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Old Red Town & Japanese-style Mansions:
Fukiya Furusato Village

Getting to Bitchu Takahashi Station:

Approx. 50min. from Okayama Station by local train
or approx. 35min. by limited express, "Yakumo" on JR Hakubi Line

Takahashi Bus Terminal is located to the right side soon after leaving the west gate of the station.

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Fukiya Kouta Dance in Fukiya Furusato Village Cycling Road Race Flower Arrangement Performed in Hirokane Residence

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  • Souvenir Shop
  • Tourist Association Fukiya Branch
  • Houses Colored with colcothar in Fukiya
  • Former Fukiya Elementary School

Travel through Time by Visiting Old Copper Mine Town. - Historical Townscape of Fukiya -

Historical Townscape of Fukiya is designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings in Japan. It is located at an altitude of 550 meters, or 1,800 feet. The main street with a length of about 300 meters, or 985 feet, is lined with unified traditional local houses with their reddish copper colored roof tiles and outer walls covered with a coat of plaster in which colcothar is kneaded.

In 1707, a production method for high-quality colcothar was discovered and the colcothar started to be produced. In the middle of the 18th century, a new manufacturing method of colcothar which was made from artificial melanterite brought the area a huge fortune. Powerful merchants, including the Katayama Family and its branch families, formed the unified town coordinated with red in color in the early 19th century. Fukiya had thrived as the only production area of colcothar in Japan until the middle of the 20th century.

Painted with the red pigment which was rated as one of Japan's highest quality of pigments, a large quantity of ceramics ware, including Imari ware and Kutani ware, were exported to Europe through the Dutch East India Company. These products became extremely popular and got high evaluation in Europe.

Nearby is Former Fukiya Elementary School. It was opened in 1873 and relocated to its present site in 1899. The wooden flat school buildings located on the right and left sides were finished in 1900, and then the two-story main school building was completed in 1909. The school was closed in March 2012. They were the oldest extant Japanese-style wooden school buildings for compulsory education in Japan. It was dismantled and building renovation takes place during the period between October 2015 and March 2020. It is scheduled to reopen as a museum.

Hill Climb Challenge Series in Takahashi is held in Takahashi City on the first Sunday of October and the previous Saturday. It is a bicycle race in which anyone from a beginner to an advanced person is allowed to participate. The cycle racers registered in advance check in on the first day of the event. They run either the long distance of 15km, or 9.3mi, or the short distance of 10km, or 6.2mi, from the ground of a junior high school near Bitchu Kawamo Station to Historical Townscape of Fukiya, after a warm-up run of 2.5km, or 1.55mi, the next day.

Getting here: 60 min. by bus from Bitchu Takahashi Bus Terminal

A taxi tour in Takahashi City for more than two and a half hours at a discount fare is available. Make sure to tell "private sightseeing charter" to the driver before your departure.

Rental power-assisted bicycles available at Tourist Association Fukiya Branch on weekends and national holidays from April to November without reservations. Reservation required for weekday rentals.

Click here to jump to the sightseeing map of Fukiya Furusato Village

  • Hirokane Residence in Fukiya Furusato Village
  • Chinese Peony
  • Fireplace in Hirokane Residence

See Everyday Life of Japanese Wealthy Merchants. - Hirokane Residence -

The Hirokane Family served as the village head of Onoro, at the beginning of the 19th century, made a huge fortune by operating a copper mine and producing ferric oxide, a material of colcothar. The castle-like residence has stone walls as magnificent as real castles to represent their wealth. It was used as a location for the shootings of some movie films and TV dramas such as Yatsuhaka Mura, or Village of the Eight Tombs, a famous Japanese mystery story.

Around mid-May, it holds Flower Viewing Tour to admire flower arrangement by flower coordinators from Okayama Prefecture. Various seasonal flowers, including red and white Chinese peony flowers, are displayed in the main residence, and the annex across a short corridor from it. The annex was built to be used at a wedding ceremony of the head of the family nearly 100 years ago and has been closed except the exhibition. Locally made tea is served in the tea house which is located on the hill across from Hirokane Residence and has a fine view of the residence at the event.

Getting here: 50 min. by taxi from Bitchu Takahashi Station

A taxi tour in Takahashi City for more than two and a half hours at a discount fare is available. Make sure to tell "private sightseeing charter" to the driver before your departure.

Click here to jump to the sightseeing map of Fukiya Furusato Village

Closed: December 29 to 31

Admission: 400 yen for adults / 200 yen for elementary, junior high school, high school students / 1,000 yen for adults, 500 yen for children for combined tickets available for 4 facilities ( Former Residence of the Katayama Family, Hirokane Residence, Bengara [ colcothar ] Factory Museum and Sasaune Mine Shaft )

Group discount available for a group of 20 or more people.

  • Entrance of Nishie Residence
  • Front od Nishie Residence
  • Bengara(colcothar) Factory Museum
  • Sasaune Mine Shaft

Get a Feel for Atmosphere of Former Copper Mine. -Nishie Residence. Bengara (colcothar) Factory Museum, Bengara Ceramic Art House and Sasaune Mine Shaft -

The Nishie family were wealthy farmer-merchants who were delegated to manage the area by the Edo shogunate. They operated a mine where ferric oxide, a raw material of colcothar, was reserved, and succeeded in refining melanterite from ferric oxide for the first time in Japan. There is a long steep slope stretching from a parking lot in which a bus stop is located to Nishie Residence. The residence with a history of around 300 years composes of several buildings and a garden with moss surrounding them. It is managed and maintained by the family and they still live here.

Bengara Factory Museum showcases the process how colcothar was made in the early 20th century. The water wheel-driven process can be observed closely.

Bengara Ceramic Art House runs a pottery class for clay kneading and hand-painting.

Sasaune Mine Shaft of Yoshioka Mine was restored as a mining gallery of around 320 meters, or 1,050 feet, with lots of ups and downs and the traces of hand drilling in 1978. Yoshioka Mine was found in 807 and has been well-known as a copper mine since the 17th century. It became counted as one of the three major copper mines of Japan by introducing modern technologies such as dynamite and steam engines around the end of the 19th century. It had yielded copper pyrite and pyrrhotite until 1972. There were more than 1,600 workers at its peak. The inner temperature remains 15 degrees Celsius, 59 degrees Fahrenheit, through the year.

Nishie Residence

Getting to Nishie Residence: 50 min. by taxi from Bitchu Takahashi Station / 60 min. by bus for Sakamoto from Bitchu Takahashi Bus Terminal / 45 min. by bus from Niimi Station

A taxi tour in Takahashi City for more than two and a half hours at a discount fare is available. Make sure to tell "private sightseeing charter" to the driver before your departure.

Closed: Year-end and New Year holidays, no fixed closing days between December and February

Admission: 500 yen for adults / 250 yen for elementary, junior high school, high school students

Group discount available for a group of 20 or more people.

Bengara ( colcothar ) Factory Museum, Bengara Ceramic Art House & Sasaune Mine Shaft

Getting to Bengara ( colcothar ) Factory Museum, Bengara Ceramic Art House and Sasaune Mine Shaft: 55 min. by bus from Bitchu Takahashi Bus Terminal to Fukiya, and then 20 minute on foot

A taxi tour in Takahashi City for more than two and a half hours at a discount fare is available. Make sure to tell "private sightseeing charter" to the driver before your departure.

Closed: December 29 to 31 ( Bengara Ceramic Art House; Open on Sundays & Tuesdays from April to November ), Tuesday to Friday except public holidays between December 1 and March 31

Admission to Bengara ( colcothar ) Factory Museum: 300 yen for adults / 150 yen for children

Admission to Sasaune Mine Shaft: 400 yen for adults / 200 yen for children

1,000 yen for combined tickets for adults available for 4 facilities ( Former Residence of the Katayama Family, Hirokane Residence, Bengara [ colcothar ] Factory Museum and Sasaune Mine Shaft )

Group discount available for a group of 20 or more people.

Sightseeing Map of Fukiya Furusato Village