Nishi-Chaya district [にし茶屋街]

Nishi-Chayagai
Nishi-Chayagai
Photo by Kanazawa City

Nishi-Chayagai in the evening
Nishi-Chayagai in the evening
Photo by Kanazawa City

Map of Kanazawa city

Nishi-Chaya district ("Nishi-Chayagai" in Japanese) is one of three old Geisha towns in Kanazawa. (Higashi-Chayagai, Kazuemachi-Chayagai, Nishi-Chayagai)

It is on the south side of Sai River flowing through Kanazawa city, and is located about 1.5 km southwest of north of Kanazawa Castle Park.

"Chaya" is a restaurant with entertainment by Geisha.
Geisha entertains the guests, and shows traditional Japanese dances and songs.
(It is not a house of prostitution.)

Basically, only regular guest can enter Chaya.
So general tourist can't enter Chaya.

Nishi-Chayagai was built along with Higashi-Chayagai in 1820, and is the largest among three districts in Kanazawa.

Higashi-Chaya and Kazuemachi-Chaya districts are close to Kanazawa Castle.
So it is said that samurais and rich merchants mainly visited there.

But Nishi-Chaya district was in the old town of common people.
Therefore, it is said that a part of this district was a red-light area.

After World War II, the red-light area was demolished and this area is also a high-class Geisha town.
The number of Geisha in Nishi-Chayagai is the most among three geisha districts. (About 18 geishas)

The main street is about 150 meters long from north to south, and many wooden two-story Japanese-style houses along the street.

There are some ordinary cafes and restaurants in the old houses.

Street of Nishi-Chayagai
Street of Nishi-Chayagai
Photo by Ishikawa Prefectural Tourism League

Nishi-Chaya Shiryokan
Nishi-Chaya Shiryokan
Photo by Kanazawa City

Five real Chaya are in the district, but you can't enter them.

But there is Nishi-Chaya Shiryokan museum (西茶屋資料館) near the south end of the street.

The building was a former Chaya, and was a setting of a Japanese novel in the 1910s.
The original room and some materials of Chaya and the novel's author are displayed.
Admission is free.

In a chaya Hana-no-Yado, tea room is opened in the daytime, and you can see the inside of Chaya.
(Of course, you can't meet Geisha.)

How to get here

By route bus (Kanazawa Loop Bus [Left loop]), about 15 minutes from Kanazawa station to Hirokoji stop.

Hotels in Kanazawa

Hotels in Kanazawa

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