The silent backbone of Japanese civilization and culture has now come into the spotlight.

京都府亀岡 天然砥石館

Humanity developed blade sharpening techniques since ancient times. In Japan, a brilliantly unique culture around blades was created. Holding a key role behind the scenes is the natural whetstone. Precise traditional techniques were developed during the making of sharp, well-made knives using well-made whetstones with high sharpening performance. However, due to the development of industrial technology, the spotlight was ceded to artificial whetstones so much so that now, few people mine for natural whetstones. Kyoto once supported Japan's civilization and culture as the premier source of natural whetstones in Japan. The Kyoto Kameoka Natural Whetstone Museum aims to pass down this history to future generations.

What kind of place is the Natural Whetstone Museum?

  • World’s First Whetstone Museum!! It is a museum of whetstones which boasts over 250 million years of history.
  • Kyoto has a deposit of high quality natural whetstones. These actual precious whetstones will be on display.
  • The best way to understand whetstones is to use it!! Let’s personally experience, see and feel these whetstones!

Forest Station Kameoka: About the Natural Whetstone Museum

The Natural Whetstone Museum was opened to the public on April 2017 as a hub to convey the appeal of the natural whetstone and the sharpening culture that has been the backbone of the traditional cultures of Japan like washoku (Japanese cuisine), traditional architectures and the katana (Japanese swords).
Aside from locally produced “shiage (finishing)” whetstones, precious whetstones produced from all over the country are also on display. In addition, the museum also serves as an attraction and experience corner where one can engage in a hands-on experience of the sharpening culture through the knife sharpening experience course, the shaving of katsuobushi (dried, fermented and smoked skipjack tuna) blocks and so on.

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