Experience traditional handicrafts which still remain along the Tokaido | Japan Highlights Travel, for sightseeing around Tokaido

Shizuoka Station [Suruga Hinagu]

The Tokaido developed as the main artery connecting Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto.
Many and diverse traditional cultures grew up along that highroad, which served to convey a wide variety of important information and cultural ideas.
Why not experience traditional culture in your travel destination, and come into contact with the beauty and style of Japanese manufacturing traditions.

Odawara Station [Hakone Yosegi Zaiku Hakone Karakuri Museum]

Shizuoka Station [Suruga Lacquerware]

Nagoya Station
"Famous Arimatsu Tie-Dyed Fabrics at Narumi, Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido", by Hiroshige Utagawa. (Preserved at the Shizuoka City Tokaido Hiroshige Museum of Art.)

  • Reevaluate the Japanese way of life

  • Traditional ways of life in Japan had been preserved for a very long time, in no small part due to seasonal festivals such as the Five Festivals and New Year's, each with their own distinguishing features and each held in their own season. However, life in Japan began to change after the war, as a result of the processes of modernization. In particular, everyday commodities became cheaper, people began to prefer new, fashionable items, and things basically became more disposable.
  • In recent years however, Japan's traditional lifestyles have started to attract the attention of people all around the world. A so-called "Japan Boom" is taking place, with tatami beds, bonsai trees and the like becoming highly regarded overseas, people swarming to Japanese restaurants and Japan's shrines and temples becoming popular tourist spots.
  • A knock-on effect of this is that even in Japan, people have been taking another look at the idea of "getting back to Japaneseness". Ancient Japanese ways of life and delicately manufactured goods are being reevaluated, and more and more people are demanding high-quality items which gently enrich the spirit. Traditional handicrafts into which have been poured a Japanese aesthetic sense and the long history and unique culture of their regions are now truly becoming the focus for renewed attention.
  • Crystallizations of beauty and skill which add color to everday life

  • Products of dyeing and weaving, ceramics, lacquerware, woodwork, bamboo work, Japanese paper, writing implements, dolls, lanterns and more...It is said that Japan has more than 1,200 different kinds of traditional handicrafts. These handicrafts were all originally made as implements to suit the needs of day-to-day life. Precisely for this reason, these handicrafts exhibit a knowledge, sureness of quality and careful attention to detail which gives a unique sense of quality and warmth and means they can be used for a long time, and made them extremely familiar parts of Japanese people's traditional ways of life.
  • However, as the times change so too do lifestyles, and along with that the things people need also change. In order to make implements which suit modern lifestyle and design needs traditional handicrafts are continuing to evolve every day through new techniques and ingenuity.
  • Now, a law has been established which aims to contribute to the transmission of traditional techniques and methods, regional economic development and the creation of employment, at the same time as adding richness and comfort to the lives of ordinary people. Based on this law, a "traditional handicraft" must satisfy five conditions: 1. Be an everyday commodity; 2. Be handmade; 3. Use traditional techniques / methods (going back at least 100 years); 4. Be made with traditionally used raw materials; 5. Be produced in a specific region. At time of writing in June 2015, 222 traditional handicrafts have been designated.
  • Shizuoka Station [Suruga Hinagu]

  • Gifu-Hashima Station [Mizu-uchiwas]

  • Hamamatsu Station [Enshu Men Tsumugi]

  • Experience traditional handicrafts!

  • Traditional handicrafts made using traditional methods and masterful skills, with carefully selected materials produced in the region. There the climate and culture of each land breathes. As well as looking at them and buying some at your travel destination, how about learning something about the essence of the history and skills associated with these handicrafts? There is a pure kind of pleasure to be had in making something, and getting to know about new cultural ideas and techniques is also extremely good fun. Through traditional handicrafts you will really get to feel the beauty and style of Japan's manufacturing traditions, and will be wrapped in profound emotion.
  • Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station [Edo Wind chimes]

Toyohashi Station [Fude no Sato Suse Kobo]

Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station
[Sumida Edo Kiriko-kan]

Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station
[Edo Wind chimes]

updated on Sep 30, 2015