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Experience Japanese culture with “Washi Paper Making”

                                                                                                                                                                           Jan.2019

 

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Hello, I am Ms. A from the Saitama Prefecture Tourism Division.

 

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“Washi (Japanese) paper” is part of traditional Japanese culture. Washi paper has always been made by hand, is durable yet soft, and the letters written on it can last hundreds of years if you carefully preserve it.

 

 

Today I went to Ogawa in order to experience making that “washi paper” myself.

 

 

The “Saitama Traditional Crafts Center” is located 5 minutes by bus from Ogawamachi Station, and is where you can experience making your own original washi paper.

 

 

Pay the entrance fee (300 yen), enter the center, and head for the washi paper factory in the back. You will have to pay a workshop fee (280 yen - 1,050 yen) to the washi paper craftsman based on what kind of paper you want to make.

 

 

I chose the “Assortment Set (4 types of 9 pieces of paper / 1,000 yen) which allows you to make various forms of washi paper at one time.

 

 

First of all, since your sleeves will get wet in the water, we recommend you roll them up.

 

 

The stainless steel square tank in front of you should contain white muddy water. This will be the base of washi paper. Pieces of loose plant fiber drift and dissolve in the water. You will then scoop this up with a fine mesh to make the washi paper.

 

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In order to spread the fibers uniformly, the craftsman stirs it with a pole to agitate and make the plant fibers airy and mixed.

 

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The mesh is very fine like in the picture. It is separated by wooden frames which make the different sized papers.

 

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Hold the netting with the craftsman and dip it into the tank. Lift horizontally while rocking the netting back and forth. Since the plant fibers and water are lifted up together, it seems to be heavy and lopsided, but I tried my best to keep the paper tidy and level.

 

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Turn over the netting that you lifted, put the paper on a flat surface, and add your favorite patterns. I will make my own original decoration with flowers and colored paper.

 

 

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Finally the craftsman finishes up by putting a thin layer of fibers on the decorations.

 

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It takes 3 to 6 hours for washi paper to dry, so you can come to pick it up the next day or send it to your hotel by post the following day.

 

The finished washi paper is very light and has a very good texture. You can also make postcards, coasters, and bookmarks, so be sure to come and experience making washi paper yourself.

 

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The washi paper studio gives tours only. They also have a shop so please take a look.

 

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【Access】

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Take the Tobu Tojo Line and get of at Ogawamachi Station.

 

 

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The ticket gate is one point of passage.

 

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From the station, take the K.K.J. (Kawagoe Sightseeing Bus) bus from bus stop number ① on the right.

 

Get of at the 6th bus stop, “Saitama Traditional Crafts Center”. (190 yen)

 

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Once you get off the bus, you will see the roof of the Traditional Crafts Center across the road.

 

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Address

1220, Ogawa, Ogawa-machi Hiki-gun, Saitama, 355-0321, Japan

Map

Google Map

Open

9:30-17:00

Closed on Monday

Admission fee

300yen

(Experience fee is required separately.)

Experience fee

Assortment set 1,000yen

postcards(8pieces) 900 yen

Signboard(2pieces) 1,050 yen

Strips(4pieces) 900yen

Solid single sheet 280yen

Flowered single sheet 700yen

Heart shaped papers(2pieces) 1,000 yen

Official Web Site

https://www.saitamacraft.com/

(Only Japanese)