An institute to promote the traditional art of lacquer-ware

Urushi Lacquerware Institute

takamatsu city, kagawa prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photographer | Takuma Kimura


In 1954, an effort was begun to promote the traditional art of lacquer-ware production from a small borrowed room in Takamatsu Industrial Arts High School. After years of gradual success, an independent institute began to take shape, eventually taking root in its current home at the Takamatsu Prefecture Cultural Center.

Lacquer refers to the sap that is taken from a tree found throughout East and Southeast Asia. It has been used for thousands of years as a protective coating for all manner of everyday household items.

What is referred to as lacquer-ware today has its origins in China, entering Japan principally during the Tang dynasty along with a host of other sophisticated cultural practices and spiritual systems. From that point, lacquer-ware continued to develop as an art form.

With a mind to keep lacquer-ware production alive and developing in Japan, the institute was conceived and today is a fully functioning three year school. The yearly intake of students is set at a maximum of ten and daily courses provide instruction in subjects such as traditional painting, woodwork and lacquer-ware application techniques.

Students are required to have graduated from high school and be under 35 years of age at the time of enrollment. If you are interested in learning the art of lacquer-ware-making, there are open campus events held throughout the year. 

The institute also hosts regular exhibitions of student work and that of their master instructors. There are opportunities to purchase some of the pieces as well.

Lacquer-ware-making experiences are possible from Monday to Friday from 9am-4pm with prior registration. Take the chance to try your hand at this ancient art form which might open the door to a new hobby or even a new career.

Access: Take the Marine Liner from JR Okayama Station to JR Takamatsu Station. Urushi Lacquer-ware Institute is about a 15 minute walk from JR Takamatsu Station.


About the Area

Takamatsu City is the commercial center of Shikoku and has a urban feel that is befitting to the title. Its lovely boulevards and well-developed port area create an ambiance that is truly cosmopolitan.

Must-see spots for visitors include, Ritsurin Garden, Takamatsu Castle, the central shopping arcade and the port area art installations.

Yakuri Station is the entry point to the Yashima district of Takamatsu City, which is well-known for its temple near the summit of the unique and iconic table top-shaped Mt. Yashima. The vista from the mountain is highly-prized and well worth the effort to get there. However, to best appreciate its entire shape, the view from Sunport Takamatsu Symbol Tower is recommended.

Yashima is notable for its eateries, many of which serve the renowned local specialty, udon noodles.


Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee