The Magical Town of Kanazawa

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Kananzawa is a town in Japan known for its castles, shrines, amazing Museum of Contemporary Art and production of gold leaf.  The glittering gold that surrounded us in Kanazawa, actually sparked inspiration for this year’s holiday collection. The city alone produces 99% of Japan’s gold leaf production thanks to its excellent quality of water and masterful craftsmen who have been practicing the art of gold leafing for hundreds of years. When we visited this magical place, we marveled at how many buildings, ceramics, and varieties of food were adorned with gold leafing.

A gold leaf is made by beating gold into an extremely thin sheet. It is so thin that if you rub it, it will disappear! The production of gold leafing began in Kanazawa back in the 16th century. It became a popular handicraft passed through generations. Today, Kanazawa is full of gold leaf workshops, stores, museums and cafes.
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Gold leaf matcha tea cake, a traditional (and delicious!) tea cake infused with matcha tea and decorated with golf leafing.

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A building featuring a gold facade on the entrance. Even the windowsill is specially decorated in gold.

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We were able to go inside a gold leafing workshop and watch as this craftsman taught us the art of gold leafing.

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The gold leaf powder is so fine, you have to use special tools to work with it.

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A beautiful kimono with gold leafing. Our camera caught the glimmering effect of the gold leaf weaved into the fabric.

gold-leaf-table

It can even be found on household furniture.

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Photo courtesy of cntraveler.com

And last but definitely not least, gold leafing on ice cream! An ice cream shop called Hakuichi sells soft serve ice cream, topped with gold leaf flakes. How decadent!

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