Making your own knife – 2 days of forging in the blacksmith’s workshop – Chino-shi in Nagano
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Chino-shi, Nagano
The setting of the tour is at the foot of Yatsugatake in Chino-shi, Nagano. The area is about 2 hours by the high-speed Azusa shinkansen from Shinjuku. The highland life spreads far and wide with a richness of diversity over an elevation of 770m-2899m, a difference of about 2000m. What we want to get across is not merely just passing through the area, but a tour in which you can have contact with the local people, and feel a proximity to their lifestyle. We’d like to introduce the number one attraction, the tour of the blacksmith’s workshop and knife-making experience.
A two-day trip for making your own kitchen knife from a sheet of iron
You can produce your very own kitchen knife out of a sheet of iron at the only blacksmith’s workshop in the area. Under the guidance of the young blacksmith in his thirties, you will make your own ktichen knife via a continuous process of “heating, striking, cooling and polishing the iron”. Whether it’s for yourself or an important person, why not make your own lightweight kitchen knife that will last your whole life? Details ・ Day 1: forge welding, forging, hardening etc. ・Day 2: bending, polishing, etching etc. ※For safety reasons, the blacksmith will operate the powerful equipment himself.
Making things that haven’t changed for 100 years
You can make a wide range of items, from kitchen knives to hatchets and hoes, which have continuously supported the life of the region for 100 years (Sadamasa). As the company president said, “We’re not just fixated on one kind of item, we produce items that were demanded of the field blacksmiths of that time” However, the changes in recent years have been severe, and we have entered a period where the situation for blacksmiths is increasingly difficult. During this time, the idea that has come about is “What is demanded of regional blacksmiths in this day and age? What can you do as a manual laborer?”. This tour is not only about selling items, but working together to produce items. It’s a time for spending together with the blacksmith and experiencing knife-making in the workshop, which you normally can’t enter. You can feel the richness and enjoyment of hand-made items through the five senses while reconsidering present-day life. We offer time that you can only get here, and can’t get on the internet or the city-center department stores.
Information regarding the tour
  • Program opens:from June 2018 *Schedule may change according to requests accepted.
  • Required time: 3 hours on 2 days
  • Cost: One knife made by one person, 18,000 yen (plus tax) One knife made by two people, 22,000 yen (plus tax) One knife made by three people, 26,000 yen (plus tax)
  • Minimum number of persons: 1
  • Maximum: 3 people
  • Meeting place: Sadamasa
  • Finishing place: Sadamasa * 10 minutes from Chino Station on foot (free parking available). Further details available upon receipt of application.
  • Schedule -Day 1- 9:00 Gather at Sadamasa store 9:10 Studying the history of the shop and the town, knife production process. 9:40 Begin knife-making: production through heating and striking (forge welding, forging, hardening etc.) 11:40 Explanation of various knives in the store and their usage. 12:00 Finish -Day 2- 9:00 Gather at Sadamasa store 9:40 Begin knife-making: sharpening the blade (bending, polishing, etching etc.) 11:40 Looking at the old items in the storehouse. 12:00 Finish
  • Information about the area
    About 2.5 hours from Tokyo Station by express train. Located at the foot of Yatsugatake. The area flourished about 5,000 years ago in the Jomon Period, with remains of ancient Jomon sites, and excavated earthenware. The population is 55,000.