HAKUZA Hikarigura

Opening hours: 09:00 - 18:00 (close at 17:30 in  winter)

Address: 1-13-18 Higashiyama, Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Post code: 920-0831

Admission: free

Closest bus stop: Hashibacho (橋場町)

Website: www.hakuza.co.jp/english/tourist.html

Dazzling golden warehouse in Higashi-chaya 

Posted on 01/07/2015

As I was strolling around, enjoying the street view of Higashi-chaya district, I happened to find a building coated with dazzling golden leaf which you can’t see from outside. Of course, Kanazawa is well known as the town of producing gold leaf but I was still stunned by this unique appearance in shiny gold. This golden building is hidden at the back of a gold leaf products shop, HAKUZA Hikarigura (literally, meaning “light warehouse”). As the name suggests, the shop has a golden warehouse. The exterior walls of a traditional Japanese warehouse are normally coated with white cement plaster, but the walls of this one are quite unsuitably shining. I thought they’ve gone really extreme! Of course, the interior is finished with gold as well. OK, it is luxurious but I felt a bit unsettled. About the ingredients of the golden leaf used for the warehouse, the exterior walls are coated by the leaf blended with pure gold and platinum, named ‘Ever Lasting Color’ (the mixture allows its color remaining unchanged), and the interior walls are coated with pure gold leaf of ‘24 Karat’. This is the world’s first ever collaboration of gold leaf craftsmen and warehouse plasterers using pure gold-platinum leaf. I had never heard of the pure gold-platinum leaf before. It is alloyed with pure gold and platinum and worked into a form of leaf. I was stunned and dumbfoundedly viewing the details of the warehouse for a while.

 

Inside the shop, they sell a range of products crafted with gold. Even bath powders include small pieces of gold leaf – a potion for one use is around 300yen. Not a bar of gold but I found a chocolate cake topped by golden leaf. Not just small pieces of gold leaf being sprinkled, the cake is almost completely covered with gold leaf so it looks almost like a bar of gold. It may not be esthetically nice but it might be a good souvenir to talk about something interesting from your trip… As the name Kanazawa (literally, meaning “golden marsh”) suggests, the city was full of gold.