The Origins of Toyooka's Bag-Making Industry

It is said that Toyooka’s history as a bag-making town began with local craftsmen producing traveling containers created from materials from willow trees. As these containers grew in popularity across the country during the Edo Period (1603~1867), bags created using weaving techniques known as kiryu zaiku (willow craft) and eventually western-style bags produced in Toyooka gave the city a reputation famous for bag-making.


Kiryu zaiku (willow craft) is wickerwork that is made by hand using a species of willow that thrives in the Toyooka area. This sturdy and supple material produces durable items. Rattan is also used.

Woven baskets were an important product when Toyooka was a growing castle town. Other items followed, including storage containers, lunch boxes, and bags. Some of the bags were eventually given handles and locks in imitation of Western-style handbags. The craft is still practiced by a few artisans in the Toyooka area, and kiryu zaiku goods are sold at stores in Izushi, Kinosaki Onsen, and Toyooka.

Experience Willow Crafting

At the Genbudo Museum in Central Toyooka, visitors are welcome to try their hand at creating their very own willow craft design, with three different options available: a small basket, a large basket, or a keepsake coaster.

Baskets are created using willow weaving techniques, and coasters are created with rattan.

Design Options

Go Sightseeing on the Maruyama River

Oritental White Storks are a common sight!

A Farewell Dessert

After your boat ride and activity, receive some castella cake, a traditional Japanese dessert, from the museum cafe!


5 days before activity
  • Plan A (coaster)
  • Plan B (large basket)
  • Plan C (small basket)
(Some times may differ)
1) Arrive at Genbudo Museum
2) Take a boat ride on the Maruyama River
3) Create your own willow craft design with the help of a guide
4) Explore Genbudo Museum
5) Receive castella cake, end of activity

・Required time: 1 hour (Plan A and C), 1.5 hours (Plan B)
・Those accessing Genbudo Museum by train (Genbudo Station) will need to contact Genbudo Museum to reserve a time to be picked up by boat since Genbudo Station is located on the opposite side of the Maruyama River.

・In the event that the sightseeing boat cannot set sail, an alternative program will be provided by the Genbudo Museum staff.

・Activity start times are as follows:
10:00, 11:00, 13:55, 15:15

・Please let us know if you or anyone else in your group has any allergies.
・Children 5 years of age and under can participate without the willow crafting activity (in this case, please ask about pricing and pay for them at the Gebudo Museum).
Regarding costs in the above case: Children 4 to 5 years of age cost 400 yen to enter the Genbudo Museum. Museum entry and the sightseeing boat combination cost 500 yen.
・For children 5 years of age and under who wish to participate in the willow crafting activity, please ask about pricing and pay for them at the Genbudo Museum.
・Children 1-3 years of age can enter Genbudo Museum for free. Please pay 200 yen for the sightseeing boat at Genbudo Museum.
・Children under 1 year of age can enter the Genbudo Museum and ride the sightseeing boat for free.

IMPORTANT: Please let us know your desired start time along with the number and ages of all participants (including infants) on the Request Form.
Even if any of the above criterion applies to a member of your group, please let us know how many participants will be in your group.
(Per person unless otherwise noted)
Number of People Participating in Total (price per person) Price for Plan A (ages 13 and up) Price for Plan A (ages 6-12) Price for Plan B (ages 13 and up) Price for Plan B (ages 6-12) Price for Plan C (ages 13 and up) Price for Plan C (ages 6-12)
2+ people 2,600 yen 2,100 yen 3,300 yen 2,800 yen 2,800 yen 2,300 yen
Museum entry, English guide fee, sightseeing boat, willow craft activity fee, castella, insurance fee
Day of Cancellation Cancellation Fee (% of activity price)
The day of 100%
The day before 50%
2-7 days before 20%
8+ days before 0%
Pay by credit card (VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, DC) via an activity confirmation link in an e-mail that we will send to you following your reservation.
Genbudo Museum
Request Form