Thursday, 3 November 2016
This was a long day. We started early. By 7.45am we were waiting for the city tram in Toyoma. We wanted to see the glass museum before we headed for Kanazawa. What’s so special about this that we need to skip a leisurely breakfast and squeeze this into the itinerary? Well I was simply blown away by what I saw: such amazing works of art made of glass. You have to go there to see and feel the moment. My camera shots do not do justice in the low light conditions of the museum. The sense of wonder outstripped all my expectations.
By 10.20am we were off to Kanazawa in the shinkansen Japan’s bullet train. It went super fast. In one hour we were at the Hotel MyStays Kanazawa. From there we walked to the Omicho morning market and arrived at noon. We found reasonably priced shashimi and other Japanese food and sat on short stools and tables and downed our lunch.
I must state that the toilet culture of Japan is admirably world-class. Even the market toilets were clean and free from odour. I never felt dread or anxiety about using the toilets: railway stations (even in small towns), malls, restaurants, hotels and inns (of course), scenic areas and even in the markets, as in the Omicho market. I found the wide application of technology in Japan. Even toilets were subject to this widespread use of technology. The water spout can be adjusted in water pressure and nozzle position. The toilet seat cover was always warm. There was even in one case a blow dryer for drying up the backside after the wash. I have yet to use one with music that will cover up the noise of your excretion, but I heard there is such a model!
Singapore is not helped by the weather and the toilet odours are nasty. The parks have nice toilets that are specially built to allow natural light and air flow. The airports have the best, nice smelling and clean public toilets. Next would be our malls. The worse toilets are in the coffee-shops. However there are hopeful signs of change. A friend in renovation business told me one increasingly popular toilet model has a water spout ala Japan but without heater nor dryer. The toilet adaptations have come to our shores. There is hope.
Our next stop in our itinerary was the Kanazawa Castle and the kimono photoshoot. There were only a few kimonos left so some decided to spend more time touring the Kanazawa Castle, while the others and their spouses went to hunt down the shop, wear the kimono, which took considerable time, and take their photos. I went for the castle tour and we later met at the kimono shop in the tourist belt. This was followed by shopping, which was too expensive and limited in the range of products. Most of us bought nothing. We were glad to return and enjoy the comforts of a newly refurbished hotel room. There the bathtub awaited me.