Ohashi-no-Ohshita Chopstick Workshop and Store

Omiyage and Experience: Chopstick Workshop and Store (箸工房 お箸のおおした)

Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

This is a chopstick workshop and store that offers traditional, eco and modern Japanese chopsticks for sale and a quick lesson on how to make your own. Located in one of Kyoto’s most scenic and quaint districts, just drop in on your way up to Kiyomizu or Kodaiji temples!

Paku discovered Ohashi-no-Ohshita near Kodaiji Temple in Higashiyama ward the other day.

The location is the most scenic area in central Kyoto and the store not only sells a wide variety of high quality chopsticks, visitors can learn how to make their own in the adjoining workshop.

If you are going to be in Kyoto, you will probably want to see Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺), Kiyomizu Temple is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. Kodaiji Temple (高台寺) and the Ichinenzaka (一念坂), Ninenzaka (二寧坂) and Sannenzaka (三寧坂) neighborhood are just below Kiyomizu and these three streets wind their way up the slope to the hillside temple.

Experience: Kyoto ‘DIY’ Chopsticks at Ohashi-no-Ohshita

Ohashi-no-Ohshita offers a variety of pre-lacquered chopsticks to choose from and there are several techniques to polish them. It doesn’t take too long and anyone can create their own, one of a kind chopsticks to take home.

In the Workshop – Polishing Your Own DIY Chopsticks
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
The owner, Mr Oshita gives a demonstration; polishing reveals layers of lacquer, mother of pearl and other varieties of seashell.

In the Workshop – Color and Texture Variations
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

In the Workshop – Before and After
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
The small bits are made from eggshells and seashells, the large, rectangular pieces are mother of pearl. If you look carefully, near the top of the chopstick on the left, the inlaid rectangular piece of mother of pearl can be seen.

Kyoto Omiyage: Handcrafted Traditional Japanese Lacquer Chopsticks

The owner of Ohashi-no-Ohshita, Masayuki Oshita is from Fukui prefecture to the north of Kyoto. Fukui is famous for many things including lacquer. Wakasa nuri comes from modern-day city of Obama, the area was historically known as Wakasa, named after Wakasa Bay on the Sea of Japan.

The lacquer craftsmen in Wakasa of the early Edo period (1603-1868) were influenced by Chinese lacquer techniques and were inspired by the patterns created by sunlight through waves on the shallow seafloor of the bay. This has become known as wakasa nuri, nuri, means to paint, brush or coat.

The selection of wakasa nuri chopsticks are quite expensive, from about $45-$130. They have up to 50 layers of lacquer! Each layer takes one day to dry, then comes polishing. These aren’t DIY. They are very labor intensive and are some of Japan’s finest.

Multiple Layer ‘Wakasa Nuri’ Lacquer ‘Wavy Seafloor’ Pattern
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

‘Wakasa Nuri’ Lacquer with Seashell
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
These include mother of pearl.

‘Wakasa Nuri’ Lacquer with Seashell
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

‘Wakasa Nuri’ Lacquer
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
This motif was a favorite in old Kyoto.

‘Wakasa Nuri’ (若狭塗) Sign
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
waka, 狭 sa, nuri 塗; Wakasa is just a place name and has no particular meaning.

Modern and Colorful Lacquer Chopsticks

This series is very delightful and unique. The vibrant colors are not at all traditional. The quality is high yet the prices are reasonable.

Colorful Modern Lacquer
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
On the ends are painted blooms and sprout themed motifs in delicate white lacquer.

Wrapped in ‘Washi’ Paper and Lacquered
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
Washi is traditional Japanese paper. It is extremely durable yet beautiful. The lacquered so it will stand up to water and washing. The paper makes for a nice grip too.

Modern Natural Wood Japanese Chopsticks

The bamboo used to make these chopsticks comes from the Arashiyama and Sagano area in the Western Hills of Kyoto. This area produces many varieties of bamboo for crafts as well as fine bamboo shoots for eating.

Natural Kyoto Bamboo Chopsticks
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Natural Kyoto Bamboo Chopsticks – detail
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Natural Bamboo Chopsticks – Painted Green
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Use Specific Wooden Chopsticks
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
These are for sashimi. About $15.

Use Specific Wooden Chopsticks
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
The top pair is for soba, and the bottom two are for ramen. Ramen is more slippery than soba, so these are branded with a hot iron for extra traction.

Japanese Baseball Team Branded Chopsticks

Baseball is the most popular professional sport in Japan and the names and logos of teams are a common sight on products in Japan. This was the first time I had seen baseball team branded chopsticks.

Japanese Baseball Team Chopsticks
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Japanese Baseball Team Chopsticks
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Hanshin Tigers
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Eco, Reusable ‘My Hashi’ Chopstick Sets

‘Hashi’ means ‘chopstick’ in Japanese. ‘My Hashi’ are gaining in popularity and these are very attractive and reasonably priced at about $20. They can be broken down to easily fit in a purse or briefcase and have their own pouch.

My Hashi
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

My Hashi
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Conventional Chopsticks – Dishwasher Safe

Ohashi-no-Ohshita Workshop and Store has a large offering of reasonably priced Japanese style conventional chopsticks. These make great omiyge (お土産), or souvenirs. They are even dishwasher safe.

Conventional Chopsticks
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Conventional Chopsticks
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

The Store and Neighborhood

The Proprietor
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
Mr Oshita started out as a lacquer craftsmen in Wakasa then came to Kyoto to develop his business and offer people a chance to experience some of the process that makes traditional Japanese lacquer chopsticks.

Store
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
The store is small, but not cramped and has an incredible selection of chopsticks.

Workshop
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
The autographed white panels on the wall are signed by actors, musicians, athletes, television personalities and so on.

Ichinenzaka Neighborhood
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
This is a wonderful neighborhood with many, many traditional shops and restaurants to be discovered. You can easily spend an entire day between here and Kiyomizu Temple.

Ohashi-no-Ohshita Store Front
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Ohashi-no-Ohshita Store Front
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Workshop and Store Sign
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)
おおした Ohshita, 箸 chopstick, 工房 workshop

Ishin-no-Michi Entrance

The larger street, facing toward Kodaji Temple is called Ishin-no-Michi (維新の道), Ishin Street. Ohashi-no-Ohshita can also be entered through this side of the building.

Ishin-no-Michi Storefront
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

Ishin-no-Michi Steet Facing Sign
Omiyage and Experience: Kyoto Kodaji Chopstick Workshop and Store (お箸のおおした 箸工房)

English Service

English brochure: none
English website: none (Japanese language website)

Service/Staff: friendly
Hours: 10am-6pm, open everyday
Location and Access: Ohshita Chopstick Workshop is 20 minutes on foot from Kawaramachi Station (Hankyu Line), 15 minutes on foot from Shijo Station (Keihan line). It is on stone paved road called Ichinen-zaka,in between Gion area to Kiyomizu Temple.

Address
Kyoto-shi Higashiyama-ku Kodaiji Minamimon-dori Shimogawara Higashi-iru Masuya-cho 362-5 (京都市東山区高台寺南門通下河原東入桝屋町362-5)
Telephone: 075-551-1184

Map

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7 Responses to “Ohashi-no-Ohshita Chopstick Workshop and Store”

  1. Marie says:

    Fascinating how many different kinds of chopsticks they offer! I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to design, but I really love some of the more decorative ones such as the wavy seafloor pattern! Thank you for such a thorough look at what seems to me is a one-of-a-kind shop.

  2. Peko Peko says:

    Hello Marie,

    Yes, they have quite a selection, but more than that, I really like the selection itself.

    You know, I actually like minimal, and minimal has been popular in Kyoto for more than 1000 years. I think that the ‘wavy seafloor’ pattern IS quite minimal (the ones without the seashell).

    Thanks for stopping by KyotoFoodie, please come again!

  3. diva says:

    oh this looks like a place i just hafta visit! i can’t wait to start planning my trip – definitely will be referring to your website for the best spots. are japanese cars left or right-hand drive? x

  4. Did check this on my recent trip – wonderful things, and easier than you might expect to find – it is right on the recommended walk through Gion for both Lonely Planet and the city tourist map. Eventually I will get some shots up :)

  5. Basyir says:

    amazing… i love it.

  6. [...] to be an expensive one – in the sense of buying souvenirs, books, stuff and gadgets. The chopstickshop of Mr. Oshita is certainly very high on my list. So, if you want some Ohashi no Oshita (Oshita’s [...]

  7. Love it. Great recommendation.

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