Shirakawago & Gokayama

Let’s try making traditional Japanese paper in Ainokura!

yuichiw_en

How was your stay in Shirakawago & Gokayama World Heritage sites? I believe those who’ve visited each village have enjoyed quite a lot. In this article, I would like to suggest one more thing to do in the World Heritage village. Before you go to Kanazawa or Takaoka, you can stop over Ainokura village which also belongs to the World Heritage area. In Ainokura village, you’ll be able to have an experience to make traditional Japanese paper, which is known as washi paper. If you are quite interested in it, you can’t miss it.

How to visit Ainokura village

If you take World Heritage Bus, it is very easy to visit Ainokura village.

Please take the bus from Shirakawago bus terminal or Ainokaze Takaoka station and get off the bus at Ainokura-guchi stop.

It takes about 10 minutes from Ainokura-guchi bus stop to the entrance of Ainokura village.

What is traditional Japanese paper?

Traditional Japanese paper, which is known as “washi”, has a great contrast to Western paper that was introduced from Europe and America, it refers to the paper made from tree bark.

Washi paper is characterized by the fibers which are much longer than Western paper. Washi paper is thin but it is strong and has a relatively long lifespan with a unique texture.

It is usually expensive because it uses rare materials and the productivity is extremely low.

How to make traditional Japanese paper

Washi paper is made from tree bark as the raw material. Let’s see how it is made.

What is washi used for?

Below are the usage of washi paper.

  • Gift
    Washi is considered as a valuable item and can be a gift to someone else to show your respect or gratitude.
  • Housing materials
    In Japan, humidity should be controled. Japanese houses are built with wood, grass, soil and washi paper to control the humidity and temperature.
  • Painting
    Washi was used as a canvas of traditional Japanese drawings called “yamato-e” to make the drawings look more elegant.

 

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ABOUT ME
YUICHI
YUICHI
National Licensed Guide Interpreter / Web Creator
Hi my name is YUICHI. I'm from Toyama city, Japan. I guide foreign tourists with a passion to promote the popularity of Hokuriku & Hida region. I'm a friendly person who like to listen to the story of your country such as food, culture and history. I also like walking, cooking, drinking and traveling.
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