Journeys in Japan

Naruko Onsen: The Home of Kokeshi

28:00
Broadcast on 1441063800

Naruko Onsen, in Miyagi Prefecture, is located in the foothills of the Ou Mountains. With a history of more than a thousand years, the Naruko Onsen hot springs have long offered a respite to weary visitors, some who take advantage of its toji "long-stay" resorts. The hamlet is also famous for its traditional kokeshi dolls. These dolls were originally created during the Edo era (1603-1868) by wood craftsmen, as souvenirs for the spa visitors who stayed during the winter off-season. Initially serving as children's toys, today they are prized by people of all ages and nationalities. On her journey, Akane Nakajima experiences making her own kokeshi doll using traditional methods. She learns about Japan's hot spring culture and meets warm local people, listening to their thoughts and enjoying their Tohoku hospitality.

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