The Legacy of Japanese Traditional Architecture
Kanazawa City has preserved numerous traditional buildings, in particular its wooden townhouses, several of which visitors are able to explore. Along and nearby the charming Asanogawa River, enjoy a stroll in the retro atmosphere of Edo and Meiji period, and feel the traditional Japanese way of life.
National Important Cultural Asset SHIMA
SHIMA is a chaya house built simultaneously with the construction of the Higashi Chaya district in 1820. This house is a precious chaya construction that has been designated as Japan's important cultural asset. The guestrooms and waiting room on the second floor with no closets, small courtyard, and other parts of the building that are used as a place of entertainment are stylish. A green tea service (with Japanese sweets) is offered at the courtyard.
The Teahouse Culture Hall, which exhibits traditional musical instrument and tools used by geisha (traditional female Japanese entertainers), opened in the alley. (1-13-7 Higashiyama Tel. 252-0887)
Savor fine sweets in a historic space.
Kaikaro is a refurbished chaya house originally existed more than 180 years ago. The interior of the house includes vermilion-lacquered stairs, vegetable-dyed tatami (mats made of woven straw), fusuma-e (paintings on sliding-door panels) created by a contemporary artist, and a Japanese tearoom with tatami made of gold-laced woven straw, all of which have reproduced the atmosphere of the chaya house in those days with a contemporary feeling.
Kaikaro offers a tea service around a sunken hearth, has a souvenir shop, and occasionally holds a guestroom experience time with geisha's attendance.
Higashi Chaya Kyukeikan Rest House
This Machiya (traditional Japanese wooden townhouse) rest house was built at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868) and was restored in 2003. The building originally served as a pawnshop, and today, it is a rest station for tourists, where volunteer sightseeing guides stand, to give information (in Japanese only) about Higashi Chaya District, and other local sightseeing spots.
Ume-no Hashi Bridge to Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge
The Asanogawa River is one of the two rivers that flow through the central part of Kanazawa, and is also called "Onna (feminine) River." The Asanogawa River flows gently in feminine tenderness. The areas from the Ume-no Hashi Bridge, which is close to the Higashi Chaya district, to Kazue-machi through the Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge are surrounded by the unique atmosphere of Kanazawa and recommended for strolling.
Kazue-machi Chaya District
Historical Rows of Houses Designated as Japan's Cultural Assets
Kazue-machi is an old geisha district located along the river between Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge and Naka-no Hashi Bridge.
Gaisha are traditional, female Japanese entertainers, whose skills include performing various Japanese arts, such as classical music and dance. It is one of the three geisha districts of Kanazawa. Chaya is a traditional place of feasts and entertainments, where geisha perform dances and play Japanese traditional musical instruments, such as the shamisen (a three-stringed musical instrument), bamboo flute, and drum.
Still now, many chaya houses and restaurants are located in this neighborhood, and people may hear the sound of the shamisen from the twilight time. When you stroll around this area, you can see very Kanazawa-like and Japanese-like scenes and atmospheres, such as the view of the area from Asanogawa Ohashi Bridge, the rows of chaya houses in Kazue-machi, the appearance of Naka-no Hashi Bridge, and Kuragarizaka (a dark slope), which connects to the Owari-cho hill area. The historical rows of this teahouse town have been designated as Japan's cultural assets since 2008.