Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Fukiya Furusato Village and the Bengala Dye Industry

From Takahashi‘s city center, if you continue traveling in a northwest direction deep into the mountain up to the plateau, which is 500 meters above sea level, the Fukiya Furusato Village (吹屋ふるさと村) will suddenly appear in front of you. The village looks so out of place because it doesn’t quite blend in with the natural surroundings, so you can be forgiven for thinking that you might have traveled in the wrong direction (´▽`*).

Explore Fukiya Furusato Village With a Guided Tour

If you prefer a guide to introduce you to the unique township, how about joining the below tour?

Fukiya Furusato Village’s Brief Profile

Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

As an old village that has existed since the late Edo period (1600 – 1868), its appearance is unusually modern with all the Bengala-colored red roofing. As you walk along the 500-meter-long main road, you will notice that the style of all the houses in the village are the same. In general, houses are usually built over time by each villager who brings their unique ideas and styles, so it is quite rare to see such uniformity in these dwellings.

The houses in Fukiya Furusato Village were actually all built at the same time because they were funded by the wealthy merchants who had earned substantial fortunes from their nearby copper mining and Bengala dye production businesses. They all got together and hired top-class carpenters from Shimane Prefecture and built the village with the concept of having all the houses look identical!

Bengala dyes are extracted from iron oxide pigments found in soil. Bengala dyes have been used as part of the material in Japanese architecture due to their antiseptic and insect repelling characteristics as well as their anti-fade properties that protect them from exposure to the sun. This is why all the roofs in the village are of the same Bengala red color!

Attractions in Fukiya Furusato Village

There are a couple of attractions in the village. The list below is the most recommended ones.

Old Katayama House (旧片山家住宅)

In addition to the main residence, the majority of the residences include workshops for making Bangala, and the warehouse is open to the public. It is a great place to gain a good understanding of the life of the Bangla dyes merchant back then. Their descendants were still living in the house until the late 20th century!

The admission fee is 500 yen (access to Fukiya Folk Museum included).

Fukiya Folk Museum (吹屋ふるさと村郷土館)

This house is relatively newer than the other houses in the village. Completed in March 1879, the wood used to build this house is even better than the Old Katayama House. Tools made of the best material are on display.

Hirokane Residence (広兼邸)

Hirokane Residence is probably the biggest residence in the area. Owned by the richest family of the time, the house is a short walk from the main street. The residence is of a similar scale to a small Japanese castle!

The admission fee is 400 yen.

Sasaune Kōdō Mining Gallery (吹屋ふるさと村 笹畝坑道)

Your chance to explore one of Japan’s three biggest copper mines from the 17th to the 19th century when you come to Fukiya! It is located around a 40-minute walk from Hirokane Residence.

The admission fee is:

  • 400 yen for adults
  • 200 yen for children

Bangala-kan (ベンガラ館)

This used to be a factory producing Bangala dyes. In the factory, you get to observe the manufacturing process of the dye. It is located around a 10-minute walk from Sasaune Kodo Mining Gallery.

The admission fee is:

  • 300 yen for adults
  • 150 yen for children

Fukiya Tourist Center (吹屋案内所・下町ふらっと)

The Fukiya Tourist Center is where you get to experience Bangala dying (other colors are also available)! Choose from stencil dyeing or mud dyeing to create your original items!

  • Stencil dyeing:
    • Handkerchief: 1,800 yen
    • Eco bag: 2,500 yen
    • T-shirt: 3,000 yen
    • Tote bag: 2,300 yen
  • Mud dyeing:
    • Handkerchief: 1,800 yen
    • Hand towel: 2,000 yen
    • Shawl scarf: from 4,000 yen
    • T-shirt: 4,000 yen
  • HERE is the website for the activity if you want to see some photos of the completed products
  • Booking is essential. You can book by emailing [email protected] or calling the tourist center anytime between 11 am and 4 pm by calling +81-90-8999-0477

Important: English explanations in the village’s facilities are limited.

Opening Hours and Admission Fees of the Facilities in Fukiya Furusato Village

  • From April to November
    • Old Katayama House, Fukiya Folk Museum, Hirokane Residence, and Sasaune Kōdō Mining Gallery are open from 10 am to 5 pm daily
    • Bangala-kan is open from 10 am to 5 pm on weekends and public holidays
  • From December to March
    • Old Katayama House and Hirokane Residence are open from 10 am to 4 pm daily
    • Bangala-kan, Fukiya Folk Museum, and Sasaune Kōdō Mining Gallery are open from 10 am to 4 pm on weekends and public holidays

To fully explore the village, we recommend allocating 2 – 3 hours of your time here.

Tip: Get the Fukiya Furusato Village Pass (吹屋ふるさと村周遊券) for 1,000 yen (500 yen for children) for access to all attractions in the village.

How to Get to Fukiya Furusato Village

From JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅), take the bus services bound for Fukiya (吹屋), and get off at the terminal stop – Fukiya (吹屋).

The number of bus services is limited. Refer to the timetable HERE to plan.

Discover Other Fantastic Attractions in Takahashi City

Click the photo for other attractions in Takahashi City!

Takahashi City, where Fukiya Furusato Village is located, has a couple more awesome attractions that you might be interested in, including a castle floating in the sky.

For more information on where else you can visit, refer to our article on Takahashi City!

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