Studio visit to Hiyoshiya, Kyoto-style umbrella maker


Dear Reader,
Japanese umbrellas, known as “wagasa,” have a unique charm and elegance. They are handmade using traditional techniques that have been refined over centuries. For more than 160 years, Hiyoshiya has been an iconic presence in Kyoto, carrying on the legacy of this exquisite craft.
A visit to Hiyoshiya is a captivating experience that allows you to witness the beauty of traditional Japanese umbrella making. As you explore the studio and engage with its skilled artisans, you can’t help but feel a deep sense of admiration for the artistry and dedication that go into each wagasa.

As you enter Hiyoshiya, you are greeted by an array of beautifully crafted umbrellas, each telling a story. Besides continuing to make a variety of wagasa such as Ban-gasa, Janome-gasa and Nodate-gasa, the company produces contemporary lighting using centuries-old techniques and also restores the traditional umbrellas used in temples, shrines and ceremonies.

The meticulous process of the traditional Kyoto-style umbrella making involves carefully selecting natural materials like bamboo, washi paper, glue made from tapioca and oil for waterproofing. The artisans at Hiyoshiya take great pride in creating each umbrella with careful attention to detail, resulting in not just a functional object but a work of art.

In an era of mass production and disposable commodities, Hiyoshiya’s commitment to preserving traditional craftsmanship is truly admirable. The company acts as a bridge between the past and the present, reminding us of the importance of preserving heritage in a rapidly changing world.

If you plan to visit the studio and learn more about Kyoto-style umbrella production, book your experience here: HIYOSHIYA

Words & images by Anastasiya Bulkavets (