Japanese Culture Experience Days at Kurassic-kan in September
Come to Kurassic-kan on Wednesday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 23 between 10:00 and 16:00 to enjoy special Japanese cultural activities, plus get a free gift for participating! Here you can try your hand at various traditional arts, crafts, and other activities (mostly for free!) including:
- Origami – the art of paper folding where you can create colorful figures out of paper
- Japanese calligraphy – write your name in Japanese and favorite kanji characters
- Tea ceremony/Matcha green tea making – experience the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and learn how to make matcha, a special kind of green tea
- Japanese paper fan decorating – decorate your own folding paper fan just the way you like and keep yourself cool the rest of the summer
- Traditional Japanese toys – try out old-fashioned Japanese toys like the koma (spinning tops), kendama (a kind of cup and ball game), takeuma (stilts), and more
- Sake tasting – try a specially brewed sake made just for the Nakamachi area!
- Kimono wearing/rental – choose from your favorite design and walk around Matsumoto in a kimono (fee required)
- Rickshaw rides – enjoy a fun ride through Nakamachi on a rickshaw! (fee required)
- Ninja experience – learn cool ninja skills like how to shoot darts using a blowgun (fee required)
(*Activities may be subject to change)
After participating in the activities, fill out a short survey to get a free gift – a roll of specially designed masking tape decorated in the characteristic “namako-kabe” pattern, which is the black and white crisscross pattern found on the walls of many of the old buildings in Nakamachi.
The name namako-kabe has an interesting origin, coming from the word for “sea slug” (namako) and walls (kabe). If you look closely at actually pattern on the buildings when walking around the town, you’ll notice that the crisscross patterns are made up of rounded, embossed lines that supposedly look like sea slugs, which have a similar cylindrical shape. Although this pattern makes the buildings quite beautiful, it also had practical applications too, as it helped protect them against fire, strong winds, and rain. The namako-kabe masking tape will make a fun souvenir to remind you of your time in Nakamachi!
New Nakamachi guide map, website, and shop signs in English!
Finding your way around Nakamachi Street just got a whole lot easier with Nakamachi’s new guide map, website in English with a shop directory, and soon-to-be-finished shop signs in English that will posted in front of every shop so you will know exactly what kind of place it is.
Nakamachi Guide Map in paper form will be distributed soon, but until then you can download a PDF version here.
Check out the new English version of Nakamachi’s website here to learn more about its history, what events and sights there are to see, and find shops & restaurants with the handy, searchable shop list. You can also download the guide map from the website, too.
English shop signs are also coming soon and will be posted in front of each shop. These signs will let you know what kind of shop or restaurant it is, whether there is Wi-Fi available or not, if credit cards can be used, which restaurants allow or don’t allow smoking, and more. Keep an eye out for them in the upcoming months!