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Tsumuji

Nakanojo’s Tsumuji—the full name is Tsumuji Nakanojo Creative Communication Center: A Platform For People and Cultural Exchange—provides a venue for local creatives, as well as bringing together shops, cafes, and restaurants in a new town center.

  • A scheme dreamed up by a forward thinking local tourism association, Tsumuji has become a focal point in the region. The landmark building’s location near the Nakanojo Station (on the JR East Agatsuma Line) makes it a good first stop and point of departure for exploring the area.

    The Tsumuji building, as well as housing local shops, also has an impressive hall and outdoor venue space that host events year-round. Tsumuji helps preserve local traditions, like the Ise-machi Matsuri and the bird-frightening rituals of Torioi Matsuri, by gathering performers and an audience that’s drawn both from the local community and from beyond.

    Tsumuji

    Tsumuji

    Befitting the area’s renown as an onsen hot spot, Tsumuji has located a foot bath in a quiet room off the main hall. It’s a great way to relax and experience the water of the hot springs—or simply an excuse to kick shoes off and use the WiFi. The building’s architecture and use of indigenous and recycled materials also pay tribute to local tradition.

    Tsumuji

    Tsumuji

    Tsumuji’s yokocho (“alley off the main street”) is an attempt to recreate an urban shopping stroll in an abbreviated space. Tsumuji has collected several shops and restaurants under its roof. The communities of the area developed with no particular center, so Tsumuji provides Nakanojo with a nucleus, and is a window for visitors into the region.

    Tsumuji

    Tsumuji

    The Tsumuji shop hugs the curved walls of the building and sells local handicrafts, souvenirs, and books. Many of the items, like the ceramic and knitwear and wood handicrafts, are one-of-a-kind, produced in Nakanojo or elsewhere in the highlands of Gunma. Elsewhere in the building, Sababa, opened by a local resident with a fascination with Southeast Asia and the Himalayan region, curates items from Nepal, Thailand, and India.

    Tsumuji

    Tsumuji

    Tsumuji Cafe (open 10am to 7pm, every day except Thursday) offers homestyle dishes made with local produce. There are several options for dining in Tsumuji, including Okowa Cafe Otenokubo (an assuming shop popular with locals, named for the dish of sticky rice that the shop often includes on their daily set menu), Kitchen Saito (quiche is the specialty and the shop turns into a wine bar in the evenings), Minoya Sanemon (charcoal-grilled manju, as well as a full menu and a sake selection)...

    Tsumuji

    Tsumuji

    Toy's Bakery is the perfect place to stock up on pastries before making the trek to one of the onsen towns in Nakanojo. Those with a sweet tooth should also stop by Locale, a gelato shop specializing in ice cream made from local produce, including local dairy, fruit, and nuts from Gunma as well as Tochigi, Yamanashi, and Nagano. Across the building, Cafe de Casa pairs a selection of cakes and pastries with French press and hand drip coffee in an elegant space that calls to mind both a traditional kissaten and the kind of fourth wave coffee shops that pop up weekly in Tokyo’s Daikanyama and Koenji neighborhoods.

    Tsumuji

    Tsumuji

    Apart from its reimagining of the urban shopping-strolling nexus of the yokocho, and preserving local traditions, Tsumuji has one other important function: as an information center. The walls of the building are covered in maps of the region and there are sheafs of brochures and pamphlets on various sites. The number of onsen, ryokan, shrines, and scenic spots in Nakanojo can be daunting, but Tsumuji provides trustworthy information and assistance getting around.

    Nakanojo
    Address
    Agatsuma-gun, Gunma Prefecture Nakanojo
    Phone
    tsumuji
    rating 6 Reviews
    Address
    Gunma Agatsuma-gun Nakanojomachi Nakanojomachi 938
    Phone
    0279263751
    Nakanojomachi Furusato Community Center Tsumuji
    Address
    Gunma Agatsuma Nakanojomachi Nakanojomachi 938
    Phone
    0279263751
  • Toys Bakery
    Address
    Gunma Pref. Agatsumagunnakanojoumachi Isemachi 1023-8
    Phone
    0279757060
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