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17/12/2016 Culture  Destinations  Travel Destinations

The annual fabric dyeing festival, “Some no Komichi”

Every February an event known as “Some no Komichi” (染の小道) turns the river and streets of Nakai town in Shinjuku ward into a gallery filled with displays of dyed fabrics.
Supported by student volunteers and local residents from the Ochiai and Nakai areas, 2016’s hugely successful, “Some no Komichi” welcomed over 15,000 visitors.
Let’s have a look at the history of dyed fabrics in the region, and some festival highlights.

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23/02/2015 Goods

I experienced Indigo dying, a way of dying “Japan blue”

When people hear “Japan blue,” some might imagine the uniforms of the Japanese football team, but it used to be the word to refer to indigo dying. “Ai” or indigo is natural dye made of fermented leaves of indigo mixed with water. Dying thread or cloth with indigo is called “aizome” in Japanese. In the Edo period (1603-1868), all sorts of people from common folk to samurai have used indigo dyed clothes. It wasn’t only because of fashion, but indigo dyed clothes also have three benefits. One benefit is that the fiber becomes stronger after indigo dying. Secondly, it has an insect repelling effect. Lastly, it has a UV protective […]

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07/03/2015 Events  Festivals&Events

Tadaima Japan hosted a 2nd Event, A Workshop for making multifaceted Edo glass!

I had previously wrote an article about Multifaceted Edo Kiriko and actually made one, but this time we held a workshop event for those who became interested from reading the article. Let’s have a look at the event! As soon as we gathered, the lecturer started explaining.The lecturer, Mr. Sekiba is an owner of “Glass factory Sokichi.” He provided the location and great cooperation for this event. He holds lecture materials and explains clearly. He is a kind teacher. Everyone listened to him carefully. We had 5 members total in 4 different nationalities, Charles from Canada, Jennifer from America, So from China, and Chisa from Japan. It’s so global! As […]

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02/02/2015 Culture

”Kimekomi dolls,” the wooden dolls with beautifully pleated Japanese costumes.

kimekomi

These Japanese dolls are dressed in really beautiful Kimonos. Do you know how to put clothes on them? These are called “Kimekomi dolls,” which are dressed in Japanese costumes made from cloth with the edges neatly tucked into grooves in the wood. Team Tadaima Japan went to experience making Kimekomi dolls to understand more about the traditional Japanese handicrafts. Because it’s January now, I made a sheep, the zodiac sign for this year. This sheep’s body is made of wood flour compressed with glue. You look naked, so I’m going to give you some nice clothes! My tools consisted of, a body, a sheet of cloth, and draft paper. The […]

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14/01/2015 Goods

The magical technique of ”Multifaceted Edo glass” turns glass into art

edokiriko

Shining glass products from tableware to ornaments are loved by people all over the world. Japan has been developing a multifaceted glass style called “Edo kiriko” since 1834. Edo kiriko has traditional Japanese patterns on the surface, and is neatly polished. Tadaima Japan went to a studio and experienced making Edo kiriko. We will introduce to you the kinds of patterns found in faceted glass. Straight lines are crossed over vertically, laterally, and obliquely to make certain patterns including hexagonal wickerwork patterns, octagon wickerwork patterns, repeated chrysanthemum patterns, hemp patters, and Japanese “yarai” patters, all of which represent part of the 10 most frequently used patterns. Traditionally, these patterns have […]

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15/01/2015 Destinations  Travel Destinations

It’s like a small European town in Japan, a day trip to ”Otaru” in Hokkaido 

otaru

Otaru has Hokkaido’s version of Wall street. Located close to Sapporo station, and easy to access, Otaru brings in many day trip travelers. You can take an airport express train from JR Sapporo station to Otaru station in 32 minutes. This town thrives through its herring, railway, and port industries. An old Mitsui Sumitomo bank was built in 1927 on Sakaimachi Street, formerly known as “Wall Street of the North,” and still exists to this day. These important buildings show how Otaru was important to the economy of Hokkaido at the time. You can make your own music box and glassworks at local studios. Many galleries have opened in Otaru, […]

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26/06/2015 Destinations  Travel Destinations

Making memories by creating your own Raku ware at the hot spring hotel, “Koyo” in Yamagata Prefecture.

The hotel, Kyoyo which has Onsen

Nothing beats this hot spring for beauty! The hot spring hotel “Koyo” was opened in 1951 in Kaminoyama city, Yamagata Prefecture. As a woman, I visited expecting a beauty effect from this hot spring! It contains a natural beauty ingredient called metasilicic acid, and it controls the ceramide molecules in your skin. It’s usually said that, you can expect the effect if the water contains 50mg of metasilicic acid per 1000ml, but the Koyo’s hot spring contains more than that, 76mg per 1000ml! While relaxind and viewing majestic Mount Zao, you can make your skin soft and nice. It’s such a luxury. Make your own Raku ware plate for a […]

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12/01/2016 Destinations  Travel Destinations

Want to experience intense tea culture in Kyoto? Let’s mill matcha with a stone mill!

Milling matcha

You can mill matcha using a traditional stone mill at Fukujuen Uji Kobo, a 200-year-old tea shop in Kyoto. Make your own matcha and immediately taste it on site.

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26/06/2014 Culture  Foods & Drinks

Wagashi (Traditional Japanese confectionery often served with tea)

Video You can experience making Wagashi! Wagashi is found all over Japan and is unique to each location. 400 years ago in Kyoto and Edo (now called Tokyo), Wagashi was developed for gifts and as sweets for Japanese tea ceremony. It is said that people can enjoy Wagashi using all of the five senses: -Appearance from a pleasant array of shapes and Colors. -Texture from enjoying the softness, moistness, or crispness. -Taste from savoring the delicious flavors. -Scent from the delicate Fragrances. -Sound from the Wagashi names derived from Haiku (Japanese 31-syllable poems). Many Wagashi stores offer the culinary experience. (Web search Key words: 和菓子 体験 (it means Wagashi experience) […]

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16/12/2014 Goods

Ogawa city, Saitama Prefecture is home of ”Japanese paper,” registered as intangible cultural assets.

washi

“Japanese paper” is registered as intangible cultural heritage for its thinness, strength, and beauty. On November 27th, 3 types of Japanese papers; Sekishu-washi from Shimane Prefecture, Hon Minogami from Gifu Prefecture, and Hosokawa-gami, all from Saitama Prefecture were registered into the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage for its traditional art of “washi” style paper making. Japanese paper or “Washi,” came from China and was evolved into world-astonishing thinness, strength, and beauty made through manual procedures. Ingredients are bark fibers, such as paper mulberry, paper-bush, and Gampi. Using mucus of sunset hibiscus to stir the fibers is also Japan’s own technique. ※The ingredients, paper mulberries All papers are made by hand. A […]

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28/10/2015 Culture

How about making an elegant bowl for everyday use at a traditional Japanese house in Kitakamakura? “The Takara Pottery Studio Experience”

takaranokama

It’s easy enough, even for a beginner! Let’s drop by a pottery class while sightseeing in Kamakura. Takara Pottery Studio is about a 10-minute walk from the west exit of Kitakamakura station. It’s located at ”Takara no niwa”, an old renovated Japanese house, just behind Jochi-ji Temple. I’m going to take a class using the simplest plaster mold, even though there’s a class that offers a more contemporary approach, using an electric potter’s wheel. I’m going to take my mind off my everyday busy life and enjoy pottery with a peaceful mind in a Zen-like state. Please follow the side road from the Jochi-ji Temple gate to get to Takara […]

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28/12/2015 Culture

What’s the difference between flower arranging and Ikebana? I joined an Ikebana workshop to learn the spirit of Japan.

ikebana

If you are interested in joining workshops with a‘feeling of Japan”, I recommend you take an Ikebana lesson. There course is also offered in English.

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03/06/2016 Culture

Experience traditional Japanese crafts near the Tokyo Sky Tree Tower! 5 shops and studios, including workshop information

Title

The Tokyo Sky Tree Tower is such a modern building and consists of cutting edge technologies. By contrast, the surrounding areas still retain the downtown atmosphere from the Edo period. You can experience traditional Japanese culture through old crafts that have been developed in these areas.

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