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Nishi Chaya District, a small teahouse district where time flows slowly

Nishi Chaya District is one of Kanazawa's three teahouse districts along with Higashi and Kazuemachi. Compared to Higashi Chaya District, which is crowded with many tourists, the teahouse area is  much  smaller, but the teahouse buildings, with their latticework, are lined up along the 100-meter long main street and retain a strong trace of the Edo period. 

The area is close to Katamachi, most prosperous shopping district in the region west of Tokyo on Japan Sea side of Japan, and within walking distance of soothing spots such as the Teramachi temple area, the largest of Kanazawa's three temple areas, and the Saigawa River with its view of the  Mountains. The number of confectionary stores, cafes, and other places for casual sightseeing has been increasing. 

Why not take a leisurely stroll around Nishi Chaya district, which is also attracting attention with the opening of the Yoshiro and Yoshio Taniguchi Museum of Architecture, Kanazawa?

Yoshiro and Yoshio Taniguchi Museum of Architecture, Kanazawa

It was built on the site of the residence of Yoshiro Taniguchi, a Kanazawa-born architect who designed the Crown Prince's Palace (now the Akasaka Palace), by his eldest son Yoshio Taniguchi, known for his designs for the Museum of Modern Art(MOMA) in New York and GINZA SIX. 

Yoshio has reproduced in full scale the "hall" and "tea room" of Yoshiro's masterpiece, "Yu-shintei," the Japanese-style annex of the State Guest House Akasaka Rikyu," down to the smallest details such as the edges of the tatami mats.


Recommended spots around Nishi chaya district

It is about a 3-minute walk from Nishi Chaya District.

The Teramachi Temple Cluster, located east of the alley beside the Nishi-kenban Office and across Route 157, is an area with about 70 temples and shrines, including Myoryuji Temple, known as a ninja temple, and Shougetsuji Temple, which has a 400-year-old cherry tree designated as a national natural monument. 

The quiet townscape, which seems as if time has stood still, is well worth seeing. 

The sound of bells ringing in the morning and evening, as well as every Saturday at 18:00, has been selected as one of the "100 Soundscapes of Japan to Preserve" by the Ministry of the Environment.


In addition, Kanazawa is known for its traditional crafts, so we also recommend experiencing them for yourself. Anyone can try their hand at painting at Kutani Ware Kosen Kiln, which is a popular hands-on experience. Visitors can paint pictures and characters on white pottery  which is then fired and mailed to their homes at a later date. 

Your own personalized pottery will be a memory that will last a lifetime! 

Kutani Kosen Kiln is easily accessible from the city center, so even if you have a short stay in Kanazawa, it is recommended to use your time efficiently.


Kutani Ware Kosen Kiln

Behind Nishi Chaya District is a traditional residential area with narrow alleys extending between the houses. Passing through an alley barely wide enough for one car to pass, it is about a five-minute walk along the irrigation water. Kutani Kosen Kiln is located near Hokutetsu Nomachi Station on the local train bound for the Hakusan Foothills, and is the only Kutani pottery kiln in Kanazawa City. The old-fashioned appearance of the tile-roofed building tells the history of the kiln, which was founded in 1928. In addition to the painting experience, visitors can see traditional Kutani works and the production process of Kutani ware.


Ninja Weapon Museum

Located in Nishi Chaya District, displaying real Ninja weapons. In the museum, you can see approximately 160 artifacts, including Shuriken, sickle, and Samurai armor. 

You can experience authentic Ninja stars throwing.There are also replica Katana(sword), Ninja Weapon Museum original items, and souvenirs related to Kanazawa city at the gift shop.

 

Recommended Lunch around Nishi Chaya District

One street back is lined with houses, and in the mornings, commuters come and go on their way to work or school in Nishi Chaya District. The restaurant or cafe  where you can enjoy lunch and tea are so integrated into the town that you may miss them if you walk too quickly. This makes it possible to spend a quiet and peaceful time here.


Suginoi Honami  (The Michelin Guide 2021 Hokuriku) 


One of Kanazawa's long-established ryotei restaurants. The villa's "detached house" is an open space with chair-style seating, where you can casually enjoy its famous kuzukiri kaiseki.


  Address: 3-11 Kiyokawa-cho, Kanazawa City

  Access: 5 min. walk from Katamachi bus stop

Recommended cafes in Nishi Chaya District

Around Nishi Chaya District, you will find a variety of unique cafes that have been converted from temples and teahouses. 

Take a breather in a space that has been carefully selected by the owner.


Hosho-ji Temple Café

A room in a 400-year-old temple is open to the public.  You can chill out in the tranquil ambience.

  Address: 5-5-76 Teramachi, Kanazawa City

  Access: 5 min. walk from Nomachi Hirokoji bus stop. Just 1 minute walking from Myoryu-ji Temple(Ninjadera Temple)

  ★Gourmet tickets at a great price


Yusura

Renovated former teahouse in Nishi chaya district. 

It is very user-friendly with a wide variety of meals and take-out menus.

  Address: 2-24-4 Nomachi, Kanazawa City

  Access: 5-minute walk from Nomachi Hirokoji bus stop


Rakugan Moroeya Nishichaya Karyo

Established in 1849. It is a long-established store that sells elegant, melt-in-your-mouth sweet (dry confection of starch and sugar)

The adjoining cafe "Ajiwai" offers a wide variety of sweet dishes made from carefully selected ingredients.

   Address: 2-26-1 Nomachi, Kanazawa City

   Access: 4-minute walk from Nomachi Hirokoji bus stop.


  • Yoshiro and Yoshio Taniguchi Museum of Architecture, Kanazawa
  • Kutani Ware Kutani Kosen Kiln

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