Activities - Arts & Crafts

Nakano Clay Doll Painting
Japan Clay Doll Museum : 日本土人形資料館

Paint Your Own Artistic Nakano Clay Doll.

Northern Nagano


Nakano City's "Tsuchibina" clay dolls are cultural tradition in northern Nagano. Dating back to the Edo era, the dolls have delighted young and old alike for centuries. Use your creativity to contribute to the Nakano clay doll tradition and paint one of the dolls at the Japan Clay Doll Museum. You can take your unique tsuchibina doll home with you as a reminder of your trip to Nagano.


Nakano City is home to the Japan Clay Doll Museum, testament to its rich tradition of clay doll making. Two main artisan families, the Nara Family (makers of Nakano Dolls) and the Nishhara Family (makers of the Tategahana Dolls) carry on the tradition today. At the Japan Clay Doll Museum, you can choose an unpainted tsuchibina doll and paint it following one of the models and/or create your own colorful design.


  • 30
  • 5
  • 30 people
  • Attendant required.
9:00-17:00 (From Dec. to Feb. 10:00-16:00)
Thursdays and New Years holiday
Cost / Price of Admission
Museum Entrance 200 (high school 100, younger free). Dolls painting from 300 to 3,150.
Time Required
30 min-1.5 hours for the activity + 30-60 min. for the museum
Required, Not required(Required for groups. Please contact in Japanese by either telephone, fax or e-mail with name, telephone number, requested date and time and # of participants.)
# of Participants
Foreign Languages
(Instruction in Japanese. (Having someone that speaks Japanse accompany English speakers is highly recommended.)
Luggage Storage


Annual "Hina-Ichi" tsuchibina doll festival held in city center at the end of March. Museum can accommodate up to 50 people at a time.


tel : +81(0)269-26-0730fax : +81(0)269-26-0730Official site

Access / Location

By Train
From Shinshu Nakano Station(Nagano Dentetsu Nagano Line), Take bus to Nakamachi stop. At Nakamachi intersection, turn right (east) and walk up the hill to the museum (approx. 1.4km, 18 min.)
By Car
From Shinshu-Nakano IC, Take Route 29 east to Route 54 and turn right. Go 500m and turn left to go up the hill to the museum.
1150 Nakano, Nakano  383-0013

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