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Hiba Koubou – Getting closer to the nature with the mysterious tree from Aomori

You will find ‘Hiba Koubou’ (ひば工房) not far from Iidabashi Station, just between Kagurazaka Street and Tokyo Daijingu Shrine.Hiba KoubouThis shop is often featured in fashion magazines due to its uniqueness. Here you can buy practically anything made with Thujopsis wood, a conifer in the cypress family.Hiba KoubouSometimes it is also called asunaro (あすなろ), but people from Aomori Prefecture call it Hiba (ひば), which means ‘mysterious tree’.Hiba KoubouThose trees look like small hinoki cypresses. Aomori-Hiba is a tree that grows gradually, adding tree rings over 200 to 300 years. Aomori-Hiba contains Hinokitiol, a fragrant organic chemical that protects it against water and termites. That’s why ancient Japanese used the wood to make Konjiki-do (Golden Hall) of Chuson-ji Temple in Iwate, and the Shuri-jo Castle in Okinawa.

Four useful effects of Aomori-hiba from ‘Hiba Koubou’ are also emphasized by famous people from Aomori: antibacterial, tranquilizing, anti-pesticide, and deodorizing.

Toys made of Aomori-Hiba are absolutely safe for the babies.Hiba KoubouAnd Christmas decorations made of it look fantastic and smell very festive! Personally I bought myself a pair of fragrant shoe stuffers, and the friendly staff at Hiba Koubou also gave me two complimentary sachets for my bag.Hiba KoubouNow my home smells of Aomori-Hiba, which constantly reminds me of Japanese onsens. They always have that kind of smell there. Actually the staff also told me that Hiba is much better than cypress because it lasts longer compared to cypress. It can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, shoe cabinet, and even in the refrigerator. They have Aomori-Hiba furniture and kitchenware as well.Hiba Koubou


Hiba Koubou

Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda, Fujimi 1-7-7 1F
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 7 PM
Open: Monday – Saturday
Tel: 03-5213-0151
Access 1: 4 min. walk from Iidabashi Station, North Exit
Access 2: 10 min. walk from Kudanshita Station, Exit 3b
Distance to Airport: 20 km from Haneda Airport
Official website and online shop (only in Japanese): http://www.hiba-koubou.com/

Article by Olga Kaneda

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