Kanazawa, a city in Ishikawa Prefecture, produces 98 percent of all gold leaf in Japan. A major draw for tourists is not handicrafts featuring gold leaf, but rather food and drinks adorned with thin gold sheets and flakes.

To get the ultimate golden treats in Kanazawa, your best bet is to head to the center of its tourism, Higashi Chayagai. The streets of this perfectly preserved tea house district aren’t paved in gold, but you’ll certainly feel like you’ve got the Midas touch after you’ve tried these 5 golden foods!

1. Gold-topped Sushi @ Kanazawa Kaitenzushi Kirari

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Before you head off to Higashi Chayagai, have a few plates of decadent sushi at Kirari, located a few minutes away from Kanazawa station.

Believe it or not, underneath that gold leaf sheet are the trademark ingredients of sushi: raw fish and vinegar rice.

The gold leaf melts almost as soon as you bite into your sushi. And if you’re wondering what edible gold tastes like, it leaves a very slight metallic taste that does little to enhance the flavor of the fish. Still, this is certainly the bucket list entry you never knew you needed!

  • phone

    Telephone

    Tel: 076-223-5551

    From outside of Japan: +81 76-223-5551

  • address

    Address

    1-9 Hirooka, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0031
  • hours

    Hours

    • Weekdays:
      • 11:00 - 00:00
      • Lunch: 11:00 - 15:00,
      • Dinner: 17:00 - 00:00
    • Weekends:
      • 11:00 - 00:00
  • website

2. The Craziest Croquette @ Ville De Croquette

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Croquettes, a staple of Japanese lunch boxes, get a kawaii makeover at Ville De Croquette. It features a harmonious blend of two homegrown ingredients: sweet shrimp and gorojima sweet potatoes.

Each croquette is prepared upon ordering and after a 5-minute wait, it’s time to eat your piping hot croquette. The crunchiness is softened by the layer of thick heavy cream on top.

Eating while walking around Higashi Chayagai is frowned upon, so join the large crowd lined up outside Ville De Croquette and enjoy!

  • phone

    Telephone

    Tel: 076-254-5605

    From outside of Japan: +81 76-254-5605

  • address

    Address

    Higashiyama, 1丁目, 2, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa 920-0831
  • hours

    Hours

    • Weekdays:
      • 10:30 - 06:00
    • Weekends:
      • 10:00 - 06:00

3. Gold Leaf Ice Cream @ Hakuichi

In a city that makes 99% of Japan’s gold leaf. There’s plenty of shops offering ice cream topped off with gold leaf and gold flakes.

Hakuichi stands out because it’s a pioneer of edible gold leaf. After paying for your cone, you’ll be able to see the gold leaf sheet expertly added to your ice cream. Again, the gold does little taste-wise, but the creamy vanilla ice cream more than makes up for it.

Sit in Hakuichi’s eat-in area, a scaled down version of Kanazawa’s famed Japanese garden Kenrokuen and take plenty of photos of your golden treat (and golden lips).

4. “Unmeltable” Gold Leaf Ice Cream @ Kanazawa Ice

Kanazawa Ice received global attention in 2017 when it released the world’s first “unmeltable” ice cream.

It has locations in Harajuku and Osaka, but at its Kanazawa shop you’ll find bars of ice cream featuring the crest of the Maeda clan, the family that once ruled Kaga Domain from the stronghold of Kanazawa.

The ice cream bar has a rather “chalky” texture/taste to it (at least the vanilla one does), so top off your ice cream bar with blueberry or strawberry sauces. Decorate it with chocolate frosting pens, sprinkles, gold flakes, and you’re done!

5. Castella Shake @ Ukeian

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Sushi needs chopsticks and plates, croquettes are crumbly and messy and (some) ice cream melts; so what do you do when you want your edible gold fix without the mess?  You grab yourself a golden castella shake!

Castella, sponge cake that was introduced to Japan from Portugal in the 16th century, is given a fabulous 21st century makeover at Ukeian. Ukeian actually specializes in castella cakes, which uses eggs from a specially-bred chicken.

Topping off the shake is a single serving portion of custard made from these signature eggs. The sweetness of the cake is complemented by a rich and creamy milkshake which is accented with gold leaves and pieces of castella cake.

  • phone

    Telephone

    Tel: 076-255-6339

    From outside of Japan: +81 76-255-6339

  • address

    Address

    Higashiyama, 1 Chome, 3, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa 920-0831
  • hours

    Hours

    • Monday to Sunday:
      • 09:30 - 18:00
  • website

    Website

    ukokkei.co.jp

 

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