“Not just a cafe!” Let’s take a look at how to get the most fun out of FabCafe Hida! – 2019 Omnibus Edition

Happy new year, everyone. When we take a moment to look back at 2019 at FabCafe Hida, it was a year that gave us the opportunity to meet locals and foreigners alike, and to encounter a variety of people no matter what country they hail from or what they do for a living.

In this article, we’ll continue that look back at 2019, touching on the workshops and events held at FabCafe Hida as introduced by local Hida-Furukawa staffmember Rina.

2019’s most popular selection was a hands-on experience making chopsticks from hardwood!

Even among the many services offered by FabCafe Hida, making chopsticks out of Hida Hardwood was a far and away favorite. The experience allowed people to choose the type of wood they wanted from a selection of various Hida hardwoods, and, using a wood-carving plane, craft a pair of chopsticks just for them. Among the customers who tried it, one used a laser cutter to add a personal stamp of his own, and took his new chopsticks to a nearby soba restaurant for their debut when they were done.

A family stops by in the middle of their vacation to try out chopstick-making.

There’s also a ‘Spoon Kit,’ that can be made using a laser cutter and sandpaper. Here, two people try out the finished spoons on some ice cream at the Furukawa dairy shop, Bokuseisya.

The most popular item on our menu, our house-made Canelé, made with plenty of Hida milk.

At our Café, we offer seasonal food and drink made from local ingredients. Among that menu, one of our most popular items is our canelé , a French pastry made with plenty of milk from the dairy Bokusei-sha! We offer our canelé in several varieties, including a canelé made with amazake from a local brewery, a canelé made with some healthy herbs, and our original-recipe canelé.

Plus, we have a sumptuous selection of dishes made with Spicebush gathered in the forest!

Spicebush is a fragrant shrub used as an ingredient in scents and a material for the luxury food picks used at some Japanese tea ceremonies. So far, our Spicebush menu has gotten rave reviews from customers. With dishes utilizing Spicebush giving off a delicately spicy aroma, we’ve added it as a topping for milk tea, cocktails, and our special-recipe hayashi rice.



A plate of our special recipe hayashi-rice, made with a hearty helping of local Hida-grown tomatoes. The dish is topped with an aromatic Spicebush topping.

Shaking Spicebush Cocktail

Shaking Spicebush Cocktail

The many different ways of enjoying FabCafe Hida

At the cafe, some prop open their laptops and tackle some work, a mother and her kids enjoy a relaxing lunch in the Japanese-style room, a local furniture craftsman uses the digital machines and woodworking room to create… everyone uses the spaces available according to their individual goals.

Children playing blocks in the Japanese-style room.

A furniture craftsman from the neighborhood, making a woodblock print.

Brightening up Our Interior with Flowers

We like to brighten up FabCafe Hida with ikebana flower arrangements according to the season.

Our flower arrangements are done by a local ikebana teacher, Nishimura.

Our Hands-On Creation Experiences: Delicious, Fun, and Easy!

Everyone, including of course beginners and children can use the FAB machine to create, and we hold workshops and events every month that give you the chance to touch the blessings of Hida forest and the potential they hold.

Use the treasures of the forest and the cherryblossom trees to create a one-of-a-kind accessory for yourself!

This workshop is sponsored by the Senbon Sakura Park Committee, as part of a project to plant 1000 cherryblossom trees, transforming the ruins of the closed-down ski area into a place people will come to gather once more. The cherryblossom trees are pruned in order to keep them growing beautifully, and we’ve used the branches from those prunings to make cute accessories.

A “Stool Seat Weaving” Workshop with an Experienced Craftsperson

We held a workshop that gave people the chance to weave their own stool seats together with experienced woodworker, Katata. Straw-woven chairs have great breathability and make comfy seats during the summer months. Workshop participants even learn maintenance, so that even if the stool sags as it ages, they’ll be able to weave the seat together and mend it on their own.

Also at FabCafe Tokyo: Cutlery Making with Hida Hardwood!

We offered a workshop that offered the chance to make original cutlery out of wood from Hida processed in a digital machine. From butterknives to baby’s first spoon, all it takes to create them is sandpaper, so everyone from kids to adults can have a great time. Thanks to planning by Komano from FabCafe Tokyo, the workshop was offered in parallel at both FabCafe Tokyo and FabCafe Hida. Participants used monitors to interact, talking about the appeal of Hida’s wood, and working through their designs using trial and error.

Getting Away from FabCafe Hida for a Visit to Hida Forest

FabCafe Hida takes architects, designers, creators and specialists, inviting them into the forest to see what new possibilities will be born. With our nearby forest, we want to create more chances to capture that feeling of freedom, and last year, FabCafe Hida staff held forest-related events together with locals and other related individuals.

Forests’s Edge Meeting #2 – A Chat About the Borders Between Humanity and the Forest, at the Huntsman’s Lodge

Bear researcher Yasue, a member Yamanohiten 2019, a special exhibition high in the Hida mountains, together with the hunter Wakitani and his hunting dog, accompanied participants in the Forests Edge Meeting #2 event as they did fieldwork and stayed at the hunter’s lodge.

At night in the lodge, participants made a circle around meals of wild game and both first-time visitors to a forest and those used to being in forest, spoke about how this one made them feel from each of their varying perspectives. It was a fun time, exchanging both knowledge from forest enthusiasts and simple feelings alike.

Forest Lessons Vol. 3: Woodworking Unplugged – Youkai and Rice Scoops Made from Fresh Magnolia

Located in a town surrounded by the forest, FabCafe Hida was able to invite a wood coordinator, a forest pâtissier, woodworkers, and more, for “Forest Lessons,” a series of conferences on methods for living in harmony with the forest. We held eight Forest Lessons last year.

For volume three, we use fresh magnolia and work entirely by hand, no machines (hence the ‘unplugged’), in order to make Hida’s traditional craft item, the Arimichi rice scoops, and the unique Hida Yukinyuudou, a type of youkai or spirit creature, with rice scoop maker Okui as our guest. We asked him to speak about methods of creating and living along with Hida forest that date back many years. At the same time, we offered a Yukinyuudou workshop with Okui and a special menu at the cafe.

Takeing a walk with a patissier in Hida forest with “Spring Cafe Trekking on Anbouzan.”

Together with Ojyo, an outdoors-loving chef and pâtissier from the cake shop Siegfrieda in Gero City, as well as with 216WORKS, a forest guide operating in Hida-Osaka, we hosted a cafe trekking event on Anbouzan that let people get a taste of both trekking and sweets.

Participants also got a chance to make cute, leaf-shaped cutlery that was designed by FabCafe Hida in collaboration with chef Hojyo. At an observation area at the top of the mountain, everyone had fun making the cutlery and using it to tuck into some mille-feuille pastry.

Foraging for Spicebush in the Forest A Trip to the Mountains to Open FabCafe Hida



Café staff tries their hand at foraging for Spicebush in the Hidakuma company-owned woods.

FabCafe Hida opens a stall in at the Hida Kawai Ski Resort’s night market.

Learning from the Locals: How to Live a Bountifully in Hida

A drink in one hand: October’s Katari Bar.

We opened the Katari Bar, a place for sipping Hida sake and enjoying relaxed conversation.

This year, we wanted to create a place where Hida locals and other people connected to the town could have a place to get together, and invited Hida’s mayor to be a guest and speaker. At the October Katari Bar, the proprietress of the traditional inn two doors down from FabCafe Hida provided stories about the history of Furukawa as well as ale for the participants.

Her talk was involving and energetic, and we’ve collected it in the event reports, so don’t hesitate to give it a read.
(Click here to view the report. – Japanese version only)

Plans to Rent FabCafe Hida for Wine Parties and other Bring Your Own Events

FabCafe Hida also rents out space. Throughout 2019, it was used for parties, events, meetings, and more.

“Casual Wine Party,” Sponsored by Hida Plus

Our tatami room can also be used for events and workshops.

[Extra Edition] Monthly Deep Cleaning. Everyone Gets Together for Lunch!

Once every month, we take a temporary holiday and polish the century-old floors and walls, as well as cleaning all those hard to reach nooks and crannies. After cleanup, it’s time for an afternoon break.

What will you Fab in 2020?

In the year ahead our staff want to set out from this point to meet a variety of people, handle a variety of things, and do their best to provide new encounters to everyone, so that the hands-on experiences at FabCafe can be even more enriching.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all this year!

An Easy, Approachable Hands-On Experience Making Things with Hida Wood, Using a Digital Machine
Click here for Fab Service

Events where you can meet specialists and community members.
Click here for the Event Schedule.

Want to rent FabCafe for a meeting, party, or event?
For information on rental use, click here.


What is FabCafe Hida?

FabCafe Hida is a digital creation cafe, where you can enjoy food and drink made with local ingredients, and use the FAB machine, a digital fabrication machine which carries out its processing using design data created on a computer. It’s a place where you can gather and exchange ideas with a variety of people looking to create, including locals and experienced craftspeople, architects from all over the world, designers, and travelers, and it has a guest house and woodworking studio where you can work with Hida hardwood.

FabCafe has 11 locations worldwide (as of January, 2019), with three Japanese locations in Tokyo, Hida, and Kyoto. We have locations overseas in Taiwan and Hong Kong. We’ve also got locations in France, Spain, Mexico, and more.
FabCafe Hida operates Hidakuma Co., ltd.


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