Fukiya (吹屋) is a remote rural district in the forested hills of Takahashi City, about 15 kilometers west of the city center, with a picturesque preserved town. The town developed and prospered around a copper mine and also produced bengara color pigment from red iron oxide. Its fortunes declined when the copper mine closed and the demand for bengara dwindled by the 1920s.
Bengara can still be seen on many of the district's houses for decoration purposes and to protect the wood from water and fire. Bengara was also used for dyeing clothes, for paintings and for waterproofing ships. Below are the main attractions found around Fukiya today. A combination ticket is available for 1000 yen that includes entry to all the attractions.
Three buses per day connect Bitchu-Takahashi Station to Fukiya Village (60 minutes, 800 yen one way). The mines and bengara museum are about one kilometer or a 20 minute walk south of the village, but the Hirokane residence is located about four kilometers away. As a result, a rental car is the recommended means to explore the Fukiya District. Rental car outlets can be found in Okayama, a 90 minute drive away.