Experience the Craft of Takaoka Tin-1

Experience the Craft of Takaoka Tin

Toyama Prefecture is renowned for its craftsmanship. In Takaoka City, a shop called Otera Kohachiro Shoten continues a tradition that dates back 400 years to the town’s founding.
Otera Kohachiro Shoten was originally opened as a foundry in 1860 in the Kanayamachi district, the birthplace of Takaoka casting, by the first-generation Kohachiro. The establishment is now a store with a cafe and gallery, where you can make your own tin accessories while enjoying the charming atmosphere of the Edo period (1603–1867).
* This article was adapted from work by a local reporter living in Toyama Prefecture.

Accessing the store

Otera Kohachiro Shoten is a 20-minute walk from Takaoka Station on the Ainokaze Toyama Railway, or a one-minute walk from the Kanaya stop if you’re traveling by bus. The store is almost a straight shot from Takaoka Station, and is easy to find, especially with the golden phoenix statues on Homei Bridge as a landmark.
There are phoenix statues on either side of the bridge, one male and one female. Take a moment to admire these impressive creations.

Otera Kohachiro Shoten is just around the corner after you pass the phoenix statues. Visitors with their own vehicles can use the free parking lot at Ryokuchi Park, located just to the left of Homei Bridge. There are also restrooms.

As you step into the Kanayamachi district, soak up the historic charms of the traditional buildings that line the streets.

This is the entrance to Otera Kohachiro Shoten.

The store offers a make-your-own accessory experience for 2,000 yen. You can select from about nine different types of tin to make accessories such as earrings, rings, and bracelets. The bracelet costs 2,500 yen to make.

A hands-on experience

First, sort through the many tin strips that are available and select one with the ideal form and thickness for you. (This experience is also available for those with hand-related disabilities, so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need assistance.)

Once you’ve chosen your strip of tin, cut it to the desired length and shape it with a fine file.

Adding your own personal hammered pattern

After shaping the tin, the next step is to add a hammered pattern. Hammering increases the strength of the tin, but it’s also a fun process that allows you to create your very own pattern.

It only takes about 20 minutes of work to create a very beautiful ring. Furthermore, tin is a rust-resistant material with a beautiful luster, so whatever you create will make a great addition to any jewelry collection.

You can also engrave your accessory with the date, letters, or symbols.

Otera Kohachiro Shoten sells accessory-making kits in their online store. They also have jewelry, home goods, and many more products that make for great gifts.

Group experiences and other workshops

In the back of the store is a workshop that can accommodate about 20 people, so groups can also experience the craft. Advance reservations are required for the group workshop, which costs 1,800 yen per person for groups of eight or more.

Perfect for all ages and backgrounds, this experience at Otera Kohachiro Shoten allows anyone to be a craftsperson and engage with the local culture and friendly people of Toyama.
The store also offers twice-monthly kintsugi workshops and other educational experiences, so be sure to check out their website and contact them for more information.

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