Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Saitama
Population
6,938,004

Saitama Craft Center

Take home a piece of Japanese culture by making washi in the traditional way.

“Like this,” says a man as he shakes a wooden frame with steady, even strokes. The water drains out from the bottom, leaving a thin mulberry bark pulp. This is hosokawa-gami, one of three types of washi (traditional Japanese paper) that has been recognized by UNESCO as a piece of intangible cultural heritage – and it’s only made in Saitama.

While washi is now largely produced in factories, the tradition of handmade washi has been passed down through generations for over 1000 years. Take home a piece of irreplaceable Japanese culture for yourself by making washi in the traditional way at Ogawa’s Saitama Craft Center. You can make bookmarks and postcards or buy rolls of washi and other crafts.

The green rice paddies of Ogawa, Saitama.

Picturesque Ogawa is a popular place for hiking in the summer months. Photo by cyberwonk.

Ogawa’s scenic little town makes for a great escape from the big city, with plenty of hiking trails that let you breathe in fresh mountain air. It’s also the home of the organic farming and permaculture movement in Japan, meaning delicious vegetables are cheap and available everywhere.

Though Ogawa is beautiful in any season, July brings with it the Tanabata Festival, featuring beautiful floats decorated in colorful washi.

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Things To Know

Opening Hours

9:30 – 17:00, closed Mondays.

Entrance Fees

¥300 yen (Children: ¥150).

How To Get There

Address

515 Ōtsuka, Ogawa-machi, Hiki-gun, Saitama-ken 355-0328, Japan

By train

Take the Tobu Tojo line express from Ikebukuro Station for 70 minutes to Ogawamachi Station. From there, take the bus for Ogawa Park Hills and get off at the Dentou Kougei Kaikan Mae stop, just ahead of the Saitama Craft Center.

Where To Stay

HOTEL Espana (Adult Only)
  • Kuroda 1832 Fukaya-Shi, Saitama 369-1244
  • 7.9 km
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Hotel Heritage
  • Oegawa 228 Kumagaya-Shi, Saitama 360-0103
  • 7.1/10
  • 8.7 km
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New Sunpia Saitama Ogose
  • Furuike 700 Iruma-Gun Ogose-Machi, Saitama 350-0401
  • 6.8/10
  • 8.9 km
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Hotel Park Inn (Adult Only)
  • 2116 Ishibashi Higashimatsuyama-Shi, Saitama 355-0072
  • 7.5/10
  • 11.3 km
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