Nishijima Washi no Sato

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The village of Nishijima has deep historical connections with the production of washi, or traditional Japanese paper. This beautifully tactile material, each sheet imbued with the artistry and dedication of its maker, has been manufactured here for more than four centuries, and local artisans continue to fulfill nationwide demand for their product. Nishijima Washi no Sato invites all to experience the soulfulness inherent in washi making through simple workshops suitable for absolute beginners.

Nishijima Washi no Sato centers on a washi studio where artisans go about their work, alongside a dedicated area where workshops are conducted. The latter is the larger of the two, as the facility is dedicated to sharing the fun and fulfillment of washi making: up to 120 individuals at a time can enjoy learning the craft, with groups and larger families easily accommodated.

The fundamental skill in washi creation—which you can learn here in around one hour, including drying time—involves blending together raw ingredients and water, then scooping out the resulting mixture into a wooden frame ready to dry. Thereafter, as you will see from a look around the atelier and in-house shop, it is a process of cutting and shaping paper into the desired form, followed by sometimes vividly colorful decoration.

Nishijima Washi no Sato is very much part of the village’s close-knit washi community. Small ateliers and factories, some operated by successive generations of a single family, are clustered together nearby and supply many of the items in the facility’s shop.


Venue Address

409-3301 345 Nishijima, Minobu-cho, Minamikoma-gun

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