Learn About Toyama's Culture Through a Handicrafts Experience-1

Learn About Toyama's Culture Through a Handicrafts Experience

Accessory Making Experience at "Oterako Hachiro Shoten"

Oterako Hachiro Shoten, located in Kanayamachi, Takaoka City, began as a foundry and has been involved in Takaoka copperware since. The store's lattice exterior gives off a sense of history and culture. They have a wide range of products available, from sieves and traditional crafts to modern products. You will be supported during every workshop experience, so you can enjoy it with peace of mind.

Here you can experience making original accessories using a soft metal tin. There are 22 types of experiences to choose from, so it can be hard to decide.

The teacher's teaching style is very thorough, so even if you’re not good at manual work, with the support of your teacher, you can complete the work beautifully. During the workshop, choose the accessories you want to make, and then add the design to the tin by tapping it with a hammer. Strangely enough, the soft tin becomes hard as you hit it.

After adding the design, twist it with your hands to give the accessory some movement, but be careful not to apply too much pressure as the tin is incredibly soft.

The finished accessories are so beautiful that you’ll want to wear them immediately, making them perfect as souvenirs!

There is also a cafe corner in the next room, and the space is filled with a quaint atmosphere with retro furniture and decorations. Also, from the coffee corner, you can look out over the garden and enjoy the changing seasons. It’s perfect for taking a breather after you finish the workshop.

In addition to the accessory experience, kintsugi classes with lacquer craftsmen are also held. For those interested in traditional Japanese techniques, please give it a try.


A Coloring Experience at “Momentum Factory Orii”

At first glance, "Momentum Factory Orii," located fifteen minutes by car from Shin-Takaoka Station, looks like an ordinary factory, but in fact, you can tour the factory and try your hand at coloring.

Momentum Factory Orii has inherited the traditional techniques of the area since its founding as Orii Coloring, and it has been involved in the coloring of a variety of cast objects, from Buddhist statues, temple bells, tea utensils, and arts and crafts. This coloring experience is not coloring using paint, but it uses traditional techniques to create vivid colors by controlling chemicals and flames.

During this experience, you will use rice bran, which is also used for pickling, to make a square coaster. First, place some bran on the surface of the copper plate in several places. After flattening the rice bran, it’s then baked with a gas burner.

The teacher will show you how to do it once. Place the copper plate against the furnace, set up the gas burner, and ignite it. The fire comes out quite strong and has a very powerful feel. The sight of a teacher holding a gas burner is also really cool. During the actual experience, the teacher is standing next to you to provide assistance, so there’s no need to worry about safety. So, let’s actually try!

Once the ignition is complete, place the copper plate in water to cool. When you peel off the burnt bran, a speckled pattern appears. Ingredients such as salt contained in the bran react when burned, which then causes the bran to dig into the copper, resulting in a pattern.

Next, apply a chemical to the copper bringing about “rokusho,” a greenish-blue form of rust. Repeat this process about three times, and the rust layer will thicken to create a more complex pattern.

Let's move on to fixing the colors.
To fix the color, you’ll use vaporized ammonia. If the reaction is further accelerated with ammonia, the color instantly changes and becomes more bluish. After a while, it’ll turn a subdued bronze color.

Finally, apply a urethane finish and attach a stand to the bottom, and then it's complete. You’ve created a coaster full of your unique designs and personality.

There is also a shop next to the factory which sells a variety of Takaoka copperware products. Traditional craft products made using unique coloring techniques are perfect as travel souvenirs.

A Yukata-making Experience at “Sitateyasan Lapoge”

You can experience wearing yukata and kimono at popular tourist spots, but have you ever tried actually making a yukata rather than simply wearing it?

"Sitateyasan Lapoge,” located in Himi City, was founded as a kimono sewing company with the desire to deliver Japanese craftsmanship to as many people as possible.

There are workshops, including making a yukata, making a Sacoche bag with cherry blossom weaving, and making a miniature kimono. The miniature kimono-making experience uses brightly colored fabrics, and you can also get a miniature kimono holder to hang your kimono on, making it perfect as an interior decoration. There is also a pattern inspired by the Tateyama Mountains that can be seen from Himi. Cut the fabric and heat it with an iron to glue it together without sewing, and you don't have to worry about the difficult parts, as the staff will complete them for you. The experience of making a miniature kimono, which takes about 30 minutes, is extremely popular.

Through the “My Yukata Making Experience,” you can make a one-of-a-kind yukata that matches your size.

First, choose a fabric with a design you like. There are about a dozen types, from gorgeous patterns to more subdued ones, so please choose carefully. Once you’ve decided on your fabric, your measurements will be taken in order to tailor the yukata and make it the perfect size for you.

They use their unique calculations to determine the size, which results in the perfect sizing. Once that’s determined, the fabric will then be cut. Here, you can enjoy a unique Japanese sewing experience, and because the staff provides support, we recommend you take on the challenge.

A computerized sewing machine developed in-house is installed where the staff works, and you can see how the yukata is being made. This machine was designed to increase productivity, and it allows for an increase in speed and output.

After the experience is complete, the finishing touches will be left to the staff. Then, once that’s done, you will have completed your very own, one-of-a-kind yukata!

How about wearing your own yukata to go sightseeing in Himi and Toyama? It's sure to be memorable.

By making such goods from scratch, you can experience handicraft culture, which will impress and become a long-lasting memory! We hope you try it!

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