Pickup Now ! Vol.09

Immerse Yourself in Tradition at Kanazawa’s Higashiyama Higashi District

For its sophisticated arts and crafts as well as beautifully preserved traditional neighbourhood, Kanazawa is often described as “little Kyoto”. One of the few major cities in Japan that was not bombed during World War Two, Kanazawa’s architectural heritage is well preserved and offers you a sophisticated retreat from modern life.

Stroll in Higashiyama Higashi, one of the districts designated as Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings. During the Edo Period, it prospered as a district with many chaya, or teahouses, which offered exclusive entertainment by geisha. The tranquil ambience created by historical wooden buildings with latticework and traditional street lamps will take you back in time. You can still visit some of the teahouses where Japanese high-society was once entertained, so you can fully indulge yourself in reminiscence of the old days.

Kanazawa is renowned for numerous specialities, including kimono and lacquerware, but the foremost being gold leaf adorned products. With the use of gold leaf dating back to the sixteenth century, Kanazawa produces over 90% of gold leaf in Japan. These beautiful traditional handicrafts do not need to be expensive; you can find many items at affordable prices, including sake cups and chopsticks.

Hakuichi is one of the biggest gold leaf manufacturers and retailers in Kanazawa and has a shop in Higashiyama Higashi that makes for a great place to start souvenir shopping. The establishment even has a café serving dessert using real edible gold leaf to make your experience even more memorable. Both the shop and café are conveniently located in the district’s centre (1-15-4 Higashiyama, Kanazawa) and are open every day from 9:00 to 18:00.

Kanazawa, Japan’s hidden gem of sophistication, is certainly worth spending time in to enjoy its lasting traditions.

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Writer:Bjorn Koolen

Although he has lived in both Tokyo and Kyoto for quite some time now, Bjorn continues to explore Japan's less well-known corners for the country's endless beauty and delicious local dishes. By sharing his experience he hopes to inspire others to create their own cherished memories of Japan.

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