The village of Obara, near Toyota City, is famous for two main attractions. One is the special Shiki-zakura, a cherry tree that blooms in spring, and again in the peak of autumn, when the other trees are showing their brightest orange and red leaves, giving you the chance to enjoy Japan’s famed cherry blossom and autumn leaves at the same time.
( Cherry blossom and autumn leaves together )
The other attraction, enjoyable year round, is the traditionally hand-made washi paper, made since the 1400’s from the pulp of the Kozo mulberry tree.
Japanese washi paper is the strongest paper in the world, and Obara’s washi is among the best. The paper was used for traditional shoji sliding paper screen doors, umbrellas, folding fans, folding screens, also for writing, wrapping gifts, paper craft and hundreds of other uses.
( Obara’s famed washi paper has been used for hundreds of items over hundreds of years )
At the Obara Paper Art Museum, Washi-no-Furusato, you can enjoy the various types of paper made, along with products and art created using the traditional paper. Set aside an hour or two and for a small fee, make your own decorative Hasuki paper, calligraphy art, painting or even a traditional uchiwa fan. If you don’t have the time to make it yourself, Obara paper products and souvenirs are available too!
The garden surrounding the facility makes for an enjoyable walk as you wait for your masterpiece to dry, or for collecting leaves to set in your artistic paper.
Chris Glenn is a bilingual radio DJ, TV presenter, producer, narrator, MC, copywriter, author and columnist, and Japanese historian, specializing in samurai castles, battles, armor and weapons. He is an inbound tourism advisor, and is often called upon as a lecturer and speaker on Japanese history and topics. He was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1968, and has spent over half his life in Japan, most of that time in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Chris is dedicated to promoting and preserving Japans’ long history, deep culture, traditions, arts and crafts.