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Fukiya Furusato Village

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Fukiya Furusato Village


Soak in the atmosphere of times gone by at the birthplace of Japan Red

SETOUCHI Tourism Authority


Located in western Okayama Prefecture, a 45-minute drive northwest of the famous Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, Fukiya Furusato Village is a must-visit for those wishing to explore a carefully preserved traditional Japanese townscape away from crowds and mass tourism. Once a prospering copper mining town, in the latter half of the Edo period (1603-1868) Fukiya became known as a producer of bengara, a red pigment made from iron oxide colloquially known as "Japan Red."

With rows of traditional houses displaying bengara red facades and auburn Iwami-style tiles, Fukiya is considered the home of Japan Red. In 1977, the area was designated as an Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings. As you make your way through the main street of the village, the first thing you will notice is that the buildings were built in a similar style with a uniform look. 



In order to enhance the town’s aesthetics, the wealthy bengara merchants who lived here decided to build their businesses and residences under a unified plan, quite a radical idea at the time, and craftspeople and tilers were brought in to construct these luxury buildings. Bengara red was, of course, used to stain the building facades, for uniformity as well as to protect the wood from the weather and insects. 

Stroll through the quaint streets of Fukiya and soak in the charm of this sleepy town. Some of the residences are open to the public, allowing visitors to take a glimpse of bygone days. The village also has a museum where you can learn about the bengara production process, as well as shops and facilities where you can buy bengara souvenirs or even try your hand at bengara dyeing.




How to get there


From Okayama Airport, take a bus to Okayama station (about 30 minutes), then take either the JR Hakubi Line (about 1 hour) or the Limited Express Yakumo (about 30 minutes) to Bitchu-Takahashi Station. At Bitchu-Takahashi Bus Center, located above Bitchu Takahashi Station, take the bus bound for Fukiya (about 1 hour). Fukiya Furusato Village is a short walk from the bus stop.


Fukiya, Nariwa-cho, Takahashi-shi, Okayama-ken



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