Travel through Time by Visiting Old Copper Mine Town. - Historical Townscape of Fukiya -
Historical Townscape of Fukiya is designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings in Japan. It is located at an altitude of 550 meters, or 1,800 feet. The main street with a length of about 300 meters, or 985 feet, 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 the Japan's Heritage list as the birthplace of "Japan red" together with other related cultural properties such as 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 which was made from artificial melanterite brought the area a huge fortune. Powerful merchants, including the Katayama Family and its branch families, formed the unified town coordinated with red in color 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 which was rated as one of Japan's highest quality of pigments, a large quantity of ceramics ware, 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. It was dismantled and building renovation takes place during the period between October 2015 and March 2022. It is scheduled to reopen as a museum.
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. The 2021 event has been canceled due to the coronavirus.
A ten-minute bonnet bus tour is available every Sunday afternoon from July 1 to September 30, 2021.
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.