Join us in Nakamachi for a fun Japanese culture experience on Wednesday, September 6 and Saturday, September 23! Try out various traditional Japanese arts, crafts, and plenty of other activities for the whole family including calligraphy, kimono, green tea making, sake tasting, and more. Most activities are free (kimono rental, rickshaw rides, and ninja blowgun require a fee), plus you get a free gift for participating! Download the event flyer (PDF) or see below for details.
- Dates: Sep 6 and Sep 23
- Time: 10 am – 4 pm
- Place: Kurassic-kan (some shops in Nakamachi will also offer special activities during the event)
See a report about Sep 6 here.
Event flyer (PDF)
Activity Program at Kurassic-kan
Origami is Japan’s traditional art of paper folding. Learn how to fold a crane, samurai helmet, kite, ninja star, and more!
Learn how to write your name in Japanese and your favorite kanji character using Japanese brushes and techniques! (Activity time: 30 min)
Japanese Tea Ceremony
The tea ceremony was an important of part of Japanese castle culture and high society. Experience the ceremony in person and try matcha (a special kind of green tea) made in the traditional way. You’ll even get to learn how to make matcha yourself! (Activity time: 30 min)
Folding Fan Decorating
Decorate your very own folding, paper fan and keep yourself cool Japanese-style! Once you’re finished, you get to take your fan home with you. (Activity time: 30 min)
Old-fashioned Japanese Toys
Try out all sorts of old-fashioned and traditional Japanese toys like the kendama (a kind of wooden cup-and-ball game), koma (spinning tops), otedama (a game with small beanbags), takeuma (stilts), and more!
Don’t miss this chance to taste Nakamachi’s original brand sake! This specially made sake is brewed with the natural ground water drawn from Kurassic-kan’s well and rice grown by the residents of Nakamachi themselves. It is brewed at Yoikana, a nearby sake brewery.
Kimono (Yukata) & Ninja Costume Rental
Choose your favorite yukata from a wide variety of designs and patterns, or go ninja style with the cool ninja costumes. Feel free to walk around Nakamachi, got to the castle, or you could even take a ride in the rickshaw! Rent a kimono (yukata) for ¥3,000 or a ninja costume for ¥2,000.
Take a fun and relaxing rickshaw ride around Nakamachi!
1. Nakamachi Street Course: 10-15 min, ¥1,300 (1-2 people)
A short ride and guided tour to the end of Nakamachi Street and back.
2. Nakamachi Street & Metoba Riverside Tour: 20-25 min, ¥2,300 (1-2 people)
Go down Nakamachi Street and the street along the Metoba River.
Ninja Blowgun Activity
Try out your ninja skills with a blow dart gun! You get 10 shots for ¥300.
Did you know that there were ninjas at Matsumoto Castle? The Akutagawa ninja clan was commissioned by the lord of Matsumoto Castle from the 1600s. Kurozaemon, the fourth head of the clan, was exceptionally skilled in the art of ninjutsu, so there are many ninja legends in Matsumoto that still remain today.
Activities at Shops in Nakamachi
Kuriya: Make freshly grated wasabi from real wasabi root. Keep the special wasabi grater and grated wasabi to take home! Sep 6 and 23, from 5 pm. (fee required)
Senri: Japanese wine, sake, amazake, and 100% juice tasting with informative explanation. Sep 6 and 23, from 10 am.
Yamahei: Introduction to local foods, including traditional Nagano foods made with locally grown fruit, honey, and even insects! Sep 23, from 10 am.
Yaguchi: Try wearing geta, a traditional form of Japanese footwear. Sep 6 & Sep 23, from 10 am.
Ihara: Chopsticks and beans game – try moving as many beans from one plate to another with chopsticks as possible. Take the challenge and see how many you can get to the next plate! Sep 6, from 10 am.
Activity 1: Play the konpira fune-fune game, a traditional game played at geisha banquets. Sep 6 & Sep 23, 11:00 – 12:00 (6 people) and 13:00 – 14:00 (6 people).
Activity 2: Learn simple Japanese phrases and words (for guests eating in the restaurant). Sep 6 & Sep 23, 17:30 – 22:00.
Okinado Kura Branch: Try playing the Japanese taiko drum in a traditional, 160-year old storehouse. Also check out the exhibit of wooden confection molds, design books, branding irons, and other traditional tools used in Japanese confection making. Sep 23, from 9 am – 5:30 pm.
Only 6, Sep (finished)
Geiyukan: Learn to play a simple Japanese song on the shamisen, a traditional Japanese music instrument. Sep 6, from 1 pm.
Temariya: Free Japanese tea for visitors to the shop. Sep 6, from 10 am.