24th – 25th December 2012.
We stayed at a cozy little hostel located not too far off from Kanazawa Station. It is located at Rokumai-machi and it is about a 7 minutes’ walk from the station it. It would take longer in winter due to the snow as they render your luggage with wheels useless.
The guesthouse is located just next to the Kuratsuki Canal, a long winding canal flowing through the city and draws in water from the Sai. Pongyi Guesthouse itself is a building of historical and cultural value.
Before its revitalization as one of the city’s earliest hostels, the guesthouse was a Kinomo Shop, the dormitory room used to be its warehouse area, hence for the history and architecture fans, the building might be of some interest. On a side note, the owners seemed to know a bit of architecture too, recommending us several interesting works to visit in Kanazawa. Pity we didn’t had the time.
The one and only private room is located on the second story, the owners are certainly very humble and modest about the size of the room because it was one of the largest rooms we had stayed in our 10 day Japan trip, the other being Minshuku Hisamatsu and J-Hoppers Takayama. As the building was quite old, soundproofing might be an issue especially for light sleepers.
There is a pleasant little common area and a dining area at the ground floor where you could interact with the pair of humorous and friendly guesthouse owners. We had a Christmas Eve party where the owners prepared a few homemade dishes such as soup with konnyaku and sashimi of yellowtail and ika shared among the guests and friends of the owners. It was a wonderful experience.
We got to know a Thai who is studying in Nagoya, some Kanazawa locals and locals from Aichi, Osaka, Shikoku and Mie. Parties happened quite often here. The owners love to meet new people and make strangers from afar feel welcomed in a foreign land.
This guesthouse also seemed to be one of the few that are really concerned about green initiatives from energy saving to trash disposal. The toilet can get very cold during the winter, so if you are afraid of cold you have been warned! Overall, it had a splendid time at Guesthouse Pongyi, the Christmas Eve party and the experience of staying a former Kimono shop…makes me glad that we didn’t change our booking to a nearby hotel.
２-２２ Rokumaimachi, Kanazawa,
Ishikawa Prefecture 920-0868, Japan