Last May, Ria and I traveled to Kanazawa and Yamanaka Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture to see traditional crafts and to meet some of the many artisans who are based there. Kanazawa's art culture is thriving with artisans honoring and re-interpreting traditional crafts others producing inspiring fine arts in many mediums.
We stayed primarily in Kanazawa, a city I enjoyed a lot. Sugoku daisuki desu. (more on Kanazawa in an upcoming post). While in Kanazwa, we took a daytrip to Yamanaka Onsen, which is located in Kaga City (or Kaga-shi). We took the train to Kaga Onsen Eki and were picked up by our gracious and excellent host, Masayuki Gato, who runs Gato Mikio Shoten — a well-respected lacquerware merchandiser. We stopped first at the company showroom where we relaxed and had tea while we talked.
From there Gato-san drove us a short distance to their wood shop, which is where the journey to ware begins to take shape.