Japanese Paper & String: Hisakata Washi & Iida Mizuhiki

7 hours


Price: ¥ 18,600 above
(tax included)

Guided / Self-guided

Start / Finish
Nagano / Nagano

7 hours

Activity Level

Technical Level


  • A friendly local guide from the Hisakata Washi Association will guide you.
  • You may visit mulberry fields owned by the Hisakata Washi Association.
  • When making mizuhiki, you will learn about “kasane no iro”, the meanings behind traditional Japanese color schemes. Choose
    cords in your favorite colors (or those of the person you are sending your greeting card to) to make it more personal!
  • Through this program, you will experience a variety of traditional technics such as paper making (“suku”), folding (“oru”), and tying
    (“musubu”). The “mizuhiki” decorations you make can be attached to your greeting cards.
  • This program is available all year round.


This unique traditional craft experience is inspired by the Japanese ideal of “yui”, or unity. You will make Japanese washi paper (“suku”), fold it (“oru”) and tie (“musubu”) the mizuhiki decorative cords to make your very own greeting cards.

The district of Hisakata in Iida is located on the banks of the Tenryu River, the symbol of the Ina Valley. Washi paper has been produced in the area for the last 350 years. Thanks to an abundance of water and an ideal climate, washi production thrived. The washi was twisted and glued into cords called “motoyui”. Motoyui made in Iida became known for its strength and durability and it was commonly used for hair styling. Sumo wrestlers and geisha among others styled their hair using Iida motoyui.
Washi production in Hisakata took place during the winter months. Amid the bitterly cold winters, farmers made washi to generate additional income. During the peak of washi production, every household in the
Shimo-Hisakata district was involved in some way or form in the washi production process.

Due to the introduction of western paper and changing lifestyles, washi production gradually declined. “Mizuhiki” are decorative cords tied into intricate shapes. They are commonly attached to gifts to decorate them. Different shapes and colors hold different meanings. As motoyui cords became obsolete due to rapidly changing hairstyle trends, Iida’s producers switched to making mizuhiki. Its delicate and beautiful designs are highly acclaimed all over the world.

“Connecting people, heart to heart” – this is the Japanese ideal of “yui”. It’s existed for hundreds of years and is also the symbol of Iida Mizuhiki. Guided by members of the Hisakata Washi Association, a group dedicated to passing on the tradition of Hisakata washi to future generations, and representatives of Sekijima Mizuhiki Store, winners of the Cool Japan Award 2019, you will enjoy not only making Japanese traditional handicrafts but also a feeing of “yui.” Pass on this “yui” to your friends and family by sending them the greeting cards that you make!

Activity Level

  • Even those with limited physical fitness abilities will have no problem participating.

Technical Level

  • The guide will help you with all the steps.

Price Per Person


Clothing/Wha to bring

  • Comfortable clothing

Included in the fee

  • Japanese guide fee
  • English-speaking guide fee
  • Experience fee

Not included in the fee

  • Transportation to/from the meeting point
  • Insurance (please purchase travel insurance in your own country), anything else not specified in “what is included” above.
    (The bank transfer fees are responsibility of the participants)



Event Duration

About 7 hours

Distance / Elevation


Age / Height:

No restriction (Please let us know, however, if your group includes small children)

Meeting Point

Hisakata Washi-no-Sato Paper Workshop
(20 min. walk from Dashina Station on JR Iida Line)

Disbanding Point

Hisakata Washi-no-Sato Paper Workshop

Program Availability



4 – 12 people

Application Deadline

30 days in advance

Agent Name

Minami Shinshu Tourism Bureau


Between 09:30 ~ 16:30
(Your itinerary can be arranged
according to your request)

Cancellation Policy

■ Fees in case of cancellation on behalf of the customer

  • Cancellation on or after the 10th day from the day immediately preceding the starting day of the tour: 20% of the tour price.
  • Cancellation on or after the 7th day from the day immediately preceding the starting day of the tour: 30% of the tour price.
  • Cancellation the day immediately before the starting day of the tour: 40% of the tour price.
  • In cases where the contract is cancelled on the starting day of the Tour: 50% of the tour price.
  • Cancellation after the start of the tour or the traveler does not participate in the tour without notice (no show): 100% of the tour price.

■ Cancellation at the discretion of the organizer

  • In the case of the tour being cancelled by the organizer, no cancellation fees will apply.
  • In case of cancellation due to bad weather, we will contact you the day before the tour.
  • Depending on the weather conditions once the tour begins, the route may be changed or the tour may be cancelled. No refunds will be given in this case.

Interested in our tour?
No second thoughts, contact us.

We have been having many requests from agents overseas, mentioning that they are trying to expand their destinations in/to Japan or they have already but need help creating the itineraries for their clients to keep up with the demand.

Heartland Japan has increased the number of staff to accommodate these requests. If you are hand-full and need some advice, we are here to help.

For more information about this experience program, We will coordinate with local suppliers on dates, prices, and details of the program. We will coordinate with local suppliers on dates, prices, and details of the program and provide the program to you.

Please contact us for more information. We look forward to providing you with a unique and immersive experience in the region!

For this experience program, please inquire with our company each time. We will coordinate with local suppliers to arrange the schedule, fees, and detailed content for you. Please start by contacting us.

Look forward to a unique, immersive local experience!

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