To the east of Kanazawa, near the River Asano, lies the geisha quarter of Higashi Chaya, which has lost none of its grace or refinement since it was founded in 1820. This is a closed and secret world that exudes mystery and nostalgia through the dark wood trellises of its geisha houses. Some 50 geishas continue to exercise their profession in the town, entertaining their wealthy clients with songs and dances to the music of the shamisen, poetry recitals, tea ceremonies and elegant conversation. The Shima and Kaikaro teahouses are particularly worth a visit.
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