
I could just go by bicycle, but my university was like at the top of the mountain. It was very hard to get there by bicycle. But actually, I went there by bicycle for about 7 months and took bus afterwards.

Then, since my university was like in the top of a mountain (…almost, actually), there were times a bear come to visit a parking lot in my university. (… and yes, by ‘bear’, I really mean the animal; not a cute doll-like Teddy Bear or something cute else)
I was very surprised when I heard that for the first time.
I told it to my Japanese friends, and they were just like…oh well,, you will get used to it.
But for me, I didn’t dare go home alone, at that time.
But in the university’s store, they were selling a bell. They said bears won’t dare to disturb you if they feel you’re not alone. So to make a noisy sound, people usually ring the bell to avoid bears.

Then, it is another hard time when I lived in Kanazawa.
When I just came to Japan, I confused about throwing the trash.
It was really difficult!
In my place,
Twice in a week before 9 a.m. for Combustible garbage
Twice in a month before 11 a.m. for plastic, can, and PET bottle
Once in a month for bottle glass (with specific colours)
Once in a month for incombustible
Other than the schedule, I had to put the trash inside my apartment.
I couldn’t separate which one this and which one that at the beginning. It was just very confusing! But I got used to it after about a month. And I had to pay money to throw something like TV or refrigerator or sofa or other big items.

Then, here are some photos of Kanazawa. Mostly was taken at Kenrokuen. Spring’s photos credit to my friend. I didn’t have my camera with me at that time. Not many summer’s photos, because I was so busy. But I went to Kobe, Nagoya, and Kyoto in summer.
also to Osaka to attend a conference-which made me busy last summer. I want to tell you about my experience in those cities! But next time! (…maybe)






City view in sakura season; sakura only blooms two weeks in a year



Annual festival in Kanazawa City



Fireworks in summer; non-stop in about 3 hours



Fireworks festival? Yukata is a must! (…not really)



Kenrokuen in autumn



Red leaves; only in autumn



Kanazawa University in autumn



A path in kenrokuen



Light up at Kenrokuen



Kenrokuen in Winter



Kanazawa University in Winter



Yukidaruma; made from snow



Winter at Kenrokuen


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