Things to Do in Kanazawa in Winter
(December to February)

Straw matting of mud walls in Kanazawa

Straw matting of mud walls in Kanazawa

Kaga Tobi performance during New Year in Kanazawa

Kaga Tobi performance during New Year in Kanazawa

Kanazawa Fire Department’s New Year parade

Kanazawa Fire Department’s New Year parade

Komo Straw Matting (Early December)

In early December every year, straw mats are put on the mud walls of the remains of the Nagamachi samurai residences (Buke Yashiki). The straw matting protects the walls from frost and prevents them from separating when the snow on the walls melts. Made of finely knit straw, the mats are known as "komo”.

There are many great locations to view the straw mats including samurai residences (Buke Yashiki) in Nagamachi District. Here, a full kilometer of straw mats are put in place and kept up until mid-March every year.

Kanazawa City Fire Department’s New Year Parade (First Sunday of the year on or after January 5th)

In the early 18th century, during the rule of the Maeda clan, firefighters allocated to the Edo mansion performed a unique training exercise named Kaga Tobi. This involved performing acrobatic feats on top of their ladders. The duty of the firefighters in those days was to destroy adjoining houses in order to prevent the spread of fire, and this unique training helped them to master their tools.

Now, this performance acts as part of Kanazawa City Fire Department’s New Year parade and involves 1,100 fire brigade members from various parts of the city. The traditional Kaga Tobi performance, which includes the firemen spraying their firehoses from the top of their ladders, is one of Kanazawa’s most unique and captivating traditions. As a result, it’s covered by the news outlets throughout Japan every year.