Decorative Calabashes, brilliantly colorful in Japanese traditional design, are becoming one of the top sellers at the city's Tourism Specialty Gallery at JR Itami station, next to the turnstyle.
As a part of the city's effort to make the region special and give it a distinct character, calabashes have been cultivated, then hand made into this particular form of art. They come in various sizes, but most of them easily fit in your hand. They are painted in bright, traditional motif such as sakura, and come with wooden taps, ornamental strings and tassels. Some calabashes are of simple, solid color.
Calabashes are originally products of Africa, they were used for carrying water and wine throughout the history in many parts of the world. In Japan, they were also considered good luck charms. They were also used in motifs of samurai banners, also the army of the great Hideyoshi Toyotomi employed the design.
Prices range from 500JPY to 3000JPY (incl. tax).
For contact, call the management of the gallery, Itami Tourism Specialty Assoc. 072-770-7060