Feeling nostalgic in Kazue-machi: the old teahouse district

Posted on 01/07/2015

We took a short nap at the hotel before heading to Kazue-machi chaya district. (This is a good thing about Kanazawa. It’s not a big city so if you stay in the city center, you can easily pop in and out of your hotel. Most of the tourist attractions are located within 20 minutes of Kanazawa station by bus.) Kazue-machi chaya district is one of the three teahouse districts in Kanazawa and is designated as one of Japan’s Cultural Assets. It was once known by another name but regained its original name, Kazue-machi, in 1999. The traditional Japanese teahouses stand along Asano-gawa river.

We then went to a Japanese restaurant, Shiki, where we had a booking. The owners had renovated a 100-year-old town house and opened a restaurant. We wanted to sit upstairs so that we could look down on the Asano river but we were escorted to the counter seats downstairs instead. There were six seats at the counter. You can choose from three courses, starting from 5,800 yen. We ordered the one for 7,800 yen. The friendly chef explained everything about the food but it was so delicious and beautifully displayed I completely forgot to take notes about it, sorry! I can’t even describe how beautiful the food was and I want to go back to Kanazawa just to go to that restaurant.

As we walked around the district, we came across Ryokusui-en, a small, tranquil garden. The footpath from Nakano-hashi bridge, just across the garden to Tenjin-bashi bridge, is called Kyoka-no-michi (pass of Kyoka). It is named after a famous Japanese writer, Kyoka Izumi, who was brought out to this area during the 19th century. 

 

Then, we walked along small alleys and found Kuragari-zaka (dark slope) where it is dark even during the daytime. It felt very strange walking around here because there is a lot of traffic only a street away, yet here it was all calm and quiet. When we left, it was getting dark and it got more nostalgic in the dusk. We went to Higashi-chaya district, another old teahouse district the next day, but I personally preferred it here.