If you have yet to make a trip up into the mountains of Minakami for an art-filled day, slap it near the top of your Gunma bucket list. Takumi-no-sato (たくみの里) is an entire village filled with far too many hands-on traditional Japanese art workshops to even consider doing every one in a day.
Start your visit at the Information Center and pick-up an English guide and map. Sip some local drinking yogurt and decide what workshop you want to choose first. Once you head out into the village, it can be tricky finding the right little house for your chosen activity, but wandering the village is just as enjoyable! Rent a bicycle to explore more of the area in less time. Each workshop will cost you about 1000円 and all the materials and supplies are included.
Choose from 24 different workshops, from rock painting to making your own soba noodles!
- Dried flower arrangements
- Rock painting
- Hand sewn doll costumes
- Patterned glass work
- Pressed flowers
- Clay bells
- Matchbox art
- Traditional and cartoon masks
- Woodwork – making a bookstand and various other things.
- Bamboo house – toys, baskets, etc.
- Straw house – making snow shoes
- Cloisonne house – making small pendants and key rings
- Chirimen Crepe house – using kimono material to make small goods
- Washi – paper making
- Kiori – tree fibres woven with silk to make bags, wallets, and paper products.
- Soba and udon
- Apple pie
I recently visited Takumi-no-sato with friends, and we felt like painting, so chose to make the Japanese bells. The old lady running the workshop was talkative and crazy, explaining to us (and the other customers also painting bells) how us foreigners paint with such power (likened only to the Koreans) and could only marvel at the power that we were exhibiting in our strange kokeshi bells. She is hilarious, and certainly worth a visit!
Takumi-no-sato is about 15 minutes from the Tsukiono IC by car. Busses leave from Numata station at 9:10, 10:00, and 12:38. Other locations are also available. The bus takes about 45 minutes to arrive.
After a long day of creating, relax in a local onsen before the long trip home.
For more information on each of the workshops, check out the Gunma Tourism International Association page.
Winter hours: 9:00-4:00
Address: 847 Sukawa Minakami-machi, Tone-gun 群馬県利根郡みなかみ町須川847
Phone: (0278) 64-2211