5 Gold Leaf Items You’ll Definitely Want to Take Home from Kanazawa
Kanazawa produces 99% of the gold leaf within Japan, so there are plenty of gold leaf items available for sale here that you can't find elsewhere. Here are 5 recommended items to consider.
1. Gold leaf cosmetics from Gold Leaf Sakuda
Gold Leaf Sakuda is a gold leaf maker that has been in business since 1919, and the shop is in Higashi Chayagai, an area that retains a traditional townscape of a stone-paved road lined with teahouses made with red latticework. They offer a wide variety of products, from traditional products showing the craftsman's skill to original cosmetics and makie stickers which feature motifs used for lacquerware sprinkled with gold powder. One of their highly reviewed products is their cosmetics series, Bireihi, made with plenty of their homemade high-quality gold leaf. Gold leaf is said to be good for skin, and it's mixed with highly moisturizing placenta extract in the Bireihi Golden Lotion (1,944 JPY (incl. tax) for 50ml). It looks beautiful, so it's a popular souvenir. When the light hits it, the gold leaf sparkles, so it's also recommended just as a decoration.
2. Hakuichi's oil blotting papers
Did you know that oil blotting papers, made to remove oil from your face, were actually invented in Kanazawa? In making gold leaf, thin sheets of paper are used to hold unprocessed metal. Hakuichi, a Kanazawa gold leaf maker, took notice that apprentice geisha in Kyoto were using them to fix their makeup, and began producing Japan's first oil blotting papers using a technique they called Kinpaku Uchigami. Hakuichi's oil blotting papers have been hit many times to destroy the fibers of the washi paper and make it very dense. The fibers are minute, it's soft to the touch, and it's characterized by how gently yet thoroughly it pulls the oil from the skin's surface. Uruwashi (378 JPY (incl. tax)), the popular oil blotting sheets made with gold leaf, aren't just smooth and comfortable to use, the inlaid gold leaf makes it beautiful and luxurious. The package is also beautiful, so it's great for souvenirs.
3. Kanazawa Ukeian's Uokokkei Castella (Kinpaku)
Kanazawa Ukeian sells both Japanese and Western confectionery made using eggs from Silkie chickens bred on a farm managed by the same company. Their most famous product, the Uokokkei Castella, uses the best quality Silkie eggs from carefully raised chickens, and each of these castella cakes are baked one by one by a master baker. The fresh yellow cake that tastes of rich eggs has a fine grain and is smooth in your mouth. Since they make the most of the eggs' flavor, it's has a moderately sweet, refined flavor. Uokokkei Castella Kinpaku (1,711 JPY (incl. tax)) has gold leaf scattered on it, so it looks gorgeous and is great as a souvenir. You can spend a luxurious time eating it with everyone as you reminisce about your trip.
4. Kanazawaya Coffee Shop's coffee with gold leaf
Off to the side of Kuromonguchi, in one corner of Kanazawa Castle Park, is Kanazawaya Coffee Shop. This coffee shop offers Nel drip coffee made using their home-roasted beans, and you can enjoy the sight of the changing seasons as you taste their coffee. The interior looks like a teahouse and is mostly decorated in black for a calm atmosphere. As you gaze out on the scenery of Kanazawa Castle Park from the huge windows on the 2nd floor, you can enjoy coffee made to order and sweets. On the first floor, they sell coffee beans, original sweets that go well with coffee, goods, and more. A popular souvenir is the coffee with gold leaf Kanazawa Monogatari (918 JPY (incl. tax) for a can). It comes in a can that has a traditional Ishikawa design of Kutaniware porcelain camellias, so it's great as a small gift.
Photo is for illustration purposes.
5. Hakuza's edible gold leaf
Since ancient times, gold leaf has been prized as promoting the functions of the internal organs and longevity. In Kanazawa, it was used to decorate food and drink in a high class and florid manner, and it is still frequently used. Hakuza, a maker that only uses the purest gold leaf and has the motto of making products to make your life sparkle, offers various kinds of edible gold flakes. This includes edible gold flakes called kirimawashi (starting at 1,728 JPY (incl. tax)), easy-to-use, flaky Furitsutsu (1,080 JPY (incl. tax)), and Sprinkle (864 JPY (incl. tax)) in heart and star shapes. If you use just a little bit of it, your food will look even more gorgeous, so if you have it on hand it would make events like Christmas or birthdays even more special.
Photo is for illustration purposes.
Gold leaf products are great for souvenirs since they're so pretty to look at. There are many kinds of items with gold leaf on them in Kanazawa, so check around different shops and please find the item that suits you best.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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