Kansai's traditional crafts 関西の工芸品

Exceptional workmanship: discovering the craftsmen of Kansai

Japan Experience showcases Kansai craftsmanship through a selection of 6 protected traditional craft industries. Discover the craftsmanship and exceptional work of this region which was at the heart of political and cultural life for more than 1,000 years.

Shiga Prefecture

  • Shigaraki-yaki (信楽焼)

A type of ceramic made since the Tenpyo era (729-749) in Shigaraki, a city recognized as a Nihon Rokkoyo, one of the six most important traditional ceramic production centers in Japan. Particularly resistant thanks to the sandy clay of Lake Biwa from which it is made, it has rather warm tones (orange to red).

Nowadays, a wide variety of everyday objects are made using this technique: teapots, tiles, vases, tableware, and also ornaments.

  • Shigaraki Pottery Industry Cooperative
  • Address: 985 Shigarakicho Eda, Koka, Shiga 529-1811
  • Phone. : 0748-82-0831

15th century Shigaraki-yaki


Among the fifty or so methods of shibori (tie-dyeing), Kyo-kanoko shibori has been considered since the Edo period (1603-1868) to be the most elegant.

  • Kyo-kanoko shibori promotion cooperative
  • Address: Kyozomekai 5F, 481 Toroyamacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8225
  • Phone. : 075-255-0469
  • More information on the association's website

Buddhist priest's mantle on which the small white circles were obtained by kanoko shibori.


The most frequently performed types of Osaka-ranma are chokoku-ranma and sukashibori-ranma; the first being a carved panel reproducing a three-dimensional decoration and the second presenting scrolled motifs.

  • Osaka-ranma Handicraft Cooperative
  • Address: 1-4-26 Torikai Honcho, Settsu-shi, Osaka, 566-0052
  • Phone. : 072-646-8470



Ranma are decorative wooden panels

Motohiro Takayama

Even today, baskets, bags, baskets, suitcases, and boxes are produced in Toyooka using the original techniques, namely six different types of basic weaving, 33 types of interlayer weaving, and 18 different finishes.

  • Hyogo Prefectural Cooperative
  • Address: 1362 Akaishi, Toyooka City, Hyogo 668-0801
  • Phone: 0796-23-3821

Toyooka-kiryu-zaiku baskets

Hyogo prefecture

Be aware that Takayama chasen is often only used once! The chasen that have become unusable is then burned in Buddhist temples during an annual ceremony called chasen koyo. A 500-year-old tradition!

  • Takayama Chasen Production Cooperative of Nara Prefecture
  • Address: 6421 Takayamacho, Ikoma City, Nara 630-0101
  • Phone. : 0743-71-3808
  • More information on the association's website





Takayama chasen

Koumei Matcha

For further proof of the high quality of the Kishu Tansu, it would be the use of this furniture in the refurnishing of Wakayama Castle in 1850 following the fire of 1846 in which most of the furniture had disappeared, unfortunately.

  • Kishu-tansu Production Cooperative of Wakayama Prefecture
  • Address: 23-23 Nanchicho, Wakayama, Wakayama 640-8511
  • Phone: 073-435-1233
  • More information on the association's website

Kishu-tansu from Wakayama (detail)


Latest Articles

L'artisanat traditionnel du Tohoku - les poupées Kokeshi

Traditional Arts & Crafts of Tohoku

Located north of the main island of the Japanese archipelago, the northern part of Honshu known as Tohoku has its own cultural identity and traditions passed down from generations for years.

Summer in Japan: Furin

5 tips for surviving the Japanese summer

With its temperatures reaching 40°C in the sun and its humidity... the Japanese summer can be unbearable when you are confronted with it for the first time.

Torii Gates

Shinto & Shrines

A guide for travellers to Japan on Shintoism and visiting shrines with information sourced from a 17th generation Shinto Priestess. 

See All (368)