Kanazawa: Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts


A castle town where creativity and tradition coexist in harmony

Ever since 1583, the year when Toshiie Maeda assumed power at Kanazawa Castle as Lord of the Maeda Domain, the city of Kanazawa has been free from natural disasters and great conflicts, enjoying instead over 430 years of peace during which a unique samurai culture evolved alongside a diverse array of unusual crafts and folk arts.

Crafts and folk arts are deeply rooted in the lives of the people of Kanazawa, cultivating within them a rich aesthetic sensitivity and a refined sense of craftsmanship. The creative spirit of Kanazawa has given birth to numerous successful niche companies which have maintained a close cooperation with the region during their development. This, in turn, has given rise to the uniquely creative economy of Kanazawa in which culture and industry are strongly linked.

The central cityscape offers a glimpse into Kanazawa’s rich history. It includes numerous temples and shrines, the geisha house district, the outer defense walls, and a network of canals. At the same time many commercial complexes, cafes, galleries and studios can also be found in the center. The city welcomes a constant flow of new faces. The Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened in 2004, has received many visitors from Japan and overseas each year.

The beautiful modern architecture of the Tsuzumi Gate at Kanazawa Station recalls images of the drums used in Noh theatre in a symbolic expression of the constant efforts to combine the traditional with the contemporary in Kanazawa, the Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts.





Kanazawa Castle: Home of the Maeda  |  工芸、芸能の発展に尽力した前田家の居城「金沢城」

Over 99% of Japan’s gold leaf is produced in Kanazawa  |  国内生産量の99%以上を占める金箔

Kanazawa: Innovating tradition in a city of trades

In Creative City Kanazawa, government and community are working together on a variety of initiatives to market the culture, cultivate talent, and to reach out to a worldwide audience. Since being designated a UNESCO Creative City, Kanazawa has engaged with the Creative Cities Network to promote exchange and share knowledge and experiences. The city hosted the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Meeting KANAZAWA 2015 in May 2015 and Crafts and Folk Art Subnetwork Meeting 2019 in October 2019, and it continues to contribute to the promotion of discussion between network members.

By serving as a meeting place for people, products and information from around the world and by working to create new value through interchange, Kanazawa ai ms to be not only a Creative City but also a permanently developing hub of exchange.

伝統に革新の営み 手仕事のまち・金沢



UNESCO Creative Cities Network Meeting KANAZAWA 2015  |  ユネスコ創造都市ネットワーク会議2015の開催

Elegant wagashi sweets, a part of tea ceremony culture  |  茶の湯文化とともに洗練された和菓子

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa  |  現代アートを紹介する金沢21世紀美術館

Kanazawa Kutani Porcelain  | 金沢九谷

Kaga Makie  | 加賀蒔絵

Encouraging future artisans at the Kanazawa Utatsuyama Kogei Kobo  |  工芸の担い手を育成する金沢卯辰山工芸工房

Kaga Yuzen Silk Dyeing  |  加賀の彩色友禅

Carefully crafted Kaga embroidery designs almost leap off of the fabric  |  繊細な技術で立体感のある図柄を浮かび上がらせる加賀繍

Treat Your Senses. Kanazawa

See. Touch. Smell. Hear. Taste: The rich food culture of Kanazawa.

The richness of Kanazawa food culture goes far beyond simply tasting foodit provides a feast for all five senses. Food preparation and processing techniques, the choice of tableware, refined etiquette and presentation, all contribute to creating the perfect setting for a truly satisfying dining experience. Elegant, traditionally crafted tableware enhance the flavors of dishes as an indispensable part of Kanazawa’s gastronomic culture, which traces its origins to feudal times. The city’s government and citizens are working together to promote and document the preparation and presentation methods and pass on the accumulated learning of its unique gastronomy to the next generation of food-focused artisans.

五感に ごちそう かなざわ




Nestling between the mountains and the sea and possessing a rich profusion of natural features, Kanazawa has a population of approximately 460,000. The layout of the ancient castle town remains intact within the city and the two rivers running through it feed the surrounding latticed network of canals, contributing to the city’s distinctive atmosphere which percolates the numerous artisan studios and handicraft shops whose wares display the high standard of local craftsmanship. Having many institutions of higher education in the area, Kanazawa can also be called an academic city: the percentage of the population made up by students is among the highest in Japan. In June 2009 Kanazawa became the first to be designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts in Japan.

URL: https://www4.city.kanazawa.lg.jp/17014/souzoutoshi/english/index.html



URL: https://www4.city.kanazawa.lg.jp/17014/souzoutoshi/index.html