What does craftsmanship mean to you

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The Nagiso Traditional Crafts Festival is held every first weekend in November. Along “Straße 256” (国 道 256 号) there are product demonstrations, art objects at special prices, raffles, curry rice on the roadside, flying rice cakes and much more in and in front of the shops.

At first only a few flags gave away something of a festival. Then a crowd formed and artisans in priestly clothing threw mochi rice cakes into the crowd. The otherwise considerate Japanese went on a mochi hunt and I was able to catch one more at the last moment.

But now to the craftsmanship!

The "House of Hinoki Hats" (桧 笠 の 家): With loving patience, a lady weaves one stitch after the other with strips of thin cypress wood. Little by little, with ancient wisdom and technology, a Hinagasa, a light, breathable hat that offers protection from rain and sun and is a very popular souvenir from the region, appears.

Factory tours are carried out and you can also try your hand at a hat.

Specialist shop for chopsticks and wooden jewelry “1046“: Here there are sticks especially for mixing natto beans, these are a little thicker than normal sticks. You can have names or symbols engraved on the auctioned pieces at no extra charge.

 

On the way there are snacks, sweet sake and of course tea everywhere. In the wood shop Yamaichi After shopping you can draw a lot and win, for example, wooden sticks in a Kiso design.

 

 

Art makes you hungry and luckily there are the men in pink who sell soba noodles.

Grilled gohei mochi with miso are also delicious.

 

 

In front of the urushi lacquer shop Kijiya Yamato - Rokuro Woodworks is simmering curry rice on an old oven by the wayside.

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The whole area is colored in beautiful rose gold and a walk is worth it.

During the street festival, the ryokans, thermal spring baths, but also gas stations offer discounts.

 

Directions:

From the Matsumoto train station, the Shinano Express takes about 1 hour to Nagiso (南 木 曽). From there every 2 drives! Hours a bus (Hogami-sen, 保 神 線) in about 20 minutes to Kosuke (幸 助). Here you are relatively in the middle of the Feststraße, with the shops being relatively far apart, which means a lot of walking. So it's best to ask friends with a car if they have time 😉

Link to the event page (only Japanese): http://nagiso.net/index.html