Japan Travel by NAVITIME - Japan Travel Guides, Transit Search and Itinerary Planner

Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

Chopsticks have been used in Asia for thousands of years; they’re some of the most primitive yet practical eating utensils. Chopsticks were invented by the Chinese and spread to other parts of Asia. They’ve stuck around because they work so well, and some historians believe Confucius himself had a lot to do with their ubiquity. Almost every country in Asia has its own style of chopsticks suited to its particular eating habits. In Japan, chopsticks tend to be medium length and tapered, as opposed to the long and blunt Chinese type or the flat, metal, Korean type.

  • Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    The Japanese have been using chopsticks for around 1,500 years, and like everything else imported into Japan, they have definitely made them their own. Most households use cheap, reusable, bamboo chopsticks for their evening meals, and restaurants tend to use disposable or plastic chopsticks. For most everyday items ike chopsticks, there’s a huge range of quality available, from the cheapest of the cheap to things so nice you’re not sure that they’re meant to be used. Marunao chopsticks definitely fall into the high-quality category – the nicer sets cost more than 10,000 yen (which, believe it or not, is relatively inexpensive in the world of high-end chopsticks).

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    Marunao chopsticks are what most people would call “artisanal.” The ebony and shitan wood used for the Marunao chopsticks and other utensils is carefully selected based on the quality of its grain and its strength. For the high-end models, the wood is shaped by hand into a trademark octagonal shape before being infused with sterling silver or 18k gold, delivering a truly elegant version of the humble chopstick. They also have more affordable models that are probably nicer than any chopsticks you’ve ever used.

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    The shop not only produces chopsticks, spoons, and stationery; it also offers guests the opportunity to watch the the craftsmen at work through its gallery windows. You can observe the wood selection, cutting, shaping, assembly, and polishing of the various products they create. The minute detail that goes into each piece of these luxury products is incredible (to the observer, the word seems tedious). The attention paid to the aesthetic quality of each item, requiring many man-hours, is ultimately what drives up the price. The shop has a gallery that features artifacts from the company’s history, including some of their finest works. A visit to the Marunao factory is ideal for people with a crafty side who are looking for inspiration from people who know what it takes to succeed.

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    The factory is open from 9:00am to 5:30pm on weekdays and 10:00am to 5:30pm on weekends. The gift shop is open daily from 10:00am to 7:00pm. Even though you could theoretically walk from Obiori Station on the Shinetsu Line (about a 20-minute walk), it’s highly recommended that you travel there by car or taxi. If you decide to walk and feel like a relaxing stroll through the woods, there are some cool temples and a massive forest park along the way.

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    Artisanal Craftsmanship at the Marunao Chopstick Factory

    Marunao
    Address
    Nigata Pref. Sanjoushi Yada 1662-1
    Phone
    0256457001
  • Facebookでシェアする
  • Twitterでシェアする