Translated by Tomoka Aono
Get Gorgeous Wooden Craft Items At Hakone Yosegi-zaiku Kiro
The intricate wooden craft items known as yosegi-zaiku are a specialty of Hakone. A traditional craft also known as parquetry, items are made with different types and colors of wood to create brilliant patterns.
Written by Jumpei Kawashima
Yosegi-zaiku (寄木細工) or Japanese traditional parquetry, is a specialty of Hakone, the popular hot spring destination. Yosegi-zaiku is a traditional craft made with different types and colors of woods, assembled to create distinctive, brilliant patterns.
Yosegi-zaiku began in Hakone almost 200 years ago. Hakone Yosegi-zaiku Kiro, to be introduced in this article, is a shop specialized in these marvelous crafts. From traditional items to modern ones, there are many varieties of yosegi-zaiku crafts available for you to buy in this shop.
The Most Popular Products
You can find products that will make perfect souvenirs and presents for your loved ones. Here is a list of the most popular items in Hakone Yosegi-zaiku Kiro.
1. Photo Frames
These beautiful photo frames can add some uniqueness to your memories with your family and friends.
They can be vertical or horizontal, which is very convenient.
2. Cute Music Boxes
Can you believe these tiny wooden boxes can play music? They are wind-up music boxes.
You can choose different melodies to play such as J-pop songs, Ghibli movie songs, and classic songs. You are sure to be charmed by the sweet music coming from these adorable boxes.
Lots of types of accessories such as necklaces and earrings are also available. You could be a fashion icon if you wear a tiny piece of yosegi-zaiku.
Key chains are handy items. They are all originally designed at Hakone Yosegi-zaiku Kiro, so please take a closer look at them and see just how precisely made they are.
4. Puzzle Boxes
You might think this is just a normal wooden box at first glance, but if you try to open it, you will be puzzled because it seems to be completely sealed. Actually, this is not an usual wooden box. It’s something special called a himitsu bako or "puzzle box". If you look very carefully, you will find some parts can be slid.
When you solve the puzzle, the box will be open. For this small one, you need to slide the parts five times to solve the puzzle and open the box.
Bigger ones may even require 40 different slides in order for them to be solved. But don't worry. The box comes with instructions teaching you how to open the box. You can store secret items in the box and no one will know how to open it!