Woodcarving Workshop & World Heritage Walk

1 Day / 1 Night

  Inami - Gokayama

1 Day / 1 Night

Woodcarving Workshop & World Heritage Walk

  Inami - Gokayama

Explore Japan’s artistic heritage and fairy-tale countryside in one day on this full-day tour. Visit the well-known woodcarving town of Inami and learn about this long-standing handicraft whilst admiring the masterpieces of the skilful craftsmen. Create a personal wooden sake cup – the perfect companion for an ensuing sake tasting – and finish the journey in the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage village of Ainokura, a rural hamlet comprised of traditional thatched farmhouses and spectacular mountain scenery. 

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the famous woodcarving town of Inami and admire the intricately carved decorations adorning Zuisenji Temple
  • Carve a personal, wooden sake cup and take it on a sake tasting tour  
  • Wander through the historic village of Ainokura and get a peek into rural life in Japan  

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • English-speaking guide
  • Private vehicle
  • Wooden Sake cup workshop
  • Sake brewery visit and sake tasting
  • Entrance fee
  • Toll and parking fees

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Woodcarving Workshop & World Heritage Walk

DAY 1 - Woodcarving Workshop & World Heritage Walk

Get a glimpse of Japan’s traditional and rural side on this full-day tour in the Toyama Prefecture.

Depart from Takayama and travel to Inami by private car. Having made a name for itself as Japan’s woodcarving capital, the town is home to over 120 workshops and 300 craftsmen - a great destination to witness the traditional craft. Stroll along Yokamachi Street, glimpsing sculptors at work and admiring the impressive handiwork at the numerous workshops lining the stone-paved street.  

Continue walking until reaching Zuisenji Temple. Set up at the turn of the 14th century by the famous head monk, Saint Shakunyo, the Buddhist temple is regarded as the birthplace of Inami woodcarving tradition. Take in the intricately carved decorations before joining the guild and getting hands-on in a woodcarving workshop. Learn how to use the chisel and carve a beautiful, wooden sake cup. More than a unique souvenir – this personal masterpiece comes in handy as the tour continues to a sake brewery for a tasting of the beloved fermented rice beverage.

After this unique insight into Japan’s woodcarving tradition, travel to the historical village of Ainokura. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the quaint village is surrounded by a spectacular mountain scenery and comprises nearly 20 thatched farmhouses, built in traditional Gassho-zukuri style. Take a stroll through the charming countryside village, capturing the awe-inspiring views along the way, and stop by a folk museum to learn about the iconic architecture style.

Take a last deep breath in the tranquil atmosphere of the countryside before travelling to Kanazawa, marking the end of the tour.  

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