Travel through Time by Visiting Old Copper Mine Town. - Historical Townscape of Fukiya -
The historical Townscape of Fukiya is designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings in Japan. It sits at an altitude of 550 meters, or 1,800 feet. The main street is about 300 meters long, or 985 feet. It is lined with unified traditional local houses with their reddish copper-colored roof tiles and outer walls covered with a coat of plaster in which colcothar is kneaded. It was added to Japan's Heritage list as the birthplace of "Japan red" with other related cultural properties such as the Bengara (colcothar) Factory Museum in June 2020.
In 1707, a production method for high-quality colcothar was discovered, and the colcothar started to be produced. In the middle of the 18th century, a new manufacturing method of colcothar made from artificial melanterite brought the area a fortune. Powerful merchants, including the Katayama Family and its branch families, formed the unified town coordinated with red in the early 19th century. Fukiya had thrived as the only production area of colcothar in Japan until the middle of the 20th century.
Painted with the red pigment rated as one of Japan's highest quality pigments, plenty of ceramic wares, including Imari ware and Kutani ware, were exported to Europe through the Dutch East India Company. These products became extremely popular and got high evaluation in Europe.
Nearby is Former Fukiya Elementary School. It was opened in 1873 and relocated to its present site in 1899. The wooden flat school buildings located on the right and left sides were finished in 1900, and then the two-story main school building was completed in 1909. The school was closed in March 2012. They were the oldest extant Japanese-style wooden school buildings for compulsory education in Japan. Takahashi City has carried out a building renovation between October 2015 and March 2022. It restarted as a museum on April 21, 2022. The school building is lit up everyday from August 10 through August 21 and Fridays and Saturdays from July 1 through September 30, 2022 except the period.
Hill Climb Challenge Series in Takahashi is held in Takahashi City on the first Sunday of October and the previous Saturday. It is a bicycle race in which anyone from a beginner to an advanced person is allowed to participate. The cycle racers registered in advance check in on the first day of the event. They run either the long distance of 15km, or 9.3mi, or the short distance of 10km, or 6.2mi, for Historical Townscape of Fukiya, after a warm-up run of 2.5km, or 1.55mi, from a junior high school near Bitchu Kawamo Station the next day.
Ten-minute tour by bonnet bus is available to travel around the Fukiya area every Sunday afternoon from July 2022 to September 2022.
Getting here: 60 min. by bus from Bitchu Takahashi Bus Terminal
A taxi tour in Takahashi City for more than two and a half hours at a discount fare is available. Make sure to tell "private sightseeing charter" to the driver before your departure.
Rental power-assisted bicycles available at Tourist Association Fukiya Branch on weekends and national holidays from April to November without reservations. Reservation required for weekday rentals.