If you have spare time, strolling around this place will be amazing experience and you feel you have been transported back in time. This area was established in 1820 and it was a historically home to many tea-houses where geisha would perform traditional arts, dance, musics and drinking games.
Kanazawa has three, well preserved chaya districts, Higashi Chaya, Nishi Chaya and Kazuemachi. Of the three districts, the Higashi Chaya District is the largest and by far the most beautifully preserved and picturesque area found during the Edo period.
The weathering on the wooden buildings is beautiful and it’s great for photo taking early in the morning. Many of these buildings have today been converted into restaurants or souvenir craft shops. If you are lucky, you may be able to see some geisha’s along the way.
A chaya house is characterized with a beautiful lattice called “kimusuko” on the outer side of the first floor and Japanese-style guestrooms located on the second floor. When you enter back streets, you will soon find a maze of continuous alleys.
Higashi Chaya Kyukeikan Rest House
It takes three minutes on foot to the bank of the Asano River from the Higashi Chaya District. The Higashi Chaya District and Asano river area are places where you can enjoy strolling and become acquainted with Japanese history and culture.
This place is a nice place to visit and to see what the old days was like. Its not very huge but including the surrounding residential area and the river, you will easily spend some time here anyways. We do recommend that after you have seen the old town streets that you take a short stroll through the neighborhood just to also see how modern Kanazawa blends in with the old town. Its also just next to the river where you can sit down and relax.
How to get there
To get to the Higashi Chaya-gai district from Kanazawa Station take a Kanazawa Loop Bus to the Hashibacho bus stop. The bus takes 7 minutes. From Hashibacho bus stop, the Higashi Chaya area is a 5 minute walk.
Kanazawa Transportation Guide (Click website)
Kanazawa Bus Ticket Counter (Kanazawa Station)