Create Experiences in Aikawa
Aikawa is a small town located on the north-eastern side of the Tanzawa mountains, just west of Sagamihara and Tokyo’s Machida region. It’s a remote region best reached by car from any one of central Kanagawa’s main city centers, like Atsugi or Ebina, from where it takes around 40 mins.
Miyagase Dam Sightseeing (Opening of the Floodgates)
Miyagase Dam is perched on the far western edge of Aikawa, along the eastern side of Lake Miyagase in the Kiyokawa area. Between April and November (see schedule here), you can witness the dam discharge water at set intervals. It’s an epic and unique site to behold that lasts six minutes and may even see you catch a rainbow on clear days. Enjoy the lake views to the west and valley views over Aikawa Park to the east — there’s also a dam museum here and a cable car that can take you down to the park itself (operates on weekends only during the winter).
Japanese Crafts @ Crafts Studio Village
Aikawa Park is a short drive from the top of Miyagase Dam, though you can also take the dam’s cable car down to the park if parked up at the dam (note: during the winter, this only operates on weekends).
The park has a number of attractions and walking routes, but the Crafts Studio Village has to be one of the highlights. Here you can experience making traditional crafts such as pottery, bamboo, paper making and indigo dyeing. The staff are super helpful and will help take you through the process of creating your own masterpiece to take home. Note that for pottery activities, your creation will be dried, glazed and fired and sent around one month later (currently domestic only).
Experience Traditional Japanese Crafts at the Crafts Studio Village
Hattori Dairy Farm is located a few minutes north (by car) from Aikawa Park. It’s a scenic spot sure to be fun for the whole family, with fields of sheep and cows grazing at what is the largest farm in Kanagawa. Enjoy the vast fields, Ice Cream Factory Casalinga—made with fresh milk, experience caring for the cows, making butter or feeding the sheep and goats.
Note: closed on Fridays during the winter months (Nov–Feb)
Kashow Domon Confectionary
Kashow Domon makes for a timely souvenir stop on the way back home. This traditional Japanese confectionery has been making wagashi for over 50 years. Domon is known for its famous confections presented to Meiji and Heian shrines, as well as its beloved brands of dorayaki, Osumiyama Monaka and Mimase Shishimai.
Inside the store, popular with the locals, you can find a wide range of confectionery items that both preserve traditional flavours yet also redefine what to expect from modern day wagashi confections.