Mt. Kora Nature walk and Japanese Crafts  2 days of moving encounters in cool Kurume

Mt. Kora Nature walk and Japanese Crafts 2 days of moving encounters in cool Kurume

Infomation

  • 2022.2.16

    on sale now

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Kurume is where the world-famous tire manufacturer Bridgestone got started and the city has long been a center for varied manufacturing. On this tour, we take a nature walk on sacred Mt. Kora with its abundant nature and history, and we explore why highly skilled craftsmanship developed in Kurume in many different fields. You can enjoy moving encounters with craftsmen who still pursue the ancient traditional Japanese crafts such as indigo and lost wax dyeing, and you can try your hand at these arts that embody the folkways and wisdom of common people in earlier times.

Highlights

The highlights of the tour are a nature walk around Mt. Kora and traditional manufacturing workshops such as wax candle making and indigo dyeing using techniques inherited from a Living National Treasure.


On the Nature Walk, you can enjoy interacting with people walking along the route, and cultural assets such as Kora Shrine, which was built over 1,600 years ago.


Among the workshops, the indigo dyeing experience is not usually open for tourists. It’s an experience that can’t be found anywhere else, under the guidance of a craftsman who conveys the skills of a Living National Treasure.


Details

Availability
March 30, 2022 to June 29, 2022
 Unavailable dates: April 27, 2022 to May 8, 2022 
 Departs every Sunday and Wednesday
Price
For 2 people: 138,300 yen (per person)
For 3 people: 122,800 yen (per person)
For 4 people: 99,050 yen (per person)
For 5 people: 98,400 yen (per person)
For 6 people: 92,100 yen (per person)
What’s included
Transportation, accommodation, meals, activities, admissions, consumption tax, etc. (Fukuoka accommodation tax) specified in the travel schedule, English guide
Number of participants
Minimum 2 people,
maximum 6 people
Minimum booking
2 people
Meals
Breakfast: 1, Lunch:2, Dinner: 1
Transportation
Nishitetsu Kurume Taxi
Foreign language guides
• English guide • Korean leaflet available
Booking deadline
21 days in advance
Bookings after the deadline:Possible (contact us by phone)
Cancellation fees
Before the 21st day: Free
From the 20th day to the 8th day: 20% of the price
From the 7th day to the 2nd day: 30% of the price
The day before the start of the trip: 40% of the price
The day of the start of the trip (until the meeting time): 50% of the price
After the meeting time or no-show: 100% of the price

Itinerary

schedule Hotel Meals
Day1

8:20 JR Kurume Station or accommodation in the city (car),
8:50 JR Kurume Daigaku Station (nature walk starts)
11:35 Lunch, 12:05 Nature walk resumes,
13:30 Pray at Kora Shrine
13:55 Nature walk ends (car),
14:25 Kinkaen (nursery),
15:55 (car),
16:05 Goto Shoten (making wax candles, local sake tasting),
18:05 (car),
18:50 Check into a hotel in Kurume,
move by foot or car
19:10 Dinner (after dinner, go to the hotel by yourself)

Kurume Hotel Esprit or option: Kappa no Asagaeri Breakfast:✖
Lunch:✓
Dinner:✓
Day2

8:00 Depart from the hotel (car),
8:50 Maruchiku Gyoen (koi carp nursery),
9:30 (walk), 11:30 Lunch and sake tasting,
13:10 (car), 13:20 Ranseian (indigo dyeing),
15:50 (car), 16:40 Disperse at JR Kurume Station

n/a Breakfast:✓
Lunch:✓
Dinner:✖

Day-by-day itinerary

  • Day1 Nature walk and workshops to explore Kurume’s traditional industries such as nursery plants, wax, and local sake

    At around 8:20, we join the guide at JR Kurume Station and drive to the starting point of the nature walk. The nature walk is about 7.3 km long centered on Mt. Kora, which has a long history, and the entire mountain is considered to be a sacred place in the area. , which has a history going back more than 1,600 years. Refresh yourself listening to the sounds of trees swaying in the wind and the chirping of birds. One of the pleasures is interacting with the locals walking the route. At Kora Shrine, you can experience a Shinto prayer ritual. While looking down on the city and the magnificent Chikugo River from the hills above, we trace the origins of Kurume as a city of manufacturing. For lunch, enjoy a country-style lunch box made with carefully selected local ingredients. In addition, you can enjoy cherry blossoms from late March to early April, Kurume azaleas from mid to late April, hydrangeas from early to mid June, and autumn leaves in November. After about 3 hours of walking, drive to the nature-rich Tanushimaru area. Learn about the history and technology of nursery trees, which is one of Kurume’s main industries. Then we drive to a wonderfully atmospheric old brewery. In the days when there was no electricity, people made wax candles, which were used as lights for daily life in Japan. You feel like you’ve traveled back in time to old Japan when you see the characteristic shimmering flames. Enjoy tasting while appreciating the aroma and color of Japanese sake from Kurume, which is said to be one of the three major sakes of Japan. We invite you to the world of sake.

  • 高良山散策

    Scenery on the nature walk

    The nature walk is about 7.3 km long
  • 高良大社

    Kora Shrine

    has a long history, and the entire mountain is considered to be a sacred place in the area
  • 久留米つつじ

    Kurume Forest Azalea Park

    you can enjoy cherry blossoms from late March to early April, Kurume azaleas from mid to late April, hydrangeas from early to mid June
  • ろうそく

    Wax candle

    You feel like you’ve traveled back in time to old Japan when you see the characteristic shimmering flames
  • お酒試飲

    Sake tasting

    Enjoy tasting while appreciating the aroma and color of Japanese sake
  • 焼き鳥

    Soul food (yakitori)

    One of the most famous local food. The ratio of yakitori-restaurant population is No.1 in Japan.

  • Day2 A stroll around a town full of nature and history, and an authentic indigo dyeing workshop using techniques inherited from a living national treasure

    Depart the accommodation around 8 o’clock and drive to the Tanushimaru area again with a guide. The second day starts with morning coffee, which you can enjoy while watching nishiki koi carp nurtured in the clear water swimming gracefully. We walk for about two hours with a guide with the Mino mountain range in sight, learning about the industry and history reflected in nurseries, farms, soy sauce and sake breweries, and shops. Our destination is Beni Otome shochu distillery, which manufactures sesame shochu, a rarety in Japan. After learning how to make it and enjoying a tasting of sesame-scented shochu, we have lunch at an old thatched-roof house on the premises. We will have a delicious tofu meal made using underground water from the Mino Mountains. To end the tour, we head to a workshop in a quiet forest. This is a workshop using techniques inherited from a master of Kurume kasuri, a traditional Japanese textile craft. Here, you can try authentic indigo dyeing in the indigo jars that the craftsmen actually use, under the guidance of an expert. The pattern you create differs according to how you tie the fabric. You can devise elaborate designs using wood and twine. Your own “Japan Blue” T-shirt dyed in a unique pattern is a souvenir of the tour. On the way back to Kurume city by car at the end of the trip, you can also stop by a local crafts centre to find traditional Kurume crafts and souvenirs.

  • Nishiki koi

    Nishiki koi

    you can enjoy while watching nishiki koi carp nurtured in the clear water swimming gracefully
  • Walking route to the Mino Mountains

    Walking route to the Mino Mountains

    We walk for about two hours with a guide with the Mino mountain range in sight
  • 古民家ランチ

    Kominka lunch

    We will have a delicious tofu meal made using underground water from the Mino Mountains.
  • 藍染め

    Indigo dyeing (T-shirt)

    you can try authentic indigo dyeing in the indigo jars that the craftsmen actually use, under the guidance of an expert
  • 藍染め

    Indigo dyeing (T-shirt)

    Your own “Japan Blue” T-shirt dyed in a unique pattern is a souvenir of the tour
  • 久留米絣

    Kurume kasuri

    you can also stop by a local crafts centre to find traditional Kurume crafts and souvenirs

●All the picture in the text are images

Apply on the web

Guides and Supporters

    • Guide

      Name: Keiko Lemoigne

      Career: I moved to Kurume from northern Japan three years ago. There are many attractive points here even for Japanese people. The culture, industry, food and people are amazing. I used to be a tour guide in Canada.
      I really enjoy sharing the moments to discover, explore or surprise with people. And I also enjoy talking to people from different cultures.


    • Supporter

      Name: Tomonori Futamata

      Career: Born in 1980. He is the third generation of gardeners operating in the Tanushimaru area where nurseries flourish. He mainly produces olive, conifer, Christmas rose, agave and palm trees. After graduating from university, he studied horticulture in England. He’s familiar with both Japanese and Western horticulture and conveys its charm to many people. “Let me tell you all about the historic cultivation techniques of Kurume.”

    • Supporter

      Name: Mayumi Yano (in charge of making candles)
      Affiliation: Matsuyama Wax Revival Committee

      Career: After working as a national civil servant and editor-in-chief of a town magazine, she set up the committee in 2007. She plants and markets the Japanese wax tree. “I want to tell everyone about the attraction of wax trees, which are unique to Japan.”


    • Supporter

      Name: Yoshihiro Goto (in charge of sake tasting)
      Affiliation: Goto Shoten

      Career: Born in 1979. He’s the fifth generation owner of a long-established liquor store. In search of delicious sake, he travels to sake breweries around Japan. He’s good at singing and is called the singing sake master. “Sake is a drink with infinite possibilities that connects people. I want to convey its charm and enjoyment to everyone.”

    • Supporter

      Name: Eiji Konishi
      Affiliation: Maruchiku Koi Farm

      Career: Born in 1996. He’s the second generation manager of a carp farm that has been in business for over 40 years. He’s known as the Koi Prince. Having studied abroad in Malaysia, he’s spreading word of the charm of Nishiki koi around the world. “I'm looking forward to seeing the smiles of everyone who is surprised to see the size of Nishiki koi swimming gracefully.

    • Supporter

      Name: Hideki Tanaka
      Affiliation: Farmer’s inn Kappa no Asagaeri (accommodation option)

      Career: Born in 1975. He lived in Bangladesh for many years as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer and a JICA expert. After returning to Japan, he opened a farmhouse inn in 2019. “I’m looking forward to exchanging travel stories with you.”




    • Supporter

      Name: Sayoko Matsueda, Takahiro Matsueda
      Affiliation: Ranseian

      A mother and son who inherited the techniques of a nationally recognised master of Kurume kasuri. They have received awards at numerous craft exhibitions. In pursuit of water for the ideal color of indigo, they established their atelier at the current location. “We want to share the nature of the Mino mountain range, and the beautiful indigo color produced by the water and the bacteria that dwell in the indigo. Come and experience the history and traditions that have been carefully passed down from generation to generation in the Matsueda family.”

Notice

Weather conditions
The average temperature of Kurume is 9 ℃ in March, 15 ℃ in April, 20 ℃ in May, and 23 ℃ in June.
Around June, the maximum temperature can reach around 28 ℃.
After May, the climate is very comfortable.
However, the temperature difference between Mt. Kora and the city is 5 to 10 ℃, so you can enjoy hiking.
Please bring clothes suitable for the temperature.
June is the rainy season. If it rains a lot, we will respond as flexibly as possible while watching the weather on the day, such as reorganizing the activity, but we may cancel the activity when an alarm is issued.
Just as with life, it’s one of the pleasures that things don’t always go as planned.
Special dietary needs (allergies, vegetarian, etc.)
Dietary restrictions
We use ingredients that are blessed with the water of the Chikugo River, of which Kurume is proud. If you have any allergies, please let us know in advance. Also, please let us know in advance if you have dietary restrictions. We will do our best to accommodate you. Please note that we may not be able to meet your request.
Emergency response plan
Nishitetsu Travel Co., Ltd. has established an in-house emergency contact system and emergency response procedures so that we can respond promptly in the event of an emergency. If you are injured during the tour, our guide will take care of you. In the event of an accident at night, please contact the emergency number for that day. Our tours are arranged with your safety as our top priority.
Disclaimer
If you suffer damages due to the following reasons, the company shall not be liable.

▪We are not responsible for any payments made by you for the following reasons.
▪Please pay by yourself.
▪Damage caused by natural disasters, wars, riots, orders from governments and public organizations, fires, and suspension of services at accommodation facilities.
▪Food poisoning
▪Damage caused by willfulness or negligence
▪Delays or interruptions in transportation, or changes or cancellation of the travel schedule caused by these
▪Orders from public offices, immigration restrictions, isolation due to infectious diseases
▪Theft

Organizer

西鉄旅行株式会社
観光庁長官登録旅行業第579号
一般社団法人日本旅行業協会正会員
旅行業公正取引協議会会員
日本旅行業協会 旅行業公正取引協議会

Contact for bookings

Nishitetsu Travel Co., Ltd. Kurume Branch Representative:Taira
40-12 Higashimachi, Kurume-shi Kurume QR Building 5th floor

E-Mail:ntc_kurume@travel.nnr.co.jp
TEL:0942-33-1573 FAX:0942-33-1573
Business hour:Weekdays:9:30~17:30 Closed on Saturdays,Sundays, and Holidays
総合旅行業務取扱管理者:小川 亮