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Kanazawa Gold Leaf Craft

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Kanazawa Gold Leaf Craft


Kanazawa is home to 99% of all gold leaf made in Japan

Kanazawa City Tourism Association



In Japan, kinpaku gold leaf is used to decorate many temples and shrines with high historical value, such as the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto and Toshogu Shrine in Nikko. It is also common to be used for traditional crafts like lacquerware and pottery. When you see a beautiful, authentic gold shimmer on something in Japan, the gold leaf has most likely been produced in Kanazawa, which is home to 99% of domestic gold leaf production.


A piece of gold the size of a coin will make a large dining-table size sheet of gold leaf. How do artisans make gold leaf as thin as a mere 1/10,000th of a millimeter?


So many aspects must come together in order to produce this incredibly thin sheet of gold, including exceptional craftsmanship, paper production that is known to determine the quality of the finished gold leaf, good climatic conditions and more.


For over 400 years, from the time when samurai prospered until the present day, top quality gold leaf has been produced in Kanazawa. The ways gold leaf is used is much broader than it used to be. Gold leaf covered soft-served ice cream is a must-try in Kanazawa! You can also join a gold leaf decoration workshop available at gold leaf shops in the city.


How to get there


2.5 hours by shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa Station.



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