Upcoming Events


Shiozawa, Hatsuchi

Spring/Summer Exhibition: Stories of Wooden Toys – Let’s go around Seifen, Germany, the town of toys! ~ (first semester)


Stories of the Erz region of Germany in wooden toys

The Erz region in eastern Germany has a more than 300-year history in the wooden toy industry. The Erz region originally prospered from the mining industry. However, when the mining industry declined, the woodworking toy industry, which had been a sideline business, began to take off in earnest.
Seifen, in particular, is world famous as a toy town. The town’s main street is lined with toy workshops run by meisters, producing high-quality wooden toys such as the “Nutcracker” and “Pipe Doll.
The subjects of the wooden toys are scenes deeply connected to the lives of the people of the Erz region, such as the mining industry, various occupations, familiar German stories, and traditional events such as Easter.
For example, many “nutcrackers” are in the shape of a king wearing a crown. This is said to be due to the reflection of the king who used to torment the common people in those days, and is one theory that gives us a glimpse into the lives of the people of that time. It has also been the subject of children’s literature such as E.T.A Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the King of the Mice” and ballets by Tchaikovsky, and is familiar to many people.
Another traditional toy, the “pipe doll,” is rich in motifs of occupations that were rooted in people’s lives, such as “miner,” “toymaker,” and “night watchman.
This exhibition introduces various wooden toys made in Seifen, with a focus on the “Nutcracker” and “Pipe Doll”. We hope that visitors will enjoy the atmosphere of the toy town of Seifen and learn about the history and culture of the Erz region, which is the motif of the toys.
(*Some exhibits will be changed between the first and second semesters.)

The Story of Wooden Toys ~ Let's go around Seifen, Germany, the town of toys! ~~

z Exhibition of toys reflecting the history of the Erz region of Germany, including “The Nutcracker”.
Introduction to the various workshops in 0Zeifen

session (of a legislature)

Saturday, March 12 – Monday, June 13, 2022

Eltz Toy Museum, Karuizawa

Adult: 750 yen
Single theater junior high and high school students: 500 yen
Elementary school students: 350 yen

2-museum set ticket with Karuizawa Museum of Picture Book Art

Adults: 1,400 yen
Junior high and high school students: 900 yen
Elementary school students: 650 yen


Eltz Toy Museum, Karuizawa
*For more information, please go to the tourist facility information at the bottom of the page.

Hours of Operation

March-April and November-January: 10:00-16:00
May-October: 9:30-17:00
Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.

closed day

Closed for winter from Tuesday, 1/11/2022 to Friday, 3/11/2022.
Closed on Tuesdays *Open on Tuesday, May 3.

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