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Taste Japan | Old and Gold
Higashichaya Old Town
Also known as Little Kyoto in Kanazawa, the charming grounds housed beautiful latticed buildings that were established in the early 19th century for geishas to entertain wealthy patrons. These historic wooden facades are still beautifully preserved today.
The Shima Geisha House, once a carefully conserved Edo-era chaya house from 1820, is now a museum with an impressive collection of elaborate combs, tatami mats, lacquered bowls, musical instruments that provide an authentic peek into feudal Japan entertainment district.
When we were there at 5.30pm, the streets were quiet and still and some geishas were shuffling in their elaborate kimono, probably off to an engagement, we were told by our hosts. Today, you can still engage a geisha or two for two hours at about 200,000 yen (~S$2700).
Want to have a taste of gold? You can, in Kanazawa, where 99% of Japan’s gold leaf production is done! This store promises to add some glitter into your sweet treat, while being friendly on the purse strings! Gold leaf is made by mixing silver and copper with gold, skillfully processed into the finest thickness. We were bemused when told that gold leaf aids digestion – now all the more reason to eat gold!
The soft serve ice cream has layers of intense yellow swirls that are made purely from egg yolk, of specifically the Ukokkei breed. The generous gold dust itself is pretty tasteless, but it certainly looks pretty! As I licked up that last speck of gold leaf, this saying came to my mind – “All that glitters is not gold”. In this case, it really is!
This store is situated in the Higashichaya district, so have an indulgent treat after your walk around the old town!
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