HYOGO

Incense Workshop and Cultural Walking Tour in the Castle Town, Sasayama

Historical exploration tour in which you walk around a castle town while gaining insight into the Japanese culture of “wa” (harmony)
A historical exploration walking tour in which you walk the castle town around Sasayama Castle, constructed around 400 years ago, with a tour guide providing explanations. The tour will have you creating your own incense in the tradition of kodo (the art of traditional Japanese incense-burning), one of Japan’s three major arts, and going around castle ruins and former samurai residences so you can learn about the lives of people in Japan during the Edo Period. The Kawaramachi Tsumairi Merchant Housing District is even now home to gift shops, restaurants, and more, that utilize buildings constructed 200 years ago. Enjoy an exquisite lunch of soba (buckwheat noodles) while gazing out at the elegant townscape, then head out for some shopping. After the shopping excursion, you’ll go to the Ojiyama Makekirai Inari Shrine, with its many torii gates, where you’ll learn about how shrines came about, how to pray at shrines, and more. At the end of the tour, you’ll be able to sample a rare Japanese sake that is brewed with music playing, for a happy, tipsy finish.
What you'll do
Ⅰ. Make incense and go around castles and former samurai residences, while learning about life in the Edo Period from a tour guide

Sasayama, which thrived as a castle town after the construction of Sasayama Castle 400 years ago, is now known as Little Kyoto, offering a glimpse into what life was like in the Edo Period. Try your hand at making incense in kodo (one of Japan’s three major arts) and go around castles and former samurai residences, alongside a tour guide who will help you imagine what life was like for the people of Japan back then.

Ⅱ. Go shopping and eat lunch on streets home to 200-year old buildings

The Kawaramachi Tsumairi Merchant Housing District is home to gift shops and restaurants that utilize buildings constructed 200 years ago. Enjoy an exquisite soba lunch while gazing out at the elegant townscape, then head out for some shopping. After the shopping excursion, you’ll be able to learn about how shrines came about, how to pray at shrines, and more, at Ojiyama Makekirai Inari Shrine, with its many torii gates.

Ⅲ. Take a tour through a sake brewery and sample some rare Japanese sake brewed with music playing

Finally, you’ll take a tour through Homei Sake Brewery Horoyoi Jokagura (Tipsy Castle Warehouse). Sample some rare Japanese sake brewed by using music to “vibrate” the yeast - a method used by only three breweries in Japan. Finish off the tour by deepening your knowledge of Japanese sake.