Papermaking techniques continued from the Nara period.
The beautiful town of Mino is lined with wooden buildings that were built from the Edo era to the Meiji era. The traditional Japanese folk craft of washi papermaking has been passed down in this area. The fibers of washi paper are longer than printing paper, giving it durability despite its thinness and ensuring its longevity. These days, it is used in the repair of cultural assets all over the world, with its strength said to last for 1000 years or more. Washi papermaking began in Mino in the ancient Nara era. Although the culture of washi papermaking exists all over Japan, washi paper from Mino is praised for its quality and durability, earning the shogunate’s endorsement during the Edo era, and it has become a firm favorite.
Hon-minoshi paper is also registered by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage!
The robust Mino washi paper is made using a traditional technique called nagashizuki. A wooden box called a sukifune is immersed in a tank of water, and the washi paper is finished to a uniform thickness while being rocked back and forth, right and left. This intertwines the fibers of Mino washi paper in a complex fashion, imparting resistance to ripping in both horizontal and vertical directions. About ten percent of all Mino washi paper is the premium Hon-minoshi, which was designated as a Japanese national intangible cultural heritage in 1969, and was then registered by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage in 2014. These techniques have been handed down as a traditional craft that has gained world recognition.
A variety of applications, from shoji screens to stationery.
Premium Hon-minoshi paper is primarily used for shoji screens, but it also finds other applications; Besides recoding paper and special paper for repairing and preserving cultural assets, Mino washi paper is used for stationery, such as postcards and letters. More recently, it has gained popularity for modern memo pads and as wrapping paper utilizing its beautiful watermarking. Taking advantage of its durability and thinness, it is also used to shade indoor lighting. Light filters dimly through Mino washi paper to gently illuminate any space. You can really feel the soft texture and the gentle touch of Mino washi paper. It makes a great souvenir of Japan for anyone: male or female, young or old.
Mino Washi Museum (including shop & showroom)
- 1851-3 Warabi, Mino-shi, Gifu-ken
- Opening hours
- 9 A.M. – 5 P.M. (last admission 4:30 P.M.)
- Tuesdays and any day following a public holiday
*If Tuesday is a public holiday, the Museum will be closed the following day instead.
If the day following a public holiday is a Saturday or Sunday, the Museum will be open.
- Adults 500 yen
- Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 1-hour flight from Haneda Airport.
- Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 100-minute flight from Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport.
- Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 75-minute flight from Sendai Airport.
- Chubu Centrair International Airport is a 65-minute flight from Matsuyama Airport.
- Meitetsu Gifu Station is 1 hour via Kintetsu limited express from Chubu Centrair International Airport.
- JR Gifu Station is a 5-minute walk from Meitetsu Gifu Station. JR Mino-Ōta Station is about 40 minutes from JR Gifu Station.
- Yunohoraonsen-guchi Station is about 40 minutes from Mino-Ōta Station.
- The Mino Washi Museum is about 15 minutes by taxi from Yunohora-Onsen-guchi Station.