Kaga-yuzen refers to both to the silk-dyeing process for the style of formal kimono popular in the Kaga region for which it is named, and for the finished product. Kaga-yuzen masters use only five pigments to bring depictions of Japan's flora and fauna to life in a process that takes several months and more than ten steps to complete.
Traditional Japanese Makeover
Wear a Kaga-yuzen style kimono or yukata the way it was meant to be worn! Be properly fitted into a kimono of your choice, dress to the nines with all the accessories, and have your hair made up in a traditional style. Additionally, learn the appropriate mannerisms and customs, go sightseeing and shopping in your new look, and learn how to move and dance naturally in traditional wear.
Gold Leaf Crafts
Kanazawa, named for one of its primary resources, produces more than 99% of all gold and silver leaf in Japan. The fine sheets of precious metal are essential for the country’s many shrines and temples, as well as a number of crafted products, including lacquerware adornment. Learn how to apply gold leaf to other products, and discover how a lump of gold is beaten into a sheet of gold leaf thinner than a human hair.
Kutani-yaki, characterized by a selection of five colors under a translucent glaze, is the process of throwing, shaping, baking and painting ceramics using locally developed and historically preserved styles. The oldest kutani ware, called ko-kutani, date to the beginning of the Edo period and are highly prized as works of art.
Using a technique for decorating lacquerware that literally translates to “sprinkled picture,” maki-e artists apply a coat of wet lacquer before dusting powdered gold and other metals onto the surface for both solid colors and gradient blends.
Kaga-nui, translating to “embroidery of the Kaga region,” traditionally decorates kimono and Buddhist altar cloths but is also popularly found on neckties, bags and cushions. Among the numerous individual techniques that fall under Kaga-nui are gold and silver stitching, called nuihaku, and 3D and coloring effects.
Grinding, burning, and finally, maki-e embellishments transform paulownia wood into beautifully detailed crafted works of art. With its unusually high ignition point, paulownia wood was once used for braziers, a traditional wedding gift. Today, the craftwork is often found as kitchenware and other accessories.
Bitter green tea is always paired with a thoughtfully crafted sweet, and so, alongside the tea ceremony, Japanese confectioneries developed into an edible art with sweets that reflect the shape and color of each season.
Soy Sauce & Miso
As indispensable seasonings for Japanese cuisine, soy sauce and miso are both made from soybeans fermented with a starter of cultivated fungus called koji, whose value in eastern food production dates back to 300 BCE China and is even believed to have skin-enhancing qualities.
The sake of Ishikawa Prefecture is believed to be so delicious because of the water used to brew it. See the well from which this precious ingredient is drawn, the entire sake brewing process, and the cellars that store sake as it ages.
Jibuni is a centuries old, regional dish that uses fresh local ingredients. It’s served at nearly every Japanese restaurant in Kanazawa in its own specially-made lacquerware bowl. Get a taste of this traditional Kaga favorite and learn the recipe with a master chef.
Flower Arranging, Calligraphy,Incense Rituals & Tea Ceremonies
Japanese aesthetic standards are cultivated by daily, intellectual activities, such as the careful arrangement of seasonal flora, the stroke of a brush on paper, the emotional connection of scents or the moment-to-moment awareness of the Zen-inspired tea ceremony.
Originating on stage to accompany Joruri and Kabuki theatre in the Edo period, the shamisen, or sangen, is a Japanese three-stringed instrument played with a large plectrum. Learn how to hold the plectrum and play a traditional song at a shamisen-maker’s shop.
In the preserved “tea house” districts of Kanazawa, geisha entertain guests with drinking, dancing and games. Although evenings with geisha are usually by invitation only, certain geisha houses have opened their doors to visitors for special events.
Worldwide, Zazen has become a popular form of secular meditation. Center your focus and concentrate your mind in a quiet and ancient temple.
Take in panoramic and bird’s eye views of Kanazawa surrounded by the Tateyama Mountains and the Sea of Japan while enjoying a helicopter ride!