Makie Painting Lacquerware Experience at Suzuzen

Makie Painting Lacquerware Experience at Suzuzen

Suzuzen was established in 1832 as a lacquerware wholesale shop. Not only can visitors see process of lacquerware being finished using gold and silver dusted designs called 'Makie', but visitors can also have the opportunity to design their own lacquered product using Makie design techniques, which is perfect to take home as a souvenir. Booking & More Information

Suzuzen is made up of 6 kura (Japanese-style warehouses), which have been renovated. The Suzuzen warehouses include a gallery featuring pieces by contemporary artists who use lacquer in their work, and a cafe which is open for lunch. English-language signs also make the history of lacquer in Aizu accessible for overseas visitors.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://suzuzen.com/facility/taiken/(Japanese)
Contact

Suzuzen

(+81) 242-22-0680

Best SeasonAll Year
Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (4:00 PM for Makie experience)

Closed: New Year's Day

ParkingFree parking available (Space for 25 cars and 4 large buses)
Entrance FeeFrom 1,900 yen per person for Makie experience.
Related infoAllow at least 1 hour for the Makie experience. Reservations can be made in advance through this link: https://book.fukushima.travel/products/9c69dd94-c5bf-5165-ab6b-23d8db42991c?lng=en-US

The Makie experience is available for groups of 2 or more people.

On-site cafe is closed on Tuesdays.
Access Details
AccessChuo 1-3-28, Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Pref. 965-0037
View directions
Getting there
  • 15 min on foot from Nanukamachi Station (JR Tadami Line)
  • 10 min walk from Aizuwakamatsu Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line, JR Tadami Line)
  • 25 min on foot from Tsurugajo Castle.

Useful Links

Booking

Aizu Urushi Lacquerware

Try Your Hand at Designing Local Crafts

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The World Glassware Hall
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Makie Painting at Suzutake Workshop

Suzutake workshop tours began in the 1950s as a way of providing families with a chance to learn about the history and artistry of lacquerware. Even today, visitors are able to actually see artisans at work at three key stages of the Aizu lacquerware making process: 1) applying a base layer of unrefined lacquer or astringent liquid to wood; 2) adding additional layers of lacquer in a desired style, and 3) adding hand-drawn delicate designs ('makie') using either colored lacquer or gold and silver power (a technique called 'Sunken gold makie'). Visitors can also take part in a makie-painting experience.

The World Glassware Hall
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Mitsutaya

Mitsutaya is a speciality restaurant with roots dating back to the end of the Edo Period (around 1835). The restaurant is situated in a renovated miso storehouse. It is therefore fitting that the restaurant is famous for a local Aizu meal called 'miso dengaku'. Miso dengaku refers to skewered vegetables and meat which are topped with a miso paste before being cooked over an open flame. The skewers are cooked one by one. Skewer ingredients include konjac, deep-fried tofu, sticky, savory rice balls called 'shingoro mochi', and more. Each small dish is coated in miso for an unforgettable and savory flavor.  

The World Glassware Hall
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Paint Your Own Akabeko

What is 'Akabeko'?The akabeko legend started at Enzoji Temple in Yanaizu Town, in the Aizu region. The construction of this temple began in the year 807, but due to a huge earthquake at the end of the seventeenth century, it had to be repaired in 1617. It was during the reconstruction of the temple that the akabeko became a folk legend.It is said that moving the wood and other supplies necessary for the reconstruction work was incredibly difficult because materials had to be transported from various villages upstream of the Tadami River. The materials were heavy and the journey to the temple was long. Cattle were used to transport materials, but many struggled to bear their loads.Then, out of nowhere, appeared a cow with a red coat. (It should be noted that, in the past, the word ‘red’ was used to describe the color ‘brown’, so it is likely that it was a brown cow.) The red cow supported the other cows and helped the priests who were constructing the temple until it was completed. Then, it suddenly vanished.'Akabeko' means 'red cow' in the local dialect.A number of statues of the cow were built inside the temple grounds so that the people of Yanaizu could express their gratitude to the akabeko.In the years following, there was a range of legends about the akabeko, with stories such as families who owned akabeko being rid of sickness upon stroking the cows. They continued to hold their status of bringers of good luck and strength. Families bought or made akabeko toys for their young children to play with.Akabeko Painting ExperiencesIn recent history, the Aizu tradition of painting akabeko began. It is said that this tradition started as something to do for children visiting Aizu-Wakamatsu City as part of school trips. This was when the story of the Akabeko evolved once more, into its newest papier-mâché form. The stripes on the face and back of the papier-mâché Akabeko are said to represent strength and perseverance.There are a number of workshops in Aizu-Wakamatsu City where you can paint your own Akabeko. Most workshops offer the standard red, white, and black paint. These talismans for good health make very cute and lightweight souvenirs to take home for family and friends – or keep for yourself! Those who prefer to buy a ready-painted Akabeko will be able to find it at most souvenir shops.BookingIf you would like to book an akabeko painting experience at the Tsurugajo Kaikan (a shopping complex located next to Tsurugajo Castle), please access this page.

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Paint Your Own Akabeko
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Paint Your Own Akabeko

What is 'Akabeko'?The akabeko legend started at Enzoji Temple in Yanaizu Town, in the Aizu region. The construction of this temple began in the year 807, but due to a huge earthquake at the end of the seventeenth century, it had to be repaired in 1617. It was during the reconstruction of the temple that the akabeko became a folk legend.It is said that moving the wood and other supplies necessary for the reconstruction work was incredibly difficult because materials had to be transported from various villages upstream of the Tadami River. The materials were heavy and the journey to the temple was long. Cattle were used to transport materials, but many struggled to bear their loads.Then, out of nowhere, appeared a cow with a red coat. (It should be noted that, in the past, the word ‘red’ was used to describe the color ‘brown’, so it is likely that it was a brown cow.) The red cow supported the other cows and helped the priests who were constructing the temple until it was completed. Then, it suddenly vanished.'Akabeko' means 'red cow' in the local dialect.A number of statues of the cow were built inside the temple grounds so that the people of Yanaizu could express their gratitude to the akabeko.In the years following, there was a range of legends about the akabeko, with stories such as families who owned akabeko being rid of sickness upon stroking the cows. They continued to hold their status of bringers of good luck and strength. Families bought or made akabeko toys for their young children to play with.Akabeko Painting ExperiencesIn recent history, the Aizu tradition of painting akabeko began. It is said that this tradition started as something to do for children visiting Aizu-Wakamatsu City as part of school trips. This was when the story of the Akabeko evolved once more, into its newest papier-mâché form. The stripes on the face and back of the papier-mâché Akabeko are said to represent strength and perseverance.There are a number of workshops in Aizu-Wakamatsu City where you can paint your own Akabeko. Most workshops offer the standard red, white, and black paint. These talismans for good health make very cute and lightweight souvenirs to take home for family and friends – or keep for yourself! Those who prefer to buy a ready-painted Akabeko will be able to find it at most souvenir shops.BookingIf you would like to book an akabeko painting experience at the Tsurugajo Kaikan (a shopping complex located next to Tsurugajo Castle), please access this page.

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A little-known treasure, Aizu Hongo pottery (known in Japanese as 'hongo-yaki') is the oldest type of pottery in the Tohoku region. Aizu Hongo pottery's history dates back to the Warring States Period (1467 – 1615), when Ujisato Gamo, leader of the Aizu clan, ordered renovations be made to Tsurugajo Castle. The production of ceramic tiles for the castle roof kick-started the tradition of making pottery in Aizu-Misato Town. During the early 1600s, Masayuki Hoshina (who founded the Matsudaira house) invited ceramic craftsmen to Aizu-Misato from Owari - a region famous for its pottery - in order to increase the skills of locals.It was from this time that Aizu Hongo-yaki production began in earnest. At the peak of its popularity, there were more than 100 potteries in the town. There are currently 13 left, which are centered around Setomachi in Aizu-Misato. The rich variety of wares produced from workshop to workshop is just one of the fascinating things about visiting the area. Aizu-Misato Town is also known for the area's unusual ability to produce both great-quality earthenware and delicate porcelain.Please enjoy taking a look around the various shops, workshops, and kilns, and try making pottery for yourself!

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Aizu Erosoku (painted candles) are sumptuous items that were long-prized among samurai families. Delicate and vivid patterns such as chrysanthemums, plum blossoms, and peonies are painted onto candles made of natural Japan wax extracted from the fruits of lacquer trees. Each candle is still painstakingly painted one by one, and they serve as regal decorations in Shinto and Buddhist ceremonies and weddings. A candle painting experience is available at Ozawa Candle Shop (Reservation required).

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