Kanazawa is a city whose long history is closely linked to the Maeda samurai clan, who ruled this castle town throughout the Edo period (1603-1868).
As the richest feudal clan in Japan, second only to the shogun family, during the peaceful times of the Edo period, this samurai family could use their immense wealth to develop their capital into one of the most thriving centres for art, crafts and culture.
Luxurious products appreciated throughout the country, impressive architecture and gardens, lavish tea receptions and geisha banquets characterized this sophisticated city and made it a must-go place for all traditional crafts and culture lovers.
Kimono design has been the heart of clothing fashion in ancient Japan, with the upper classes -both samurai warrior class as well as nobles- rushing for the most extravagant and luxurious kimono fabrics and dying techniques.
As one of the wealthiest centres in Japan, Kanazawa was at the forefront of textile industry and innovation, with its Kaga Yuzen dyeing technique being among the most acclaimed throughout the country.
Still today, Kaga Yuzen products are considered a work of art of immense value. In this tour, visit a Kaga Yuzen studio and learn more about this delicate craft; take a chance to talk to the company’s president about Kaga Yuzen’s history and its place in contemporary Kanazawa.
At the end of the visit, you have the chance to wear a precious Kaga Yuzen kimono yourself.
Pottery used to be an essential part of everyday life in Edo times and the ruling Maeda clan required the finest ware for their tea ceremonies in order to impress their guests.
Take an exclusive visit to Ohi pottery workshop, where for 11 generations the finest Ohiyaki (Ohi pottery) has been produced by hand without any machinery, including the very common wheel used to create pottery elsewhere. At this special place, all products are strictly handcrafted, spinning the ware by hand while it is being shaped.
Visit the kiln where the magic takes place and take part in a drawing experience after appreciating many beautiful ohiyaki ware decorations.
At the end of the tour, visit the Ohiyaki Museum, where a display of the best pieces of art handcrafted throughout generations is on display.
Sushi Lunch with Sake Pairing - A Tasty Way to the History of Kanazawa Sake
Take a tour of one of Kanazawa’s top sake producers. The company’s managing director will introduce you to this precious sake’s history and method of production.
While sake tours with tasting sessions are common in Japan, we want visitors to fully appreciate sake’s subtle taste by sipping a variety of sake combined with a sushi meal.
After the tour, move to an elegant sushi restaurant especially reserved for you for a sushi lunch with sake pairing – sakes have been carefully chosen by the sake brewery’s managing director to make sure you can appreciate the different notes of various sake products in the tastiest and most enjoyable way.
Omicho Market visit and premium Japanese culinary experience
Omicho Market, locally called “Kanazawa’s kitchen” is one of the most colourful markets in Japan and known for the high quality (and price!) of its products.
Every day some of the most precious local vegetables and seafood coming from the area are sold here.
Instead of just seeing the surface of the market, you are joined by a culinary expert introducing you to the best and most recommended places and giving you precious insights on how to select the finest ingredients.
After a visit to the market, take part in a Japanese cooking experience, allowing you to discover local recipes depending on the seasons and ingredients found at Omicho Market.
Enjoy this homemade lunch at an elegant setting: a Japanese-style dining room featuring precious dishes and tableware.
After lunch, you will be able to go through a demonstration of how roasted green tea is produced and enjoy a cup after a healthy homemade meal.
Shishimai Lion Dance is one of the most popular festivals in Kanazawa. For this event, floats, groups of dancers and a lion-themed parade flow through the local streets in a colourful, loud and spectacular manner.
Beyond the impressive festival, one of the pillars of Japanese local matsuri festivals is the chance to eat local foods at the many stalls opened for the event and drink some of the best sake offered for the occasion.
You will have a chance to interact with many locals, in front of a good selection of local delicacies and sake and talk to some of the event organizers in order to understand the roots of this exciting event. There is also a chance to view private demonstrations of some of the festival performances if you are visiting Kanazawa when the festival is not on the schedule.