Experience exquisite meals and local traditions in the “Country Ruled by Peasants”
Located in southwest Ishikawa Prefecture, Komatsu prospered in the days of yore as the center of old-time Kaga Province. It is blessed with natural features, such as sacred Mount Haku and the Sea of Japan. A revolt that began in 1487 led to the century-long rule of Kaga Province by peasant farmers, during which time Hoonko cuisine was developed. Komatsu also possesses a unique tea culture that includes cha-kaiseki, a meal served at a tea ceremony, which has been passed down to the present.
Regional foods: Kaiseki Cuisine
Differing from kaiseki, which is sometimes referred to as Japanese haute cuisine, cha-kaiseki is a meal that precedes the serving of tea during a tea ceremony. Cha-kaiseki developed in Komatsu along with the local tea culture of the townspeople and has been passed down in the manner of artisan crafts from master to apprentice for centuries. This cuisine is known for its refined and delicate flavor and is often served on beautiful Kutani porcelain ware.
Regional foods: Hoonko Cuisine
During peasant rule, a cuisine known as hoonko was developed, and the sake brewing traditions from that era are known to produce smooth, delicate flavors. Another specialty to sample is Komatsu udon, made from thin, soft noodles and a broth incorporating dried fish. Komatsu has many wonderful flavors to explore.
Scenery: Hiyo Moss Garden
Containing 48 different kinds of moss, Hiyo Moss Garden is one of the most famous moss gardens in Japan. Hiyo Village is a beautiful hamlet with shrines, old traditional homes, and of course the mosses and cedar trees of the Moss Garden. Another place with excellent scenery is Natadera Temple, which was founded 1,300 years ago. The temple grounds contain Kigan Yusenkyo and other unique naturally occurring rock formations.
Activities: Traditional Craft Experience
Take part in any of more than 50 traditional crafts workshops, such as Wajima lacquerware and Kutani porcelain at Yunokuni-no-Mori Handicraft Village, a center for Kaga handicrafts. Also stop by Takigahara House, where you can experience farm life in a natural setting and enjoy fresh seasonal vegetables at the adjacent café.
Komatsu has many other fun attractions. One of the most famous cultural traditions is the yearly Hikiyama Children's Kabuki, in which children perform kabuki on the Hikiyama festival floats. You can also put on the kabuki makeup yourself. Afterwards, try a sumptuous cha-kaiseki meal at a traditional restaurant. You can also tour a sake brewery (and taste the sake!) and take part in a tea ceremony in a teahouse. Hit all the attractions and experience the historical town life of Komatsu.
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