Takaoka Crafts at Nousaku
The city of Takaoka has been at the heart of Toyama’s crafts for 400 years as the producer of over 90％ of the nation’s bronze and a whole host of other metalworks. A trip to Takaoka should include a visit to popular crafts brand Nousaku’s center where visitors can learn more about the production through workshops, factory tours and a break in the open space cafe and shop.
While the roots of Takaoka’s craftsmanship may be old and traditional, the recently moved Nousaku crafts center offers a stylish space that melds traditional processes with a modern and sophisticated look to achieve an updated version of Takaoka’s iconic crafts. Despite the theme of modernity, family-run Nousaku has been in business since 1916 when it kicked off with the sale of Buddhist altars, tea ceremony sets and vases. The company now sells everything from lighting and accessories to wind bells and sophisticated tableware used in hotels and restaurants.
Over the centuries, copper production developed to the silver tones of tin which is now a Nousaku speciality. The Nousaku Lab on the ground floor offers the opportunity to create your own works of art from tin using the traditional sand casting method. Pick from six items including paperweights and sake cups, for which tin is said to be one of the best materials for keeping your sake cool and fresh tasting. After creating a mold from sand, the tin is heated at 240 degrees and poured into the sandcast to produce the solid tin form.
As well as cooking up your own creations, you can see how the professionals do it with a free tour of one or both of the in-house factories. While molds were originally created out of sand, clay and water, as demonstrated in the workshop, Nousaku developed an easy, eco-friendly method using silicon casts which are used in the factories. Nousaku has become a popular brand name producing consistently high quality, stylish items which are produced in the Nousaku building in Takaoka and shipped out to popular department stores around the country as well as overseas.
At the center of the open space is the Factory Shop which boasts shelves of tin and brass pieces including delicate jewelry and even champagne glasses. This is the place to get your hands on limited items exclusive to the Takaoka center which include the likes of wagashi sweets served in tin holders.
See the Nousaku creations put to use at Imono Kitchen, the in-house cafe, a comfortable space for lunch where a mix of western and Japanese dishes created from local ingredients are served up in instagrammable Nousaku tin tableware.
Unfortunately Nousaku’s new location is notoriously difficult to find hidden among a number of office buildings in a small business district outside of the city called Office Park. Be sure to get the new address from the official website before heading there by car or bus. The bus runs from the center of town and drops you at the other end of Office Park. A 10-minute walk to the opposite end will find you with the red-roofed Nousaku building on the right.
- Facility Name
- Takaoka City Office Park 8-1 in Toyama Prefecture
- Information Sources:
- NAVITIME JAPAN