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Since the Edo era, Kiso-Hirasawa lacquerware has been popular as a souvenir of the Nakasendo (Central Mountain Route). The history of this craft as practiced here is said to have a long history, passed down the generations for 400 years. The artisans' craftsmanship can even be seen in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic medals. Currently, they are collaborating with another famous city product, Kikyogahara wine, developing techniques to make lacquerware wine glasses.
Kiso-Hirasawa, Shiojiri, Nagano
The first weekend of June (Friday to Sunday) is the Kiso Lacquerware Festival, where you can try your hand at lacquer coating (reservation required).
Board at Shiojiri Station, JR Chuo Line, and ride about 20 minutes to Kiso-Hirasawa Station.
From the Shiojiri IC on the Nagano Expressway, drive west along Route 20/Route 19 for about 35 minutes.
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