Morioka Tezukuri Mura

The artisans’ village in Iwate

Morioka Tezukuri Mura or Morioka Handi-Works Square is a place dedicated to local craftsmanship on the shores of Lake Gosho, on the western part of Morioka City. This unique facility, whose motto is "see, touch and create", houses about fifteen artisans’ workshops, offering visitors an introduction to Japanese traditional crafts and especially those of Iwate prefecture.

Morioka Tezukuri Mura is divided in three distinctive spaces displaying the local artisans’ crafts. At the entrance is the Exhibition Area, with the Regional Industry Promotion Center including a small museum, a shop and a café. It is also possible to visit Nanbu Magariya, an ancient and genuine house of typical Iwate architecture. Built in the Edo Period (1603-1868), it includes the peasants’ living quarters and a stable for the clan’s horses. Some tools used for agriculture at the time are also on display.

The most interesting and vast space is the Workshop Area. Visitors can discover about fifteen types of local crafts and it is even possible to come into some workshops to have a closer look on the artisans’ working routine. A nice path allows to discover leisurely all the workshops and their related skills:

  • pottery;
  • fabric dyeing (somemono);
  • straw crafting and creation of straw objects;
  • wood crafting;
  • loom weaving;
  • cups decoration;
  • bamboo crafting;
  • weaving of dried flowers wreath;
  • kokeshi dolls painting;
  • spinning top crafting; and
  • making of reimen noodles.

Some workshops offer introductory sessions for children and adults, but it is strongly advised to have a minimum knowledge of Japanese language as most of the artisans don’t speak English. Foreign visitors are nonetheless warmly welcomed and for some of the more practical workshop, such as cooking, copying the artisans’ simple moves is enough to get satisfactory results.

The most popular activities are the making of senbei rice crackers, or cold reimen noodles from buckwheat, potato and sweet potato flour. Another group of kind artisans teaches the aizome indigo dyeing and proposes to dye a fine cotton cloth – somemono - ornamented with the patterns you like. It is also possible to create a wooden object like a kokeshi doll or a spinning top.

Some workshops are only for demonstration due to high-level skills involved or a time-consuming fabrication process. This is the case of the traditional cast iron kettle teapot workshop, for example. It is easy to be charmed by the timeless atmosphere, immersed in the old French songs the artisans listen to when working.

Most of the objects crafted in the workshops are on sale in the last section, dedicated to shopping and souvenirs. Morioka Tezukuri Village, with its various and open workshops, is the ideal place for Japanese craftsmanship amateurs.

This article was written after a tour organized and sponsored by Iwate prefecture. Kanpai has been invited and guided but keeps a total freedom of editorial content.
Review this place
4/5 (2 votes)
Kanpai's opinion

Morioka Tezukuri Mura photo gallery

  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Traditional Workshop
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Fabric dyeing workshop
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Fabric dyeing workshop 2
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Fabric dyeing workshop 3
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Fabric dyeing workshop 4
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Fabric dyeing workshop 5
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Somemono Dyed Fabric
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Wood Crafting Workshop
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Dyed Fabric shop
  • Morioka Tezukuri Mura, Straw crafted objects shop

Information

Use Google Maps
Enlarge map
View the whole map of Japan

How to get to Morioka Tezukuri Mura

From Morioka JR Station: ~25 to 30 minutes by Iwateken Kotsu JR bus , stop at Tezukurimura-mae, bound for Tsunagi Onsen or Oshuku Onsen

Location unreachable with the JR Pass

Get there with a rental car

Admission

Access to the village: free

Museum: ¥100 (~US$ 0.90)

Workshop: from ¥1,200 (~US$ 11.10) to ¥3,600 (~US$ 20.30) for a 20 minutes to one hour workshop (ask on site for workshops schedule)

Get your Japanese Yens free of charge

Opening hours

Open every day from 8:40 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Annual closing from December 29 to January 1

How long / when to visit

One hour to a full day when taking part to several workshops

In Japanese

盛岡手づくり村

Other name(s)

Morioka Handi-works Square

Morioka Handmade Village

Internet connection

Stay connected with a Pocket Wifi in Japan

Related topics

Resources

Official Page on Iwate Tourism Information Website (in English)

Official Website (in Japanese)

Q&A

Kotaete

Ask a question

Travel Companions

Isshoni

Search for companions