Find out more about the traditional craft of mugiwara zaiku (straw craft), only found in Kinosaki Onsen. Learn about its history and process as you visit a private workshop. This activity also includes a workshop to paste the straws on your box.
Learn mugiwara zaiku (straw craft) that is unique to the area — said to have started around the Kyoho era. It was brought about by a craftsman who came to Kinosaki Onsen and started sticking colored straws to flutes and frames to pay for his lodging. The technique uses brightly dyed strips of straw which are then cut and laid out in various intricate patterns. They are used to decorate other items ranging from boxes to postcards. The straw is cut and flattened after being dyed in different colors. Afterward, it is arranged into various patterns, sometimes to create images like a flower or a bird. During the Meiji era, the technique gained more popularity and even received the highest medal of honor at the World Fair in 1902. In this activity, you'll be visiting the Kamiya Mingei shop in Kinosaki Onsen, one of the best hot spring towns in Japan. Here, you'll learn about the straw craft making process. The straw will be provided and you'll be cutting, positioning and pasting them on top of a box. An English-speaking guide will help you throughout. After the activity, you can bring home your artwork as a souvenir. The store is managed by Masaru Kamiya, the second-generation owner of the place who won the Hyogo Skill Achievement Award. This craft is usually taught in workshops, but by booking this activity, you'll be able to learn directly from the artist!