【Kaisen-don Breakfast at Omi-cho Market】
Good morning, it’s time for breakfast. Our first destination is Omi-cho Market, which boasts around 180 vendors selling a wide variety of products, including fresh seafood, local vegetables, prepared foods, tofu, snacks, flowers, clothes, and daily necessities. Established in its current form in 1721, this “Kanazawa’s kitchen” has been supporting the city’s gastronomic culture for nearly 300 years.
The Omi-cho Market also has a number of eateries that take advantage of the market’s bounty. We ate a seafood bowl (kaisen-don) containing sushi rice and sliced fresh fish, which is the market’s specialty. Once you have refueled, take the opportunity to meander through the colorful market.
Web : http://ohmicho-ichiba.com
【Ame-no Tawaraya –Traditional Candy Shop–】
Next, make your way to Ame-no Tawaraya, an old-fashioned candy shop selling candies and thick syrups made from only rice and barley.
The candy-making process is time-consuming, taking four days from start to finish. Simply put, this period allows the enzymes in the barley malt to saccharify the starches in the rice. “It’s amazing that ancient people discovered such a chemical reaction,” says Maria.
She bought a thick malt syrup called Jiroame, one of the shop’s most popular products. You are able to use bamboo chopsticks to decant the syrup out of a tub and into a jar, and then take it with you as a souvenir.
Web : http://www.ame-tawaraya.co.jp
If you have an appetite, but this time for culture, there are plenty of attractions in this historic Higashi Chaya district. You can enjoy simply wandering through the streets, admiring the picturesque cityscape and listening to the sound of a shamisen... Ideally located along the atmospheric Asanogawa River, Higashi Chaya District, one of three geisha districts in Kanazawa, can satisfy your cravings for Japanese culture and tradition.
“They are lovely,” said Maria, who had stopped to look at the ochaya (lit. teahouse) buildings with interest. Ochaya are traditional places for feasts and entertainment, where geisha have been entertaining guests by performing songs and dances since the Edo period.
Do you want to see the inside of the building? The district contains three teahouse buildings that are open to the public: Shima and Ochaya Bunka-kan are each open as museums, while Kaikaro continues to operate as an ochaya offering feasts and entertainment in the evenings, but is open to the public during the day.
【Oshizushi Making Experience at Kanazawa Sushi】
All this walking should have you feeling hungry. It’s time for lunch. But before eating lunch, let’s cook it.
Oshizushi, literally pressed sushi, is a type of sushi where vinegared rice is topped with ingredients and pressed together. Using various ingredients such as seafood, vegetable, egg, mushroom, and rare local delicacies for the toppings, oshizushi in Kanazawa has always been an essential part of the feasts at seasonal festivals.
Kanazawa Sushi is a restaurant-cum-hands-on workshop where visitors can have fun making and eating this unique sushi. Even though he had never seen or eaten oshizushi, Wellington enjoyed himself with the help of the cheerful and good-natured staff. His own oshizushi creation in a special wappa container looks like a fancy cake, doesn’t it?
We ate the freshly made oshizushi with side dishes in an atmospheric tatami room (or you can take them home). We have to recommend their Jibuni, a typical dish in Kaga cuisine.
Web : http://kanazawasushi.com/en/
Don’t forget to visit the shop run by Hakuichi, a well-established kinpaku (gold leaf) maker.
Kanazawa is the home of kinpaku and boasts a 99% share of the domestic market. With a thinness reaching a staggering 1/10,000mm, kinpaku has long been used to decorate arts and crafts, but now has various other applications such as candies decorated with kinpaku, drinks containing kinpaku and cosmetics ranging from lip gloss to kinpaku face packs. Established in 1975, Hakuichi manufactures kinpaku and those kinpaku-related goods.
For those who don’t consider a meal to be complete without a dessert, try Hakuichi’s kinpaku ice cream. Wrapped in glitzy gold leaf, it’s the latest craze in Kanazawa. “It’s very fancy and delicious, I’ll tell my friend right away,” says Wellington.
Web : http://kanazawa.hakuichi.co.jp
【Wagashi Making Experience at Ishikawa Kanko Bussan Kan】
We’re not finished yet. Stop by Kanko Bussankan (Ishikawa Souvenirs and Gifts Shop), where you can pick out a selection of souvenirs such as sweets, sake, and handicrafts.
Wellington participates in a wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionary) making workshop here. A skilled confectioner demonstrates the steps and techniques for making unbaked wagashi called jo-namagashi. He uses nerikiri sweet bean paste and a triangular spatula, sifter, and wrapping cloth (they are being shown on large monitor screens). Watching the precise and sensitive work of the confectioner, Wellington murmurs, “It’s like magic.” While carrying on with his work, the confectioner explains that wagashi, especially jo-namagashi, usually represented seasonal nature, like cherry blossoms, tender green leaves, and so on.
“Well done! Your ones are splendid,” says the confectioner, looking at Wellington’s masterpiece. “I was a bit nervous at first, but once I’d made a small mistake, I somehow felt relieved and could relax,” says Wellington, smiling.
Web : http://kanazawa-kankou.jp
Other Recommended Facilities
【Kaga Cuisine at Ryotei】
Kanazawa is blessed with a variety of foodstuffs, such as rice cropped in the Kaga Plain, Kaga vegetables, water of good quality in the Hakusan Mountains, and fish and shellfish caught in the Sea of Japan. Moreover, beautiful Kutani porcelain and lacquer ware raised the cooking culture of Kanazawa. There are high-class restaurants where people enjoy eating Japanese food in beautiful Japanese-style rooms while looking at a Japanese garden.
Web < Kanazawa City Restaurant Association > : http://www.kanazawa-ryotei.jp/index.html
【Aoki Cooking School】
Adress : 1-1-17 Naga-machi
Tel : 076-231-2501
Web : http://aokicooking.com/index.htm
Open : 8:30 am to 5 pm -Open 365 days a year
Adesso : 2-3-32 Nagamachi
Tel : 076-264-4223
Web : https://www.wagashi-murakami.com
【Kuromon koji (Meitetsu M’za)】
Open : 10 am to 7:30 pm (some restaurants open until 9 pm)
Adress : 15-1 Mursashi-machi,
Tel : 076-260-2195
Web : http://www.meitetsumza.com/kuromon/translat/english.html
【Kanazawa Hyakubangai ANTO】
Open : 8:30 am to 8 pm (Some stores open at 7 am, and restaurants open until 11 pm) - Open 365 days a year
Address : 1-1 Kinoshinbo-machi
Tel : 076-260-3700
Web : http://www.100bangai.co.jp
Open : 10 am to 7:30 pm - Closed : Wednesdays (Irregularly)
Address : 1-1-1 Korinbo
Tel : 076-220-1111
Web : http://www.daiwa-dp.co.jp/kohrinbo/
Foodie Walk Map