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MIYADAIKU Tourism Program in Yokohama

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > MIYADAIKU Tourism Program in Yokohama


An unprecedented opportunity to witness and learn centuries-old woodworking techniques

Yokohama City


With a history of 1,400 years, Horyuji Temple is the world’s oldest surviving wooden structure. In fact, many of the oldest wooden buildings in the world are Japanese temples and shrines. Built with unique construction techniques and craftsmanship, these complex structures are earthquake-resistant and have endured the challenges of Japan’s harsh natural environment.
The carpenters who specialize in building and maintaining shrines and temples are known as “MIYADAIKU” and their traditional skills and techniques were registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2020. This precious knowledge has been passed down from master to apprentice through the generations and many of the carpentry techniques are confidential and undisclosed to the public.


The MIYADAIKU Tourism Program gives participants the rare opportunity to see a MIYADAIKU carpenter at work and experience these secret techniques as an apprentice. The tour takes place at shrines and temples in Yokohama City and is authorized by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. Participants will be able to enter sacred areas that are usually off limits and observe this traditional art up close.


After wearing the traditional attire of a MIYADAIKU, complete with twisted hachimaki headband and hanten jacket, you will pay a formal visit to the shrine, or temple, to purify yourself before starting the apprenticeship. You will then enter the premises to watch the work of a real MIYADAIKU and listen to his teachings. Witness centuries-old woodworking techniques, learn how to use traditional tools and give a try yourself. You will have a great story to tell back home!



A MIYADAIKU Apprentice Certificate will be awarded to each participant at the end of the tour. Additional options include tea ceremony experience, souvenir making, public bath experience and lunch made with local products.





How to get there


Pick up and drop off available from Haneda Airport (about 45 minutes), Yokohama Station (about 30 minutes), and Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal (about 30 minutes).


Shrines, Temples and Historical Buildings in Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken



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