Higashi Chaya District

What Not to Miss in Kanazawa's Higashi Chaya District


2019.05.05

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Higashi Chaya District

Despite being home to one of the most visited and photographed streets in Japan, the Higashi Chaya District’s irresistibly charming machiya wooden houses can be intimidating to enter with no clear sign of what hides behind those wooden walls. Here are 5 things you should make sure not to miss on your trip up and down the traditional streets of Kanazawa.

  • Higashi Chaya District

    Higashi Chaya District

    Kazuemachi Chaya District
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Kazuemachi
    phone
    0762202194
    opening-hour
    Store/Depending on the facil…
  • 02

    Step inside the shiny “Gold House”

    Hakuza Hikari Kura Gold House

    Hakuza Hikari Kura Gold House

    Did you know that 99% of the gold leaf that is produced in Japan is from Kanazawa? If you are in the city where most of Japan’s gold leaf is from, you have no choice but to visit this house which features gorgeous decorations. The “Gold House” has beautiful gold leaf craftwork inside, as well as outside the house. Let your eyes shine with the reflection of its gold!

  • 03

    Hakuza Hikari Kura Gold House

    Hakuza Hikari Kura Gold House

    Hakuza Hikari Kura Gold House

    The Hakuza store is known for its variety of gold products ranging from jewelry and bags to chopsticks and edible gold sprinkles. While the upmarket shop sports a somewhat stuffy ambience, the main draw to the Higashi Chaya Hakuza branch is the golden house hidden in the backyard of the shop. Sneak out the back to find Hakuza Hikari Kura which is an old tea house whose exterior is fully coated in pure gold platinum foil with the inner walls covered in 24 carat gold.

    Hakuza Hikari Kura Gold House

    Hakuza Hikari Kura Gold House

    Hakuza Hikarikura
    rating

    4.0

    56 Reviews
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Higashiyama 1-13-18
    phone
    0762518930
    opening-hour
    [During Summer]9:30-18:00[Wi…
  • 04

    Touch the stunning traditional crafts

    traditional crafts

    traditional crafts

    Kanazawa is a treasure trove of traditional crafts, such as Kaga Yuzen, Kanazawa shikki, and Wajima-nuri. Kaga yuzen is a cloth dyeing technique for kimono while Kanazawa shikki and Wajima-nuri are both traditional Japanese lacquerware. Skilled craft masters make these traditional works, with many of the techniques having been passed down from generation to generation over the past 300 years. Enjoy looking at plenty of works that hark back to the old days of Japan!

    traditional crafts

    traditional crafts

  • 05

    Kutani-yaki Porcelain

    Kutani-yaki Porcelain

    Kutani-yaki Porcelain

    Originally created in the nearby Kaga Province, kutani-yaki porcelain can be found throughout Japan today with a number of shops found along the main street through the Higashi Chaya District. Kutani-yaki is a delicate style of pottery finished off with colorful and intricate designs of local landscapes and people. The shops around the eastern tea house district display a plenitude of elaborately designed kutani-yaki pots including bowls, tea cups, teapots and even wine glasses. Prices vary significantly from shop to shop but some places such as Jyuen opposite the Enchoji Temple offer beautiful pieces for as little as 500 yen.

    Enchoji Temple
    place
    Ishikawa Kanazawa-shi Higashiyama 1-4-40
    phone
    0762529081
  • 06

    Observe historical Chaya-Kenchiku

    Kaikarou

    Kaikarou

    Chaya-Kenchiku, a specially constructed teahouse, can be found in Higashi Chaya-gai. In this context, a teahouse is not a place where you drink matcha. Rather, it is somewhere people are entertained by Geisha. Traditionally, first time customers are not allowed to enter the teahouse. In Higashi Chaya-gai, beautiful teahouse buildings are still there. You can imagine their gorgeous culture and feel the history in this area.

  • 07

    Kaikarou

    Kaikarou

    Kaikarou

    Preserving its interior, teahouse Kaikaro has been designated as a Kanazawa City Preservation Architecture. It was built 199 years ago and is the largest teahouse in Kanazawa. Though it doesn’t welcome first-time customers at night, it is open to the public during the daytime. They have retained the old-style interior but also display art works by modern artists. You can buy souvenirs at their gift shop, too. Their golden tearoom is impressive.

    Read more
    Experience Traditional Kanazawa at Kaikaro Teahouse
    The 200-year-old wooden teahouses of the Higashi Chaya District in the east of Kanazawa are undoubtedly one of the highlights of a trip to …

    Kaikarou

    Kaikarou

    Kaikarou

    Kaikarou

    Kaikaro Teahouse
    rating

    4.0

    157 Reviews
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Higashiyama 1-14-8
    phone
    0762530591
    opening-hour
    10:00-17:00
  • 08

    Ochaya Shima Tea House

    Ochaya Shima Tea House

    Ochaya Shima Tea House

    Built in the 1800s, Ochaya SHIMA was a traditional geisha house for over one hundred years and has been kept as it was while many other tea houses have been redeveloped into businesses. Recognised as a valuable cultural heritage, this preserved two-story geisha house offers the chance to explore the upper tatami rooms which look over traditional gardens and the crooked rooftops of the entertainment district. The ground floor houses the geishas’ kitchen where tea used to be prepared as well as cabinets displaying a number of artifacts used by geisha including hair accessories and shamisen picks. Entrance is 500 yen with the option to visit the hidden tea room at the back of the house for an extra 200 yen.

    Ochaya Shima (National Important Cultural Property )
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Higashiyama 1-13-21
    phone
    0762525675
    opening-hour
    9:00-18:00[Dec.-Feb.]9:00-17…
  • 09

    Enjoy a short break at a stylish Japanese Machiya café

    Machiya café

    Machiya café

    There are a lot of stylish cafés in renovated Machiya buildings, which are traditional wooden townhouses. The architectural style is similar to Ochaya and you can feel the history of the buildings, even though many of the cafés have contemporary interiors. What you can taste in those cafes is quite unique, too. Something they all have in common is that they celebrate the taste of Kanazawa. Here are our recommended cafes!

  • 10

    Hakuichi Higashiyama store – gold leaf soft-serve ice cream

    gold leaf soft-serve ice cream

    gold leaf soft-serve ice cream

    Kanazawa’s prefecture, Ishikawa, has the largest annual consumption of ice cream in all of Japan. Gold leaf soft-serve ice cream is something you must try in this city of gold leaf and ice cream! Hakuichi’s building used to be a public bath house and the newly renovated inside is now full of Kanazawa products. You can browse for souvenirs inside the shop before or after you try their shiny gold leaf soft-serve ice cream for 891 yen!

    Hakuichi Higashiyama store

    Hakuichi Higashiyama store

    Hakuichi Higashiyama Store
    rating

    4.0

    79 Reviews
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Higashiyama 1-15-4
    phone
    0762530891
    opening-hour
    9:00-18:00* Friday foil soft…
  • 11

    Kaho Kazu Nakashima - great combination of sake and Japanese sweets

    Kaho Kazu Nakashima

    Kaho Kazu Nakashima

    This café is run by the 4th generation traditional sweets shop Nakashima. They introduce a new item every day! Their big mochi with a whole fruit inside is very popular and they look pretty, too. The interesting thing about their sweets is that they are a perfect match for not only matcha, but also sake and wine!! They serve sophisticated local sake with your sweets. You can’t taste this amazing combination anywhere else, so you better try it here!

    Kaho Kazu Nakashima

    Kaho Kazu Nakashima

    Kaho Kazu Nakashima

    Kaho Kazu Nakashima

    菓舗 Kazu Nakashima
    place
    石川県金沢市東山1-7-6
    phone
    0762525280
    no image
  • 12

    Café Tamon - 100 year old renovated Machiya

    Café Tamon

    Café Tamon

    Café Tamon is located in front of the Utasu Shrine and they pride themselves on using ingredients that are grown or caught in the local area. Their interior and menu are both collaborations with various creators. Tatami room seats and regular table seats are available, with the most popular seats by the window where you can see the garden. There is also a gallery space where their antiques, including Kutani ware, are shown. Café Tamon’s famous Montblanc pancakes with locally grown sweet potato known as Goroujima kintoki is 1,180 yen.

    Read more
    The 15 Trendiest Cafes in Kanazawa
    The old-world atmosphere of Kanazawa lends an elegant edge to the city that might put you in the cafe mood.…

    Café Tamon

    Café Tamon

    Mont Blanc pancake with Goroujima sweet potato

    Mont Blanc pancake with Goroujima sweet potato

    Cafeたもん
    place
    石川県金沢市東山1-27-7
    phone
    0762550370
    no image
  • 13

    Enjoy tasting more than 100 different types of sake

    Enjoy tasting more than 100 different types of sake

    Enjoy tasting more than 100 different types of sake

    Ishikawa prefecture has clear, pure water and great rice fields. Clear water and quality rice are the two most important things needed to make good sake. Since Ishikawa has both, there are unquestionably fabulous sake breweries here. Some breweries offer tours and let you taste different sake. You might not be familiar with its taste, but by the end of your Kanazawa stay, you will be an expert. Taste various types and find your favorite.

  • 14

    Higashi-yama Shuraku

    Higashi-yama Shuraku

    Higashi-yama Shuraku

    Head to the end of the main street that runs through the Higashi Chaya District and you’ll come to Higashi-yama Shuraku, a small shop specialising in local alcohol. The abundance of rice produced in Ishikawa Prefecture is said to be sweeter than its counterparts which make for a rich, fruity tasting sake. A whole wall is dedicated to Ishikawa nihonshu sake, however, the shop also sells plum wines and shochu, a stronger spirit which is produced from either rice or sweet potatoes. Don’t hesitate to ask the English speaking staff for advice.

    Higashiyama Shuraku
    rating

    4.0

    13 Reviews
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Higashiyama 1-25-5
    phone
    0762511139
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00
  • 15

    Get souvenirs of numerous Kanazawa gold leaf products!

    Gold leaf

    Gold leaf

    You will be surprised when you find out how many gold leaf products there are in Kanazawa. Gold leaf soft-served ice cream is just one of them. Gold leaf coffee, sake, castella cake… you can buy all different kinds of food and drinks with gold leaf in it. Cosmetics with gold leaf and oil blotting paper are also popular.

  • 16

    Gold Leaf Beauty Products

    Gold Leaf Beauty Products

    Gold Leaf Beauty Products

    Whoever said that all that glitters isn’t gold had clearly never been to Kanazawa. There’s no escaping the gold infused beauty products found all around Higashi Chaya and who’d want to when you can sample sparkling gels and creams on your way around. Although the gold leaf pushes the prices up, its is said to be beneficial to the skin and - even if that’s just a marketing ploy - it makes for one pretty cool souvenir. To add even more sparkle into your trip, slip behind the main street of Higashi Chaya to check out the Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum.

    Gold Leaf Sakuda (Sakuda Gold & Silver Leaf Crafts)
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Higashiyama 1-3-27
    phone
    0762516777
    opening-hour
    9:00-18:00 (depending on the…
    Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum
    rating

    4.0

    141 Reviews
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Higashiyama 1-3-10
    phone
    0762518950
    opening-hour
    9:30-17:00 (Last 16:30 admis…
  • 17

    Enjoy an evening walk in an atmospherically illuminated neighborhood

    Kazuemachi Chaya District

    Kazuemachi Chaya District

    Higashi Chaya District is pretty busy during the daytime but when the sun starts to set, the whole area becomes much more tranquil. If you walk to the Kazuemachi Chaya District, you can see a breathtaking view that was used as the setting for a novel. This neighborhood is designated as a National Preservation District due to its important traditional buildings. The view of its softly illuminated Asanogawa Bridge and the stone pavements with light seeping through the lattice doors is unforgettable.

    Asanogawa Bridge

    Asanogawa Bridge

    Kazuemachi Chaya District

    Kazuemachi Chaya District

    Kazuemachi Chaya District
    place
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Kazuemachi
    phone
    0762202194
    opening-hour
    Store/Depending on the facil…

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