One of the finest in the country

Tokunaga Carp Streamer Shop

wake town, okayama prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photographer | Takuma Kimura

 

Tokunaga Carp Streamer Shop specializes in koinobori (carp streamers) and satsuki ningyo (decorative samurai dolls), which are both displayed on Children’s day in May all over Japan. They also sell hina dolls which are featured during the Hina Festival in March of each year. Other products include gifts for infants, decorations for the new year, and presents for newly engaged couples.

With 2017 marking their 70th year in business, Tokunaga has turned traditional crafts into a form of high art that continues to thrive due to the limitless creativity of its artisans. They have mastered the art of taking pop culture and making it Japanese, as well as the art of taking traditional Japanese culture and putting a popular twist to it.

The carp streamers and the samurai dolls represent the presence of a son in the household and are symbolic of the hope for the child’s strength and prosperity. Hina dolls, likewise, are displayed as a gesture toward the continued progress of the daughters in the family.

The Tokunaga shop carries such a staggering variety of each that it would definitely take a shop visit to grasp the size of their operation. They sell everything from inexpensive souvenirs to displays priced well over a million yen. One of their more stunning recent creations is a Star Wars-themed samurai doll set.

Truthfully, it is a pleasant experience to simply admire the items on the shop floor, which has a museum-like quality to it. The products on display are so captivating and intricate that you could spend 20-30 minutes looking at just one, and with the shop’s large inventory, that would mean a very long day indeed.

As Tokunaga Carp Streamer Shop continues to innovate, the future of their traditional craft looks bright. 

 

ABOUT THE AREA

Wake Town is the starting and ending point for the Katatetsu Cycling Road. Wake is a mid-sized town located in southeastern Okayama Prefecture. This rural town has a well-cared for environment and a full calendar of events that focuses on nature.

In spring, cherry blossoms can be viewed at Houran-en garden which has over 400 trees. In late April to mid-May, the Wisteria Park takes front stage when the largest wisteria park in Japan goes into full bloom. The park features 100 varieties of wisteria including purple, lavender, pink, and white flowering vines.

In summer, the “wamojiyaki event is held on August 16th of every year. At this event, the Chinese character “wa” representing the “wa” in “Wake” is burned into the mountainside; the character also means ‘peace’. Late August also brings the Apple Festival which is held in Apple Park. The park boasts 1050 trees of 14 varieties of apples; apple picking at the park starts at the end of August and goes on through the end of October.

The Crane festival is the hallmark of October and is held at the Okayama Prefecture Nature Preservation Center. The Center is also home to many other natural beauties, including kingfishers, wild ducks, pygmy woodpeckers, Eurasian jays, and a variety of fish, insects, forest and water plants.

In autumn, November welcomes the momiji or “maple leaf festival” when over 900 trees along the ‘Poet’s Walk’, located on the mountain near the Wisteria Park, show their fall colors.

For year-round enjoyment, Ukaidani Onsen hot spring features a natural hot spring, an indoor heated pool, tennis courts, and lodging.

Access: It is about nine minutes by car/taxi from Wake Station.

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