Kanazawa is accepted as Japan’s “Little Kyoto” for a reason.
Up until the backward 19th Century, the alcazar boondocks of Kanazawa flourished beneath the able Maeda clan, who disqualified over an age-old arena again accepted as Kaga.
Cherry bloom petals abatement in Nagamachi samurai district.
Today, Kanazawa is a active avant-garde burghal with a citizenry of aloof beneath 500,000, amid 250 afar northwest of Tokyo. It retains abundant of its Kaga past, which is why the Maeda’s old powerbase is accepting acceptance as a biking another to Kyoto — with far beneath visitors. Kyoto receives added than 50 actor calm and all-embracing tourists annually, while Kanazawa gets about 8 million.
Since a ammo alternation affiliation was added in 2015, the burghal is alone 2 1/2 hours by abuse from Tokyo, authoritative Kanazawa aloof as accessible to get to as Kyoto.
Many of Kanazawa’s best accepted sites are historic, abnormally the preserved abode like the narrow, earthen-walled streets of the Nagamachi samurai commune and the rows of board barrio that accomplish up the old Higashi Chaya ball district.
Geishas still accomplish in Higashi Chaya teahouses, but the ancestry structures actuality now mostly abode a mix of stores, cafes and restaurants.
Women in Higashi Chaya, Kanazawa, Japan.
The Washington Post
With Kenrokuen, the burghal has one of the Three Abundant Area of Japan. Built by the Maeda clan, this 11-hectare strolling-style garden appearance a ample axial pond and teahouses, but is best accepted for the characteristic yukitsuri braiding and bamboo supports placed over its copse to assure them from snow in the winter. It is one of the best accepted places in Kanazawa to see blooming blossoms bloom in the spring.
Yukitsuri ropes at Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s Three Abundant Gardens.
For a attending at Kanazawa’s aliment and alcohol culture, stop by the Omicho Market. Established in the 1700s, Omicho has abutting to 200 stalls affairs seafood, vegetables, tea, account and confectioneries. The market’s restaurants are additionally acceptable places to try sushi or kaisendon — a basin of hot rice topped with raw seafood.
The Maeda association were abundant assemblage of culture. During their administration they adjourned the development of arts and crafts that are still accustomed today.
Most accessible is Kanazawa’s gold blade (kinpaku) industry. The burghal produces added than 99 percent of Japan’s kinpaku, which was commonly acclimated to adorn temples, shrines, ornaments and added items.
Gold blade decorates aggregate from temples to tea cups in Kanazawa.
In Higashi Chaya, stop by gold-leaf specialist aliment Sakuda or Hakuza to see aloof how boundless kinpaku’s acceptance has become. This ultra-fine blade is now begin on cakes and ice creams and in cosmetics.
Near Kenrokuen garden, the Kaga Yuzen Bathrobe Centermost is the abode to apprentice about the bounded array of bathrobe dyeing alleged Kaga Yuzen. The centermost displays acceptable bathrobe busy with Kaga Yuzen designs, as able-bodied as abreast items such as blooming bells dresses and men’s shirts.
Young women in kimonos at Kanazawa’s Coming-of-Age ceremony, a anniversary of those who angry 20 years old during the accomplished year.
The Washington Post
On weekdays, artisan Kozo Morita can be apparent at assignment in his branch here, and not aloof designing kimono; he additionally uses Kaga Yuzen techniques to adorn guitars.
Gold blade on ice chrism and bathrobe patterns on guitars aren’t the alone means Kanazawa tweaks tradition. Bounded ability brewery Oriental Brewing — which has gastropubs by Kanazawa Station, Higashi Chaya and Nagamachi — has congenital the region’s broiled boucha tea into one of its stouts and yuzu citrus into an ale.
A cocktail from Furansu Cocktail Bar.
Courtesy of Furansu Cocktail Bar.
The city’s cocktail arena is appropriately creative. At Furansu Cocktail Bar, a above cocktail bar abreast Nagamachi that’s run by French-Japanese brothers Nao and Seiguy Karasawa, the card includes the Japanese Old Fashioned. It combines whisky alloyed with shiso (a bulb in the excellent family), a shiso amoroso and a shiitake and nori (dried seaweed) absinthian and is again accomplished with a admixture of comestible gold blade afore it is smoked with blooming bloom chips.
Getting there: From Tokyo, booty the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen Line (bullet train); the adventure is about 2 1/2 hours.
Getting around: Almost all the capital architect are served by the Kanazawa Loop Bus, which runs frequently throughout the day. With the 500-yen Day Pass, you get absolute rides.
Stay: The 19th-century Asadaya in the burghal centermost is a archetypal ryokan — or acceptable inn — with four tatami-matted bedfellow rooms, a common hot-spring onsen bath, close garden and adept multi-course kaiseki dinners.
Or add a night aloof alfresco Kanazawa in the hot-spring resort boondocks of Yamashiro Onsen. There, the luxuriously ascetic Beniya Mukayu — a Relais & Chateaux acreage — has gardens, a tea abode and 16 suites with bamboo flooring, tatami mats and clandestine hot-spring onsen. Guests charge be at atomic seven years old.
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