Planning your trip to SETOUCHI



Original Igusa coaster making [Hayashima, Okayama]

Original Igusa coaster making [Hayashima, Okayama]

Do you know “Igusa,” or rush?

Rush is a plant used for making tatami mats.

(Source: Hayamshima Town)

Hayashima Town in Okayama Prefecture also once had a thriving cultivation of rushes. About 400 years ago, Hayashima was an island floating in the sea, and farmland was developed through land reclamation, but the soil in the land is salty and unsuitable for rice cultivation. Therefore, rushes, which are resistant to salt, began to be actively cultivated.

A commercial culture developed around rushes, and the town prospered as an information and transportation hub for people from both inside and outside the prefecture. During the Meiji period, it became such a major industry that it was exported to overseas countries, especially the United States.

However, rush production gradually declined as lifestyles changed, and finally in 2000, the number of the farmers growing rush declined to zero. Hayashima’s representative traditional industry came to an end.

Today, there are people working to revive rush cultivation and pass on the tradition and techniques.

Okayama Guesthouse Igusa, the base of this activity, is a renovated 200-year-old traditional house. Here, they provide making coasters activity using colorful rushes. Why not try making a good souvenir and learn about Japan’s traditional industry?

◆ Meeting place: Okayama Guest House Igusa
(615-1 Maegata, Hayashima, Tsukubo District, Okayama)

 Store name: Okayama Guest House Igusa

◆ Operating period: All-year-round

◆ Cost: 1,700 JPY ~ (with Tax)

◆ Minimum number in tour: 2 persons

◆ How to apply: 

◆ Other info: Children aged 6 and older are welcome!

◆ English website: https://www.igusagh.com/en/



Born in Yokohama, and spent most of my school days in Tokyo.
Exchange student experience in the USA (in high school) and Thailand (after graduating from university).
Speak English, Thai and Japanese (of course).
Living in a tranquil island of the Shimanami Kaido.
”I would love to show you around this beautiful area of Setouchi! ”