Visit Nikko's Craftsmanship Workshop to Experience Historic Techniques

From JPY ¥17,550.00
  • Duration: 190 Minutes (approx.)
  • Location: Nikko, Tochigi
  • Product code: EN-TCG-7256-72561


Nikko carving is said to have originated with a sculptor associated with the construction of Toshogu Shrine in the early 17th century. Learn the value of Nikko carving by experiencing the skills, beliefs, and stories through interactions with the craftsmen, who have inherited techniques through generations.


  • Learn the story of the forestry industry which flourished in the mountains of Nikko from ancient times, the construction of Toshogu Shrine and the craftsmanship involved, which has been woven into the lives of ordinary people. 
  • Visit the workshop of Hirano Kougei (Hirano Craftshop), run by Hideko Hirano and her daughter, who are the first female Nikko carvers to be certified as traditional craftsmen by the local government. 
  • Watch the actual engraving called hikkaki-bori (technique) in action with a guidance. 
  • Learn hikkaki-bori using a tool called hikkaki. (Additional fees apply)


[13:20] Meet at Nikko Kanaya Hotel.
[13:30] Learn about the history of Nikko and the connection with the two shrines and one temple that were said to become the origin of Nikko carving, as well as the wood manufacturing techniques that have been handed over the centuries.
[14:15] Transfer by car (3 mins) or on foot (10 mins)  .
[14:30] Learn from Ms. Hirano about the techniques and distinctiveness of Nikko carving as well as the craftman's life, and observe the actual work with explanations of the techniques. As an option, you can experience a special engraving called hikkaki-bori with a tool called hikkaki for drawing a line on the carving.
[16:30] The end of the program.


Nikko-bori is said to have started in the early 17th century when Nikko Toshogu Shrine was rebuilt, and sculptors from all over Japan gathered to make it in their spare time.
 At Hirano Kougei in Nikko City, Hideko Hirano, and her daughter Hisako, the first Nikko-bori craftswomen of a long history of craftsmen, are preserving and carrying on the tradition.

 They used to have a shop near Toshogu Shrine but it closed due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Nowadays, it is relocated next to their home, but it is still filled with works that they have poured their hearts into.
 Hirano's Nikko carvings are combining traditional techniques with an elegant personal style.


  • Duration:3 hours 10 minutes
  • Meeting point:NIKKO KANAYA HOTEL
    1300 Kamihatsuishimachi, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1401 [MAP]
  • Access:
    ≪From JR&Tobu Line Nikko Station≫
     Tobu Bus bound for Oku-Hosoo, Chuzenji-Onsen or Yumoto-Onsen (approx 5 mins), get off at Shinkyo bus stop.
     ≪From Tobu Nikko Station≫
     Kanaya Hotel Shuttle Bus (approx. 10 mins)
  • Minimum number of participants:2 people
  • Language support:Japanese, English
  • Included :Guide
  • Excluded:Expenses for production material and transport.
  • Participation requirements :Over 12 years old
  • Free Wi-Fi :No
  • Toilet:Yes (Western-style)/No 
  • Other things to note:
  • The tour may not be open due to any difficult situations about the atelier and the shortage of guides.
  • Please select your favorite crafts experience at the booking if you want.


・Face masks required for travelers in public areas
・Face masks required for guides in public areas
・Hand sanitizer  available to travelers and staff
・Gear/equipment sanitized between uses
・Guides required to regularly wash hands
・Regular temperature checks for staff
・Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival


7 to 4 days before the tour date 40% of the tour price
3 to 2 days before the tour date 60% of the tour price
The day before the tour date, on the day of the tour 100% of the tour price
※Right after the online settlement is made, a cancellation fee of 10% will be incurred in case of cancellation.
※The cancellation fee includes handling charges.