What to Expect
Factory tour in the city of metal, Tsubame-Sanjo
You can see the processes in which beautiful metal products are being made.
You can purchase those quality products during the tour if you would like!
Metal forging and processing industry has thrived in the cities of Tsubame and Sanjo, which are located in the middle of Niigata Prefecture.
These days, the name of those two cities has become a brand name, "Tsubame-Sanjo". Cutlery and hardware with "Tsubame-Sanjo" brand are displayed at exhibitions around the world and now renowned for their top quality.
This tour will literally "show" you how those excellent products are made by artisans. You will be captivated not only by the beauty of the finished products, but also by the manufacturing process itself.
About 400 years ago, farmhands living in the two areas were often suffered from floods of nearby rivers and lost their living.
To rescue them from poverty, the then governor invited craftsmen from Edo (Tokyo) and they taught the farmhands production method of Japanese-style nails. Production of nails became side job and it saved their living.
That's the beginning of the strong bond between metal and Tsubame-Sanjo area. Artisans have been improving their techniques of metal forging and processing since then until today, which has made the name of "Tsubame-Sanjo" worldwide.
Places to Visit:
Gyokusendo is a company which has produced "Tsuiki Copperwear" since 1816. Process to produce "Tsuiki Copperwear" is quite unique: Artisans hammer a plate of copper again and again, and eventually, form it into vessels, teapot and so on. Gyokusendo has kept the traditional method since its foundation; moreover, they developed their original coloring method, which has made the company even more exceptional.
We will see inside the factory and study how products are made.
We will have lunch at one of the most famous ramen restaurants in Tsubame-Sanjo area, Koshuhanten.
You will be surprised to see the difference between ramen in Tsubame-Sanjo and that in other places.
Suwada Seisakusho is a company which has produced a wide variety of nail clippers.
Founded in 1926, they originally produced nippers for the use of carpentry. By popular demand, they used the technique that they had accumulated and started producing nail clippers. Useful, elaborate and beautiful, their nail clippers are renowned not only in Japan, but also all over the world.
We will see inside the factory and study how products are made. Then, we will visit the shop & cafe neighboring the factory.