This is one of two Geisha Districts in Kanazawa, the other one on the southern side of the river should be skipped as it is smaller, and very recently reconstructed.
Most probably 80% of these buildings are reconstructions, Japanese traditional shop and domestic architecture was and is built to be torn down and replace after about 30 years. These buildings are probably for the most part 80 years old, some less. None-the-less they give an idea of what one of the pleasure quarters, a combination of bars, restaurants, short stay inns, and houses of prostitution would have looked like at the end of the 19th century. The Yoshizawa in Tokyo is long gone and the Gion/Pontocho districts in Kyoto have been recently been rebuilt so do not look for too much in the way of authenticity anywhere else. Kanazawa was just beyond the range of U.S. B-29 Bombers flying from Saipan and as a result largely survived the war with minimum damage by default unlike Kyoto which was deliberately spared incineration by the fire bombing.
One of the tea houses has original art on the sliding doors in the upstairs by Clifton Kharu a noted American artist and bon viviant who spent his declining years living in Kanazawa with his lady friend while his American wife was left behind in Kyoto. I rather suspect Cliff used this to pay for his bar bills as he did tip back a few. See in this regard Norman Tolman's book Kharu at 77 and Tolman's brief biography/obituary written after Kharu's death a few years back. They were drinking buddies and great friends; and Tolman sold a ton of Kharu's woodblock prints at his gallery in Shiba Daimon in Tokyo.
The gold leaf museum is also in this district and is worth a short visit, 30 minutes or so.
Restrooms are available near the entrance to the district but it will take a little looking to find them, otherwise invest in a cup of tea and a sweet and ask to use the shop's convenience facility.
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