Tour the workshop and gallery of a Japanese lacquerware artisan in Daigo Town, Ibaraki Prefecture — the second-largest producer of lacquer in Japan (2021). Learn about the tradition, the process, and maybe have a hands-on experience yourself. Then experience the quality of the finished product, by enjoying sake or soup from a piece of lacquerware out of the artisan’s own gallery. Visit in October or November to harvest the raw lacquer yourself!
- Please note this tour is mainly conducted in Japanese; non-Japanese speakers on the tour will be supported with the aid of English support tools at key points - Guests are welcome to arrange their own interpreter if preferred - The hands-on lacquerware experience is not guaranteed: this depends on the production schedule in the workshop - Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty (less likely to get dirty if you are careful) - For the urushi tapping add-on option, these should be warm clothes including long sleeves, long pants, and sneakers - In case of rain, the urushi tapping experience will be replaced with a tour of the harvesting site - Participants in the urushi tapping experience should have strong arms - In case of stormy weather, such as typhoon, the experience may be canceled; the operator will contact you by 17:00 the day before the event in this case - Guests must be aged 20 or older to drink sake
Daigo Town in Ibaraki Prefecture is the second largest producer of raw lacquer in Japan (2021). The lacquer produced here, “Daigo urushi,” is prized for its high quality by master artisans. On this tour, you’ll visit the workshop of am urushi lacquerware craftsman preserving this traditional Japanese art. Learn about the process of lacquerware production, see a demonstration of the craftsman’s work, and perhaps have a small hands-on experience of the crafting process yourself. Then, step into the tearoom in the artisan’s gallery and use the finished product yourself with a deeper appreciation, For visits in October and November, you can also book an optional “urushi tapping” experience and go out with the craftsman to harvest some of the raw “urushi” — the sap of the Japanese lacquer tree!