On first glimpse, the city of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, appears concentrated on the past, a center of traditional performance arts such as noh and house to streets of wandering geisha. Not surprisingly, the city & rsquo; s remarkable range of storied arts is relatively well-known, however, its lively food and beverage scenes remain a local secret
. On first glimpse, the city of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, seems focused on the past, a center of standard performance arts such as noh and home to streets of roaming geisha. Naturally, the city’& rsquo; s impressive array of storied arts is reasonably well-known, however, its dynamic food and beverage scenes remain a local secret.
Coffee is one method to discover a bit of what modern Kanazawa has in store. Coffee stores spread throughout the city use a peek of how locals live and enjoy this ancient city situated on the Sea of Japan.
Near the hallowed greenery of Kenrokuen, a landscape garden that is among the city’& rsquo; s main attractions, is Katsura (Kenroku-Motomachi 1-14, Kanazawa 920-0931; 076-262-8448). This is a junkissa, a classic coffeehouse where time seems like it’& rsquo; s been at a dead stop given that the 1960s or ’& rsquo; 70s: dark wood paneling, cigarette smoke and soft symphonic music. Enter for the coffee, and you’& rsquo; ll slip into another period. Here, Toshio Sakaguchi, the owner, blends and roasts all of the beans, similar to he’& rsquo; s provided for years. If you brew it, they will come: Curio Espresso and Vintage Style has an easygoing vibe and operates as a hangout for Kanazawa expats, travelers and residents alike.|KATHERINE WHATLEY On the opposite end of the spectrum is Curio Espresso and Vintage Design Coffee Shop(Yasuecho 1-13, Kanazawa 920-0854; bit.ly/ curioespresso), a coffeehouse that revels in its non-Japanese styling and easygoing, modern feel. Curio was opened by husband-and-wife team Sol Gallago and Yuko Otoku. Gallago, a locksmith by trade, states that the city is so safe that his work remains in little demand, which is one of the reasons the 2 opened Curio after they moved from Seattle to Otoku’& rsquo; s hometown of Kanazawa.
The place runs as a little an informal Kanazawa expat and tourist hangout, and the tables are often filled with American tourists or perhaps expats using the coffee store to teach English. Curio is also a location for locals searching for a piece of Americana.
While Curio isn’& rsquo; t particularly affected by Kanazawa, the food and coffee show the city’& rsquo; s dedication to quality. The cafe serves an American-style breakfast sandwich complete with cheese, egg and bacon that, when accompanied by a flat white, is best fuel for a brisk walk around the city. Curio is one of the couple of locations in Kanazawa open for breakfast, a plus for visitors whose accommodations wear’& rsquo; t consist of food.
Tachibana Coffee (Ibaragicho 56-3, Kanazawa 920-0994; bit.ly/ tb-coffee) is various once again, located on a small side road simply down the hill from the D.T. Suzuki Museum, which was established in honor of the guy who presented Zen Buddhism to generations of Westerners through his translations of Japanese religious texts. Quiet and airy, Tachibana Coffee is the ideal location to continue with philosophical musings after a check out to the museum.
According to owner Hiroshi Tachibana, “& ldquo; nearly none of our visitors are travelers,” & rdquo; which offers the place a truly neighborhood feel. There, locals appear and out for a chat and quick cup of coffee. Like Katsura and Curio, keeping requirements high is priority. “& ldquo; After I stopped my task training horses, I wanted to make coffee of the greatest quality,” & rdquo; Tachibana says. “& ldquo; I roast all my own coffee in little lots and rotate my choice based on the season.”
& rdquo; While these three stores have different methods to coffee and environment, together they reveal the breadth of modern culture in Kanazawa. So the next time you’& rsquo; re in the city, why not take a minute to drink like the residents?
While these 3 shops have different approaches to coffee and atmosphere, together they show the breadth of modern culture in Kanazawa. So the next time you’& rsquo; re in the city, why not take a moment to sip like the locals?