Kanazawa, the capital city of the Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan, is a rare gem when it comes to tourist destinations. This relatively compact city is blessed with so many mesmerizing sights, preserved culture, and pure Japanese art. Dubbed as the “little Kyoto,” this magnificent city has been spared from the usual crowds of tourist, so it’s a hidden treasure of central Japan. Kanazawa is home to several breathtaking attractions like some of Japan’s most beautiful gardens, well-preserved samurai and geisha districts, temples with exciting designs, museums showcasing great works of art, and of course, the ever-vibrant local markets. And following tradition, you should not visit this city without taking home a souvenir or “omiyage.” If you are confused about the most exciting items you can get from this city, here is a top 10 list of what to buy in Kanazawa, Japan.
1. Castella with gold
One of the notable landmarks in the city of Kanazawa is its thriving gold leaf industry. The city accounts for almost 100% of all the gold leaf production in the country. So it should come as no surprise to see several gold leaf items in the city, one of which is the Castella with gold leaf decorations. Castella is a yummy cake of Portuguese origins, but the local people have made it theirs by adding an edible gold leaf layer on top of it. It is now a popular Kanazawa delicacy. The Castella with gold leaf is a perfect thing to buy as a souvenir from the ‘gold leaf city.’
2. Kaga Bocha tea
Now gaining popularity in Japan as a whole, the Kaga Bocha tea is one of Kanazawa’s proud inventions. This delicious ‘roasted twigs’ tea has a bright and appealing aroma. Before it is brewed, it has an attractive look and color, and when brewed, it produces a sparkling golden colored tea. The Kaga Bocha tea provides a rich and creamy flavor that is sweet to taste. Its wonderful aroma makes it an irresistible drink for tourists, and when taken with the right dishes, it leaves an excellent taste on your tongue.
3. Kaga fishing flies
Purely a work of art, these hand-crafted fishing flies are great things to buy in Kanazawa. Crafted by the oldest craft fly shop in the world (according to the locals), these beautiful creations are made of a needle and colorful feathers held together by a silk thread. It is also coated on top with Kanazawa’s signature product, the gold leaf. These flying flies have a rich history attached to them dating as far back as the Edo period. They are produced in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
4. Kutani porcelain
Kutani-yaki, produced in the southern cities in the Ishikawa Prefecture – including Kanazawa – is rapidly becoming a favorite souvenir for tourists in Japan. Kutani is a type of unique Japanese pottery with beautiful overglaze painting. Its bright and lively colors and designs have made it a popular item among tourists. With its rich history, elegant shapes and remarkable patterns, this beautiful porcelain is worth your every penny.
5. Red Sea cucumber soap
Sea cucumber is a fascinating marine water life form that looks like a cucumber. It has been used for years as a traditional antiseptic and as a multi-purpose drug for several different diseases. This amazing creature is also famed to have special healing powers and significant health benefits. It is no wonder that sea cucumber is used in the production of sea cucumber soap. Red sea cucumber soap is now a popular Japanese cosmetic as it leaves you with a beautiful skin glow and has natural collagen that will freshen and smoothen your skin texture. Widely produced in Kanazawa, it is a great item to buy on your visit.
6. White shrimp cracker
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Unlike the reddish or pink shrimps, white shrimps are a rare delicacy. These beautiful sea treasures can be consumed raw like sushi or fried with other ingredients. However, they are enjoyed best as white shrimp crackers. The crackers give you a real feel of the Kanazawa local flavors. They are delicious and are found almost everywhere in the Prefecture. White shrimp crackers are carefully prepared to retain their natural seafood flavor – they are not deep-fried. White shrimp is a healthy and wonderful item to buy in Kanazawa.
7. Owara Tamaten
The amazing Owara Tamaten is one of the most delicious delicacies this region has to offer. Made from egg whites and the yummy sweetness of honey, this cube-shaped Japanese sweet is sure to blow your mind. The delicious sweet has its almost-perfect sides grilled to a delectable golden color. Its inside is white and tasty, making it a perfect dessert while on your trip. It is said to taste like marshmallows but a sweeter and more palatable version. You can’t visit Kanazawa without getting one of these sweet-smelling deserts.
Takaoka is a delicious Japanese confectionery popular among people living in Central Japan. It comes in several colors and shapes and can be made from wheat. This snack is usually coated with yummy chocolate goodness to make it even more appealing and attractive. The expertly made combination of crispy wheat grains and chocolate coating makes Takaoka rank high on the list of favorite things to buy in this part of the country.
9. Dinosaurs items (Fukui)
You can’t visit the Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan without stopping by at one of the fantastic Dinosaur Museums here. Explore these museums and enjoy the sights of all the old dinosaur items on display. And then when you are done with exploring the sights, you can check out the museum shops for the most authentic souvenir items like dinosaur figurines. These dinosaur items are of good quality, and they come in different shapes and sizes. They are one of the best things to purchase on your visit to the Fukui museums in this region.
The fantastic traditional Japanese gift wrapping technique is called ‘Kaga mizuhiki”. This technique is used for packaging gift items in a three-dimensional manner such that the packaging can take the shape of different patterns. It is an ancient and rare traditional craft by the people of the Ishikawa Prefecture. In Kanazawa, you can find several traditional mizhikizaiku works on sale, including gift envelopes and jewelry with modern designs. These craft items are great souvenirs that are easy to purchase and carry along.
Buy the most quality items at Kanazawa
The beautiful city of Kanazawa can be a fantastic place to visit, especially during particular seasons. You get to enjoy some of Japan’s most incredible sights, ancient traditions, preserved temples, and mesmerizing gardens. Just in case you get confused on what to buy in Kanazawa, look out for any of the above items we have listed here for you. You’d be glad you did!
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