-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
Takumi no Sato (たくみの里, literally means “a masters village”) is an unique tourist spot in which the tourism industry and the agricultural community come together.
I like this spot, and it was my second visit. I went there when I was in Sarugakyo year before last, too.
It’s located in Sugawa (須川) area close to Sarugakyo hot spring resort in Minakami Town, Gunma Prefecture. Sugawa was an once-flourishing post station of Mikuni Kaidou (三国街道), an ancient highway.
In Takumi no Sato, tourist facilities are scattered about in the village where locals actually live and do farming. There are over 50 facilities including craft studios (体験工房), farmers markets (農産物販売所), food-processing centers (農産物加工センター), restaurants, and pick-your-own farm shops (観光農園).
Visitors can participate in various workshops to make crafts in the studios: washi(Japanese paper)-making (和紙漉き), indigo dyeing (藍染), bamboo weaving (竹細工), pottery throwing (陶芸), straw work (わら細工), cloisonne work (七宝焼き), glass etching (ガラス細工), and so on.
Cooking workshops are also available: Japanese soba and udon noodles making (そば、うどん打ち), apple pie making (アップルパイ作り), Japanese pickle making (漬物作り), and konjac (devil's tongue) making (こんにゃく作り). My friend, her mom and I made soba noodles. I will blog about that next time.
Not all, but many facilities are run by villagers, and that’s another fun aspect about the spot.
Hours: Most workshops open 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from November to March)
Closed: Varies. Workshops are closed one weekday per week and over New Year holidays (depends on facilities). Conversely, they are open on weekends and national holidays (except New Year).
Admission: Free (workshop fees vary)
More English Information: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7466.html