Yajiro Kokeshi Mura

Where craftsmen create Kokeshi dolls

By Elena Lisina    - 2 min read

As I was very interested in Japanese dolls, my friend invited me to visit a special place called Yajiro Kokeshi Mura. Firstly, I traveled by shinkansen from Tokyo to Shiroishi-Zao JR station. During my time at the station, I realized that place specialized in Kokeshi dolls as there was the museum of Kokeshi dolls (free of charge) displaying them in a big variety of shape and style. It was just the beginning of a very interesting visit!

Next, we traveled by car and crossed bridges decorated with Kokeshi figurines, which was quite unusual and funny. At Yajiro Kokeshi Mura, I found another museum showing the process of creating a Kokeshi doll and the display of the regional style. I selected about 10 Kokeshi dolls at their shop as the prices were very reasonable and the variety of dolls was amazing. So, I couldn’t stop myself! The shop’s owners were very happy and I received a small Kokeshi doll as a present.

Lastly, we went to see the Kokeshi doll craftsman working at his workshop. The master and his helper were very friendly and hospitable. They offered us green tea and had a good chat even though my Japanese was quite poor. Then the master demonstrated his work. Very quickly he made a souvenir for me – a small spinning top! At the workshop, I could see the master’s collection - Kokeshi dolls created by him and other artists, also different wooden dolls including Russian matryoshka. By the end of our visit the master presented me his work, a small Kokeshi doll with a very delicate painting. I was very happy! I’d like to visit that place once more.

To access: Fukuoka Line on Shiroisi City Bus Castle-kun (¥200  25 min ride to Yajiro Kokeshi-mura)

If one wants to try, the master-class cost is ¥700.

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo!

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