If you travel to Japan for a new experience we suggest to visit a small craftsman who manufactures candles in the same traditional way as his family started 114 years ago.
Enjoy Traditional Lights of Okazaki
Okazaki is located in the central area of Japan, in the region of Aichi. Okazaki is the hometown of Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康), the shogun that unified all of Japan under one man.
The region of Mikawa offers a lot to discover in general, but today we would like to let you know about the traditional candles made in Okazaki.
The candles are known as Wa-rosoku, and they have a unique shape and design. Their special feature lies in the stable, clear, soft light with almost no smoke or smell – and by the way also no dripping as we are used to see on normal candles made with paraffine.
They are unique pieces of art. Japanese art.
In the Aichi Prefecture and in Okazaki only a few craftsmen still produce Wa-rosoku. One of the masters of this art is Noriaki Matsui.
Noriaki Matsui is 75 years old – and he has produced this special japanese candles almost every day, since he was 16.
His family has been producing Wa-rosoku candles since 1907, using only genuine and natural wax.
Noriaki Matsui explains that their candles are special, because the use of natural wax, sumac wax, minimises the dripping and the production of soot. The works are entirely handmade and this guarantees a long burning time. Also he is proud to say that the wind cannot extinguish the flame easily.
The production of candle allows different shapes and dimensions. The smallest ones are 5cm and they are used for example in the Buddhistic home altars in Japan. The largest ones are 40cm – but this size requires many layers of wax during the process.
The shape of Wa-rosoku is bigger at the top and smaller on the bottom. So this shape distinguishes clearly from other types of candle.
The larger candles may require up to 300 layers of wax before they reach the desired shape and size.
Master Matsui offers also a workshop in the laboratory, where you can see all techniques how to make a candle and where you might create one with your own hands. The process is not easy but worth the day.
Japanese have enjoyed the Wa-rosoku for over 1.500 years and – looking at the happy face of Master Matsui – we believe, that this tradition will carry on in the future. The daughter of Master Matsui will continue the tradition of her family in the fourth generation.
Master Matsui declares that he manufactures the candles with happiness and joy. When he produces the Wa-rosoku he feels like a kid playing with its preferred toys.
The candles might be a unique souvenir of your trip to Okazaki and Japan.
Matsui Japanese-Style Candle Atelier
2-33 Juo, Okazaki-City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Tel (+81) 564-21-4207
Candle painting experience available upon reservation in advance. Please inquire about fees at the time of reservation. Reservations possible for weekdays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Time required approx. 1 hour.
Hawarded of the Aichi Quality Certification No. 0313