In the ancient period from the year of 710 to 794, Echizen-shi was the capital of gigantic province spreading across the four prefectures in Japan. Due to that, Echizen-shi and its surrounding area prospered and are the producing areas of five national traditional crafts today which are all handmade Washi paper, kitchen knives, lacquer wares, potteries, and tansu chests. It is only in Echizen that you can closely view how artisans/craftsmen produce it and also experience in making crafts.
I will meet you at the Takefu Station
You will learn a basic knowledge of washi paper making viewing an artisan or craftsman producing it.
Explore a small washi village in the nice and quiet atmosphere where it has prospered since the ancient period. You can enjoy viewing the classic example of traditional Echizen houses.
Explore a workshop or factory to learn how washi paper is made from fibers taken out of barks of trees and experience in making washi using their tools if you wish. Workshops we visit are basically making various size of paper and/or you can see how designs on a paper are created by a craftsman's hands.
These shrines have over 1,500 and 1,400 years of history, respectively and it is the complex building structure with dignity appearance. The goodness of paper making has been enshrined in Okamoto Jinja Shrine which is only one in Japan and has been designated a National Important Traditional Culture.
Enjoy eating traditional dishes using locally harvested veges, fishes and meat.
Various handmade Washi paper products from over 40 makers are available at a 20% less price to the market. It is so much fun to explore the shop to see different style of paper works including envelops, letters, memos, trays, dolls, decorative paper. lampshades and etc.
Learn about how a handmade knife is made by viewing craftsmen making it from the 2nd fl of a factory as well as a small museum. 13 different companies with over 40 artisans/craftsmen are producing beautiful knives and sell at a shop in this village.
Learn how a traditional tansu chest is made from viewing a craftsman produces. Every parts of tansu chest including decorative metal fittings and Hozo Tsugi (mortise and tenon technique without using nails) are handmade and you can close look how those small pieces are made by a craftsman.
The tour ends at Takefu Station
You can learn how traditional crafts with a long history are handmade by artisans or craftsmen and view closely at their workshop/factory of Echizen Washi Paper, Echizen Knives, Echizen Lacquer wares, Echizen Potteries and Echizen Tansu Chests. If you wish to experience in making, you can join a workshop. In the washi village, we stroll the village and also visit the tranquil but dignified shrine where a goodness of paper making is enshrined. History of each craft: Echizen Washi paper and lacquer ware; over 1,500 years, Knives; 700 years, Potteries: 800 years, Tansu Chest: over 200 years.
Transportation fee related to the tour and lunch for you and a guide.
Factory tour for washi paper and Tansu chest: 2,000 yen/person
Workshop for washi paper: 2,000 yen/person
booking notice has been changed
- Visiting places (washi paper, knife, pottery, tansu chest and lacquerware) are at your choice and time is flexible.
- Very economical taxi ticket supported by Echizen city is available at 500 yen for one direction. You can buy when you arrive at Takefu
- Echizen Pottery Village and a place of lacquerware are located relatively far from the central Echizen city so a bus (very less operation) or a taxi at the ordinary price is necessary due to the outside of Echizen city.
Yoshie was such a delight to be with! She had prepared for the tour with much care which really made things go smoothly. Additionally, she went out of her way to find answers to our questions so that we could follow up on our own using her research. Highly recommend her!
Hi Steve, thank you so much for your review. I was very pleased to take you around in Kanazawa and Echizen in Fukui. You two are so energetic and curious about things in every aspect which is amazing. Take very good care of yourself and come back to Japan again! Yoshie
Yoshie helped us in exploring Kanazawa for one day and a small villages an hour by train outside of Kanazawa including interesting crafts plus our participation. The combination of a city with wonderful parks, market, etc. with quiet village life was wonderful. Easily greatly recommended.
Hi Steve and Lesley, thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to take you around Kanazawa and Echizen for two days. I am very pleased that you enjoyed beautiful town of Kanazawa and a town of various handmade crafts. You two created a wonderful handmade washi paper on your own! It was amazing. Thank you again and take care. Yoshie
Yoshie is kind, knowledgeable and fun. Excellent English and really made the city come alive. Would recommend to anyone visiting Kanazawa, spend a morning with Yoshie-san!
Hi Duncan, thank you so much for the review. It was a lovely day to walk around the Kenrokuen Garden, spending good enough time. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed a formal tea ceremony experience in a tranquil tea house of Gyokusen-en. Thank you again! Yoshie
Yoshie was a true delight from the moment she met us from the train to when she dropped us back. Her knowledge is incredible and she planned the day so well. We fitted in everything she had suggested without feeling rushed and Yoshie made it so enjoyable. Thank you Yoshie.
Hi Louise, thank you so much for the review. It was fun to walk with you and your friends around Kanazawa. We also talked a lots during lunch time and as walking and I found it very interesting. Thank you again and take very good care of yourself! Yoshie