Make a Day Trip
Daishoji, a small and tranquil castle town
Hello, everyone! I’m Clara from France. I’m majoring in hotel and business management, and have just started my internship at “Beniya Mukayu”; a ryokan with a hot spring in Kaga city. I’m interested in Japanese traditional culture, even though I can’t speak the language.
Today, my host family Alexandre took me to Daishoji, a district in Kaga city filled with Edo period atmosphere. He is also French and lives in Kaga city. Daishoji was once a thriving castle town as part of the Kaga clan(Kanazawa). The streets still retain the relaxed feel of that period. “Machiya”, or traditional town houses, line the narrow streets.
I simply adore the cute Kimono!
Alexandre suggested wearing kimono, so we went to “Atelier Rii” to rent antique kimono. I selected a cute red one from among the 3000 fascinating designs.
After putting on the kimono (with help from the staff!), we took a walk along the street lined with old homes. Alexandre explained the history of the towns. For example, gun craftsman lived in Teppou-Machi, with “Teppou” meaning gun. “Kaji” means smithery, and the area that blacksmiths lived in became Kaji-Machi. How interesting! While we were wandering along chatting about the town history, a local called out to me. “Oh, you look so cute in the kimono!” Arigatou!
Take me to the river
Next, we boarded a riverboat which is popular with tourists in spring because of the beautiful scenery with cherry blossoms over the water. “Sendo-San” rowed the boat, and slowly traversing the narrow and winding river.
Nursery school children waved at us from the bank. Sendo-San began singing a folk song. I was a long ways from home, I realized.
We steped off the boat at “Choryu-Tei”, and headed for “Zenshoji”, a temple known for its 500 Rakan (disciple of Buddha) statues. People say you will find one that resembles yourself.
Next is “Jisshoin”. The monk kindly explained Buddhism and Zen. They have Zazen session every Sunday morning—give it a shot! Visiting temples surrounded in nature cleansed my mind.
We stopped by the Ishikawa Prefecture Kutaniyaki Art Museum. Kutaniyaki was created by decree of the Daishoji clan. They exhibit masterpieces from the19th-century which were exported to Europe. It’s well worth visiting. There’s nothing like tea and sweets after a stroll. Alexandre took me to the Wagashi (Japanese sweet) shop “Genba-Do”. I love Anko (sweet bean paste), so I chose Monaka, which is Anko between two crisp thin wafers. It was delicious. Gochiso-sama-deshita!
Choryu-Tei is the bower the lord had built as a resting place. Designated as an important cultural asset. (Reservations required.)
2) Zenshoji Temple
Matsuo Basho, Japan’s 17th-century haiku master, composed a poem at this temple. Open: 9:00-17:00; Admission: 500yen
3) Jisshoin Temple
The family temple of lord Maeda. Known for its beautiful Japanese bush clover. Open: 9:00-16:30 Admission: 400yen
4) Ishikawa Prefecture Kutaniyaki Art Museum
Exhibition halls showing the various aspects of Kutaniyaki. Open: 9:00-17:00 / Closed: Monday (Open on holidays) Admission: 500 yen
5) Atelier Rii
Converted-Machiya shop specializing in antique and modern kimono. Tel. 0761-72-6565 / Open: 10:00-18:00 / Closed: Monday
Offers various sweets that reflect local history and culture.Tel. 0761-72-5558 / Open: 9:00-18:00 / Closed: Tuesday
7) Cherry blossom street
along Kumasaka River
When the cherry blossoms season comes, the 1km row of cherry trees along the river are lit up with lanterns in the evening.
8) Kaga sinmei-gu
Sakura Matsuri (cherry blossom festival) is held on the second Saturday and Sunday in April.
Edo period home converted into a public institution. Members of “Kaga Multicultural Network” are stationed here and offer information for foreigners. 5 minutes walk from Daishoji station. Tel. 0761-72-5350 / Open: 9:00-17:00
Small and Tranquil Castle Town Daishoji Monitor Tour
Enjoy a Riverboat Ride and Japanese Meal!
English speaking staff accompany you on this memorable one day tour through the castle town. Enjoy an authentic Japanese meal and take in the ambiance of nature on a relaxing riverboat ride. We hope to see you there!
Tour Hours: 10:00-15:15
1) April 10th (Sat) 2010, 10:00~
2) May 8th (Sat) 2010, 10:00~
3) June 12th (Sat) 2010, 10:00~
Fee: ¥2,500 per person
Tour fee includes: Lunch, boat ride, temple fees, tea ceremony, entry to Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Kutaniyaki Pottery, and taxi fare from Kaga Onsen Station to Daishoji.
Meeting Place: (Kaga-city) JR Kaga-Onsen station
10:00 JR Kaga-Onsen station (Taxi)
10:15 Riverboat tour (30 minute walk)
11:30 Zenshoji (10 minute walk)
12:10 Lunch (Japanese restaurant “Ban-Tei”)
*Enjoy traditional food once served to the lord during formal events.
13:10 Tea ceremony experience at Renkoji
14:10 Ishikawa Prefecture Kutaniyaki Art Museum
15:15 JR Daishoji station
*Tour ends at JR Daishoji station, not Kaga-Onsen station.
Request: Inform us in advance if you have dietary restrictions.