In a city brimming with cultural and historical legacies, you can find various cultural activities all in a single location just down the road from Matsumoto Castle. Taking place in a traditional Japanese storehouse refurbished from a sake brewery, this event is the perfect opportunity to learn more about Japan and make lasting memories, whether you are in town for only the day or for a few days.
There will be 11 event days spanning all the way through March. With 12 activities* to choose from, you can rotate through activities and avoid waiting in line. Rain or shine, spend a fun filled day with friendly locals who are eagerly awaiting the chance to introduce their trade to you.
* Activities are subject to change.
Taking Part in the Event
I tried planning chopsticks for the first time, and I found it to be a very cathartic experience. Of course, since the process can be fairly time consuming, you do not have to whittle down both chopsticks yourself. Do as much as you like, and when you are ready to stop, the kind craftsmen will give you a set of chopsticks that they have ready and waiting.
Another wood working activity is planning your very own cutting board. A fun experience and practical results!
Choose your own bowl and try whisking the tea yourself or watch the tea ceremony instructor at work! After enjoying an intricately decorated sugary sweet to help cancel out the bitterness of the tea, I enjoyed a nice hot cup of freshly whisked matcha. Admire the various tea bowls on display!
Learn the proper techniques for holding the brush and applying the ink then practice away. Your instructor has been doing calligraphy for over a decade and is looking forward to helping you create a meaningful piece of art. After you have practiced, you can do a final piece on a special piece of calligraphy cardboard.
Paper Doll Making
Tanabata or Star Festival, held on July 7, is a special festival based on a Japanese myth of Orihime and Hikoboshi, married deities who neglected their duties upon being wed and were separated by Orihime’s father Tentei as punishment. If they fulfilled their duties, they were allowed to meet once a year on July 7. In general, people write wishes on strips of paper and tie them to the branches of a tree, but in Matsumoto, the tanabata dolls are another tradition. Try making your own unique Matsumoto memento with beautiful Japanese paper.
Choose from an array of summer kimono and helpful staff will assist you with putting it on. Wander the halls to fully enjoy the atmosphere of the traditional Japanese architecture.