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懐華樓 Kanazawa Higashi Chayagai Kaikaro

  • Culture / Art / History
  • Around Kanazawa
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Around Kanazawa
1-14-8, Higashiyama, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa 920-0831, Japan
  • Culture / Art / History
Date of post:2016/02/24

A remarkable traditional place

  • Historic / Cultural Experiences

Kaikaro is located in the district of Higashi Chayagai which is registered as an important preservation district of historic buildings by the Japanese government. You can see continuous wooden houses with lattices called "kimuko". Kaikaro was built in 1820 and is the largest tea house in this vicinity. It is also designated as a preservation building by Kanazawa.

In Kanazawa, a "chaya" is a traditional tea house where club members can enjoy geisha performances and parties like in the district of Gion in Kyoto. Generally, those who are not club members cannot see the interior, but Kaikaro is open to the public as a museum and cafe in the daytime. It is a typical sightseeing spot in Kanazawa, introduced by Michelin.

From the outside, Kaikaro looks like a simple wooden house. However, if you go inside, you might feel a slightly different atmosphere. After the reception, vermilion-lacquered stairs come into view quickly. The lacquer is Wajima lacquerware which is one of the traditional handicrafts of the Ishikawa prefecture. At the top of the stairs, there is a folding screen which is a copy of Kourin OGATA's painting. Then, if you look at the roof, you can see unique and decorative lights. Every decor is a handcraft so everything looks very artistic.

On the second floor, you can see a large banquet room based on the color red and a room based on the color blue which shows high-ranking. There is also a golden room. 99 percent of all gold leaves in Japan are made in Kanazawa. The gold leaves of the Kinkakuji in Kyoto were also made in Kanazawa.
There is also a traditional garden, a glass installation inspired from snow, shoji-screens reflecting unique shadow, designed white walls, chirping floor-boards, a natural refrigerator under the ground and so on.

In Kaikaro cafe, you can enjoy a set of Japanese tea and cake awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a seasonal menu. In the museum shop, you can buy sweets, sake, and many original souvenirs that can only be bought here. If you make a reservation, they offer an opportunity to practice elegant calligraphy by making your own fan.

In the evening, Kaikaro still keeps the tradition of tea houses. If you are not a club member, you won't be able to enter the tea house except if another club members introduces you.

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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