Kanazawa is an often overlooked destination in Japan, as travelers often assume the city has little to offer. In reality, the area has a breathtaking landscape, rich culture and a plentiful arts scene that has been around for generations.
Kanazawa’s thriving arts community dates back to the sixteenth century, when the powerful samurai family the Maeda clan brought hundreds of artisans from around Japan to the area. Over the following 500 years, the arts flourished — most notably in mediums of lacquer, gold leaf, ceramics, glass, silk and metalwork.
Today, Kanazawa’s artists and artisans still practice these traditional crafts. Furthermore, the city supports an active geisha culture, Noh theatre, an energetic poetry community, and a rapidly expanding network of contemporary artists. For tourists, this means the opportunity to visit working studios, meet the artists, understand the process, and in some cases, try a workshop for themselves. Kanazawa’s artists are proud of their community and feel the city’s small size encourages a strong support system that is hard to find in larger cities.
To learn more about art in Kanazawa and to meet some of the local artists, check out the gallery below.