Myochin Hibashi tongs are designated as Hyogo Prefecture's traditional crafts. The Myochin family, who had made armor since the Heian period, first made hibashi tongs of this kind for tea ceremony at the request of Sen-no-Rikyu, the most famous master of tea ceremony.
There are about 20 varieties including horsetail-shaped, bracken-shaped, nail-for-roof tile-typed and tsuzumi drum-typed ones. Munemichi Myochin, the 52nd generation, invented a wind chime and a door chime by making use of tongs' clear sounds when struck together. These chimes are popular among people.
Himeji Tanned Leather', which had reportedly originated in the Himeji district in the 4th to 5th century, was used for harness and Yoroi armor from the end of the Warring State period to the Azuchi-Momoyama period to become known nationwide as 'Banshu White Tanned Leather'.
Since the Edo period refined crafts like a cigarette case were made and now this leather is widely used for a book cover, a wallet and a handbag because of its soft and high-quality texture.
Hariko (papier-mache) was made at a castle town throughout the nation in the Edo period (1603-1867) by gluing layers of 'Used Japanese Paper' for its base.
Himeji Hariko has its origin at the beginning of the Meiji period, when Tadashichi Toyooka, an ironsmith, mastered Hariko-making and started his business in Himeji. Later it is said to have spread all over the country through a wholesale dealer. Typical of Himeji Hariko are expressive masks such as Okame (smiling female mask with a bulbous nose), Hyottoko (comical male mask with a pouting mouth), and Tengu (Japanese long-nosed goblin mask) and a humorous paper tiger whose head shakes.
Himeji Koma is said to have originated at the beginning of the Meiji period and by the beginning of the Showa period it had been distributed extensively in the western Japan as well as the Harima area. Customarily, 'Kazari Koma (Ornamental Spinning Top)' was presented to a family with a newborn boy on his first New Year's Day as a gift. A carefully-lathed spinning top by a craftsman is painted with simple and beautiful colors of vermilion, green, and others, giving hand-made warmth.
Lacquerware used by priests in Shoshazan (Mt. Shosha) was reproduced recently. This features many layers of black Japanese lacquer and a final layer of vermilion one. This comes in various products such as accessories like a necklace and a bracelet, a Buddhist rosary and a small vase as well as a bowl.
Sake made from 'Yamada-Nishiki', the supreme local rice for sake, is a specialty. Himeji is well-known for good rice and sake-brewing with ten sake breweries, some of which provide you with a tour and tasting.
Confectionery in Himeji has become well-known nationwide, since the lords of the Sakai family in the latter Edo period were cultured people who liked tea ceremony. A variety of shapes and tastes are enjoyed in Dutch sweets handed down from the Edo period as well as in Japanese cakes such as Kinuta (habutae-mochi rice cake with sweet bean paste inside) and Tamatsubaki (yolk-mixed white sweet bean paste coated with pink thin rice cake crust) and Gozasoro (Japanese cake with sweet bean paste inside).