Aoyama Square, where you can meet handicrafts of Japanese craftsmen

I went to Aoyama Square, a gallery and shop where you can encounter traditional crafts from all across Japan.

"Aoyama itchome" subway station, Exit 4 North, 3 minutes towards to Akasaka Mitsuke.

It is convenient to visit after the famous sightseeing area in Shibuya. It is located next to the Canadian Embassy in Japan.

What is Aoyama Square?

Aoyama Square brings all traditional crafts under one roof. You can purchase goods for your everyday use, as well as the excellent examples of traditional crafts from all over Japan.

Aoyama Square holds permanent exhibitions with all-time popular products from many production areas. Usually, there are 2,000 to 3,000 works displayed from over 100 production areas.

At Takumi Corner, you can see demonstrations of craftsmen skills.

Special exhibitions are held every two weeks, with many workshops to experience the production process happening Irregularly.

You can also ask for a consultation about repair and treatment of lacquer ware and ceramics - reservation is required.

Popular traditional crafts

Here are the most popular traditional crafts at Aoyama Square:

HAKONE-YOSEGI-ZAIKU

HAKONE-YOSEGI-ZAIKU made of Hakone, Kanagawa, a popular tourist destination in Japan.

Hakone Mountain is blessed with a huge number of trees, and this traditional Japanese craft is made with different types and colors of natural woods, assembled to create distinctive and brilliant patterns.

There are many kinds of products available such as mouse pads, pen stands, coasters, and other daily necessities, as well as puzzle toy boxes for kids. Check out here.

KANAZAWA-HAKU(GOLD LEAF CRAFTING)

KANAZAWA-HAKU is a traditional handicraft still flourishing today: 90% of the gold leaf produced in Japan today is made in Kanazawa.

Gold foil from Kanazawa has long been used for the various range of items, from the historical temples Kinkaku-ji, Golden Pavilion of Kyoto, and the Nikko Toshogu, to the daily use necessities such as utensils and folding fans. At Aoyama Square, you can see ballpoint pens made from Kanazawa foil designed for a practical use.

EDO-KIRIKO(CUT GLASS)

EDO-KIRIKO, or cut glass, is a manufacturing method in which different patterns are engraved on the surface of the glass using grindstones and other tools.

Made in Tokyo, it gained a reputation for its quality and makes a perfect gift for the celebrations.
Craftsmen are manufacturing sake and wine vessels nationwide, and many uniquely-designed glassware are available at Aoyama Square.
Hold it in your hand to feel the unique touch and have your heart captivated by its beauty!

In addition, washi paper made in the various parts of Japan is popular as well.
Small items such as letter sets, fans, origami, are perfect for souvenirs.

Traditional crafts mark

All the works on display at Aoyama Square have a special seal mark. This mark certifies the outstanding craftsmanship and product quality.

Traditional crafts receive this mark when all the conditions, specified by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, are met. It is also used as a standard for identification to prove the authenticity of the product.

What are traditional crafts? (Association for the Promotion of Traditional Crafts Industries)

What are officially designated traditional Japanese crafts?

Definition

  1. The craft articles must be used mainly in everyday life.
  2. The parts of the craft articles that greatly influence its features should be made mainly by hand in the manufacturing process.
  3. The craft articles must have a manufacturing history of at least 100 years, and must be made using traditional skills and techniques that continue to be used until the present.
  4. As a general rule, the main raw materials of the craft articles must be those used continuously for more than 100 years.
  5. Regional enterprises that produce the said craft item should maintain a certain scale,and should be established as a local industry.

Association for the Promotion of Traditional Crafts Industries conducts various activities to raise awareness and expand the demand for traditional crafts as defined by these criteria. In addition to the operation of Aoyama Square, it also carries out certification and support of traditional craftsmen and PR activities for traditional crafts.

Summary

The traditional crafts available at Aoyama Square range from ceramics and woodwork recommended for home use to hand towels and washi paper, perfect for souvenirs.

Discover the miracle of traditional crafts with an over 100-year history which are still adored and used in daily life!

For more information

Official HP: https://kougeihin.jp/