Takahashi kougei （高橋工芸）is specializing in producing thinly carved wooden cups, plates and bowls. When I met them about 10 years ago, not many people showed any interests to their products, but their products gradually became famous both domestically and internationally and they are now sold in various countries.
They use woods cut from the local forest in Hokkaido and they dry them at their yard for over a year, then they carve them into the cups etc at their small factory.
Hokkaido is an island located on the north of Japan and you can fly to various parts of Hokkaido from Haneda airport. Asahikawa, where Takahashi kougei is located, is in the central area of Hokkaido and that area has always been famous for manufacturing wooden products. If you drive to the south from Asahikawa, you can get to Furano area, where is famous for beautiful scenery.
Hokkaido is relatively large island and there are many places to visit, so if you want to visit all of the major areas of Hokkaido, you will need to stay like two weeks or possibly more. My visit o Hokkaido was only three days, so I went to Asahikawa to start my journey and went south to Furano area. On the following day, I visited the largest city in Hokkaido called Sapporo.
I, then, visited Otaru on my last day.
If you can rend a car, it would be much easier to visit various parts of Hokkaido, so I strongly recommend to rend a car there. If you can spare more than four days in Hokkaido, you can also visit east side of Hokkaido too.
Anyway let’s go back to Takahashi kougei in Asahikawa, where I started my journey. Their factory is not open to public, so you will not be able to visit them personally, but Asahikawa is the second largest city in Hokkaido and you can drive to Furano area from Asahikawa airport, so you may visit the city anyway.
Me on the left and Mr. Takahashi on the right and the photo was taken just outside of the Takahashi kougei factory.
These are some of the products Mr. Takahashi makes at the factory. The most popular ones are the mug cups on the bottom left.
They are very thinly carved, so they are light weight and characterized by the beautiful shapes.
His father on the left is doing a rough carving and his wife on the right is polishing the surface of the finished products.
The stuff has been checking the finished products before bringing them upstairs for coating.
You know what they are.
Anyway Hokkaido is certainly very interesting island to visit and you can enjoy winter sports in winter.
If you are interested in their products, you can see most of their product lineups at my store in Aoyama, Tokyo.
You can also check our online stores (Japanese only for now).
How to visit us in Tokyo?
The shop is only 1min walk from Gaienmae station exit 1b on Ginza line Tokyo Metro.
If you are a visitor to Japan, please bring your passport, so you can claim for tax free!
MA by So Shi Te
2-22-15 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku,
Tokyo Japan 107–0062