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Delight in an Exciting Kanazawa Festival and Celebratory Meal


Watch professionals perform the Kaga Shishimai as you feast on an authentic festival meal


The Kaga Shishimai, a traditional performing art featuring dancers wearing a lion head, is a quintessential part of many Ishikawa festivals. Usually, it is rarely seen outside of the few days a year in which these festivals are celebrated. Although relatively few tourists can experience authentic Japanese festivals because the timing doesn’t work out, don’t fret. You can both watch master performers execute this dance and dine on festival delicacies, even if you are not able to schedule your visit on the exclusive festival days.


The Kaga Shishimai is said to have started as a way to celebrate the arrival of the ancestors of the Edo period (1603–1867) Kaga Domain, which was centered at Kanazawa Castle (Kaga was the previous name of Ishikawa Prefecture). In Kanazawa House is a former merchant home with beautifully traditional wooden architecture that still hosts geisha performances. Here, professionals from the Kaga Lion Dance Preservation Association will perform an authentic Kaga Shishimai using real masks designed to represent a lion’s face, as well as other essential tools that otherwise are only brought out for the festivals. In addition, while you watch their thrilling dance, you will feast on regional specialties normally only served during the festivals. 


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This experience features English guidance and is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Ishikawa culture—its history, cuisine, architecture, and performing arts. Even if you have seen Shishimai before, the performances differ from region to region within Japan, so this will certainly be a meal and show like no other.


Access: From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa Station (about two hours 30 minutes), then take Hokutetsu Bus No. 82 to the Sansha stop (about two minutes) and walk about four minutes to In Kanazawa House.


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In Kanazawa House


1-4-28 Hosai, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken


Approx. 1 hour 30 minutes or more




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