- Food / Gourmet
Discover Local Legends! A Trip Through Woodland Kyoto
Kyoto's lush northwestern areas include Kameoka, Nantan, Kyotamba, Fukuchiyama, and Ayabe. Collectively, these cities form Woodland Kyoto. These areas strive to preserve their traditional cultures and are an authentic gateway to ancient Japan.
In this article, we'll share a two-night, three-day travel plan in this stunning region. We hope you'll enjoy these ancient treasures nestled in Kyoto at leisure.
Day 1: Learn About Lacquerware in Fukuchiyama
On the first day, our trip starts in Fukuchiyama, exploring one of Japan’s lesser-known ancient crafts: lacquerware!
Depart from JR Kyoto Station at 9:24 on the special express Hashidate-go train. You'll arrive at JR Fukuchiyama Station at 10:40. From there, board the JR San'in Main Line to JR Kami-Yakuno Station to arrive in about 28 minutes.
Our first destination is the Yakuno Woodware and Lacquerware Hall (Japanese)!
The Yakuno Woodware and Lacquerware Hall: Unleash Your Inner Artist
About a ten minute walk from JR Kami-Yakuno Station, the Yakuno Woodware and Lacquerware Hall teaches the beauty of lacquerware through local legends and culture
Inside is a gallery, an exhibition room, and a store. You'll also find a studio where visitors can make their own lacquer art!
Making lacquerware is a complicated process that takes months. The resulting products are elegant and sturdy, gaining more luster as they age. This allows them to be treasured for generations.
If you’re more of a hands-on traveler, the Yakuno Woodware and Lacquerware Hall offers extensive lacquerware classes. Experience the fascinating process for yourself!
There are four courses (Japanese) to choose from. In the mini-course, you can attach pieces of silver leaf to the lacquerware and create your own patterns (1,930 yen). The light course allows you to design a picture using colored lacquer paint (1,540 yen). The master course offers a maki-e style painting experience using gold dust (5,280 yen). Finally, the top-tier premium course lets you stick silver sheets and seashells onto the lacquerware, which is then touched-up by a professional (7,460 yen). All courses require advance bookings.
We selected the light course, which takes around an hour to complete. First, you’ll need to purchase a piece of lacquerware from the shop. Then you'll receive a patterned paper to create art with colored lacquer paint. After the workshop, you can take the lacquerware home. However, you need to wait three months before it’s safe to use!
The Yakuno Woodware and Lacquerware Hall is a part of the Roadside Station Nosho-no-sato Yakuno (Japanese). There are onsen, lodging facilities, restaurants, and shops selling local goods and produce!
Miya Cafe: Take a Breather and Enjoy Kyoto Hospitality
After the lacquer-painting workshop, it's time for a break at Miya Cafe (Japanese). It's located just outside of JR Kami-Yakuno Station.
Opened in December 2019, Miya Cafe is a place where anyone can casually drop by. A renovated traditional Japanese home, the cafe has a lacquered ceiling and a homey wooden interior that create a relaxing atmosphere.
The second floor is reserved as a workshop space. There are regular classes, such as flower arrangement and other crafts.
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