Iyashi no Sato stands on the site of a former farming village on the western shores of Lake Saiko. The village was destroyed by a typhoon in 1966. Forty years later the village’s traditional thatched roofed houses were reconstructed and reopened as an open air museum and traditional craft village where people can learn about the culture and try out and purchase various local handicrafts. Village is surrounded by Aokigahara Forest, known as the Suicide Forest as well. Also, during a sunny day, from Iyashi no Sato you can see the top of Mt. Fuji, but when I was there, it was too cloudy for seeing anything. Walking around the Iyashi no Sato makes you feel like time turned back to the Showa period. It’s really worth seeing!
Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons in Japan. Instead of Mt. Fuji view, I watched thatched roofed houses in surrounding of autumn red-colored leaves. Because of soon coming Halloween, village was decorated with many pumpkin accessories. What especially attracted my atention, were plants called ‘kikoa’. They are these dense, pink plants in the picture below. Thatched roofed houses and space arrangement around make that it’s really easy to feel the atmosphere of village from the old times. Besides admiring architecture of village huts, you can come inside the houses, where you can enjoy many different attractions. The first house I came in was called ‘Seseragiya’. Inside, you can try to make a card with your own drawwing, during listening of relaxing river’s burble. Also, during a weekend you can watch a performance of local crafter making bamboo draining baskets.
Then I came to the next house, where visitors can deal with creating many various types of ceramic dishes, figures and accessories. Crafter, that I met there encouraged me to create ceramic owl, that is one of the easiest thing to make there. The man explained me basics and I started to model the owl. At the end, to make my work more individual, I added some original elemnts to the model, like a hut. I was so much fun!
The most popular and the most crowded house was portrait studio, where you can get dressed in kimono or samurai armour. People couln’t wait to wear these traditional japanese clothes and make photo sessions. Right next to the house, there is ‘Fujimi Bridge’, where people go to pose to photographies in the background of old cottage huts. I picked the favourite pattern of kimono and got dressed by woman from the staff as well. I felt like a very important person in that costume and imagined for a moment how did it feel to wear it every single day.
Except of houses, where you can create some local crafts, many huts are adapted to art galerries, where you can watch exhibitions of paintings, photographies and old household accessories. For person, who is into art, like me, this is really great place to visit! After sightseeing we went to see the Saiko Lake with the hope, that we will see some great autumn view there, but it was still to early for the most spectacular autumn leaves. However, we uncovered a few great places with autumn view.
Iyashi no Sato is really great tourist spot with many interesting facilities. If you want to drop in to every hut, sightseeing will take a long time, but I’m sure, that you will not get bored! Due to the number of houses onsite, you can easily spend a nice day here. Besides many attractions, you can try there local specialities of high quality. If you will be in surroundings of Fuji Five Lakes, let’s come here!
|Name||Saiko ‘Iyashi no sato NENBA’|
|Address||2710, Saiko, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi|
|Open houres||Between March to November : from 9:00 to 17:00
between December to February : 9:30 to 16:30
close: Wednesdays during December to February
|Price||Adults 350 yen
Children 150 yen
|Access||From Kawaguchiko Station take Retro Bus Saiko, Aokigahara Line to ‘Inoukyou (farm co-op)’ or ‘Iyashinosato Nenba village’, or route bus for ‘Saiko guest house village’ or ‘Nenba Minshuku’ or ‘Gyominsou-mae’|
*Please check for the latest information before visiting.
* This article was written by a trainee from overseas. Please note that there might be spelling and grammar mistakes.