Our old friend Michael B. (aka Peko) of Kyoto Foodie & Open Kyoto has asked me to post something about this old Kitayama tradition – “another Kyoto thing that REALLY needs saving!” How could I say no? Michael says…
Kyoto Kitayama Traditional Forestry ‘Honjikomi’ Event
September 4, 2010 (Sat) 10:00 – 11:45 am and 2:00 – 3:50 pm
1000 yen (optional charter bus from Kyoto Station additional 1000 yen)
…Every year Nakagen Forestry Co. puts on this event for people to learn about the 600 year history and culture of Kitayama’s traditional forestry industry.
Kitayama Sugi (cedar) is used for traditional Japanese teahouse and tearoom construction and the tokonoma alcove’s main column is usually Kitayama cedar. Kitayama Sugi is raised and processed based on the aesthetic ideals of tea master Sen-no-rikyu.
Kitayama’s traditional forestry created beautiful wood and is ecologically friendly. Japan can boast an unsurpassed wood culture in the world.
The traditional harvesting techniques call ‘honjikomi’ (本仕込み) are only extant with one 5 man team of Kyoto lumberjacks. This team will be the main event.
I participated in the event last year and it was really great. We went up to the mountain and got to observe and talk with the lumberjacks as they worked. Then, back at Nakagen we got to try our hand at polishing the logs with sand. We also got a tour of the Nakagen warehouse, they have some incredibly beautiful wood including one log that the emperor complimented when he visited.
The weather should be cool up at Nakagawa, contact me if you would like to go.
Check out more of my photos here:
UPDATE! More details on bus times:
Charter Bus (1000 yen round trip)
9:00am JR Kyoto Station Hachijoguchi Bus Pool
9:15am JR Nijo Station West Exit
12:50pm JR Kyoto Station Hachijoguchi Bus Pool
1:05pm JR Nijo Station West Exit
(All pictures courtesy of Michael B.)