Tuesday, May 31, 2016

(Japan Feb 2016) Day 5 Visit Yunokuni no mori handicraft village. Stay Kanazawa

(Day 5) 21 Feb 2016: Visit Yunokuni no mori. Stay Kanazawa

Brief schedule for this day:
0740-1030 (train was delayed by about 30mins) Osaka to KagaOnsen via Ltd Exp Thunderbird train 
Deposit luggage at information counter of the shopping mall next to KagaOnsen station 
1056-1104 KagaOnsen to Awazu via JR Hokuriku line train 
Took 10mins taxi from Awazu station to Yunokuni no mori
Visit Yunokuni no mori
Took 10mins taxi from Yunokuni no mori to Awazu station
1613-1621 Awazu to KagaOnsen via JR Hokuriku line train
Pick up luggage. and then run like hell to catch the next train
1628-1653 KagaOnsen to Kanazawa via Ltd Exp train
Check in hotel and deposit luggage
Walk to nearby shopping mall for dinner
Walk back to hotel and called it a night, since the hubby was having a fever by then.

This is the 2nd day of our 7 days JR railpass usage, and on this day, we are leaving Osaka and heading for this handicraft village called Yunokuni no mori near Kaga Onsen, that's located somewhere between Osaka and Kanazawa.

From Osaka, we took the 1st Ltd Exp train departing Osaka and headed towards Kaga onsen and Kanazawa.  While walking to Osaka station in the morning, we stopped by the convenience store to buy some drinks and food so that we can have our breakfast on the long train ride.
Our breakfast. Onigiri (rice balls).  The 7-eleven's fried rice onigiri is my absolute favourite.  I always eat that whenever I see those.
 After arriving at Kaga Onsen station, we went to the shopping mall next to the station to deposit our luggage bag at the information counter in the mall (since all the lockers at the station was full).
From Kaga Onsen station, there are 2 ways to reach Yunokuni no mori.
1) Take the CAN Loop bus which takes about 35-40mins bus journey from Kaga Onsen station to Yunokuni no mori direct.
2) Take a short train ride from Kaga onsen to Awazu station (trains on this line have infrequent departure timings though), and then catch a short 10mins cab ride from the station to Yunokuni no mori. 

We went with option 2, because after my planning, it seems like the loop bus option will make us reach Yunokuni no mori slightly later than if we went with Awazu.
Arriving at Yunokuni no mori. 

Admission fees into Yunokuni no mori.

There are some lockers here at the entrance of Yunokuni no mori.

Map of the place

Even though the place is entirely outdoors, but they provide umbrellas if it rains.

There are many handicraft experiences that u can try during your visit here.  
Offhand, I could think of music box making, gold lacquer inlaid, soba making, paper making, sandblasting on glass, candle making...etc...
Bear in mind though, the staff don't really speak much English. 
My husband and I were able to understand simple Japanese therefore we survived the day.

Our 1st stop, gold lacquer inlaid experience. 
This is what we did. 
There were a few variety of items that you can choose to carve your design on, and the cheapest is chopsticks I think. 1080yen.  
The 4 of us all chose bowls, therefore it is around 3000+ yen each.
It took us nearly 1hr since there were more surface area for bowls rather than chopsticks.

So, to explain briefly, here are the steps:
1) Use the pointy tool to practice your carving on the black rectangular panel.  The instructor explain to us that there's a certain angle to it. Carving too deep and too shallow is not good.  The depth of your carving is only good if see the red layer beneath the black. (sorry, I seriously don't really know how to explain this part more accurately).
2) Use pencil to draw your design on your chopstick/bowl.  If you are drawing on a bowl, u can use the cushion to rest your bowl on while you draw.
3) There are some pattern books which u can use to give you some ideas on what to draw on your chopstick/bowl.
4) Once u are sure with the design you drew on your chopstick/bowl, start using the pointy tool to carve the design. 
5) Once it is done, bring your chopstick/bowl to the instructor, and he will help you brush gold dust over your design.
6) He will then show you a English instructions paper that informs you not to use the chopstick/lacquer for about 1 week.
7) Once that's done, you can pay him in cash, or if you are using credit card, you will have to tell him and he will ask you to pay at the cashier.

The workshop room
My station.  A pencil, a pointy tool, a practice panel, a cushion, and a plain bowl.

1 of the sample design books.
Another sample design book.

Start practising our carvings.

1 side of my bowl. I tried to carve a sakura design, since we were planning to see sakura on this trip. 

The instructor helping us coat our carved designs with gold dust.

My sakura is now gold :)
English explanations on why we should wait 1 week before using our bowls/chopsticks.

The workshop room.  We were just able packing up and ready to leave.

These gold flakes are edible it seems.

This place is so picturesque. 

painting over the plates.

Some activities requires a few weeks before they will mail you the finished product.  And you will have to pay extra for the mailing charges.  So check if you can bring home your item on the day itself before you do any of the activities. 
Usually, the ones that involves pottery, ceremics....will not allow you to bring home your item on the day itself.

They have Doriyaki (1080yen) and Biscuit making (1080yen) experiences too.

This is painting on lacquer products.  Since we already did something similar earlier, so we skipped this.

And this is Music Box making.
The range of music available for the music box making experience.

Gold leaf experience

Sandblasting on glass experience

Candle making experience

Out of the sudden, it started to hail.  Solid ice particles keep dropping from the sky.
It was my first time experiencing this.
Not long after, it became heavy rain.

This pottery experience will also require them to mail you the finished product instead of allowing you to bring it home on the same day.

I bought 1 of these bowls with handle.  It's cute.

Paper-making experience.

Making soba.

Oh, FOOD!  Finally! We were all starving by now.

The paper-making corner I think.
 Finally, it's time for lunch.

Tea Ceremony experience.

Time to leave Yunokuni no mori.

From Yunokuni no mori, we took a short 10mins cab ride to Awazu station, and then took another short train ride to Kaga Onsen station, where we collected our luggage bags, and then took a Ltd Exp train to Kanazawa.

Kanazawa station.

There is an interesting mini water fountain in front of Kanazawa station, that tells time, and greets visitors with welcoming messages in English and Japanese.

Time to check in to our hotel room, located just across from Kanazawa station. 
Our room.

Our view of Kanazawa station, taken from our room window.
After a short break at our room, we headed out to a shopping mall next to Kanazawa station for our dinner.

Forus shopping mall, located next to Kanazawa station.

Our dinner. :)

Due to the rain which we encountered the previous day at Miyajima, my husband developed a fever by evening time of this day.  

Go to previous entry: Day 4 Visit Miyajima


  1. Hi your dinner looks yummy. Can share the name of restuarant if it is worth recommending. Thanks

    1. It was a restaurant inside the Forus shopping mall just outside Kanazawa station.

  2. Thanks for the prompt reply. :)

  3. Hi Samantha, I am planning to visit Yunokuni no mori and stay in Kanazawa as well. It will be great if you can share Kanazawa hotel that you guy stayed. Thank so much and keep up the good work. Your blog is full of useful informations about Japan. Thumbs up to you Samantha!

    From Honey Lamb