Tag Archives: kimono

The Textile Tour of Japan continues

At last I can get back to sharing my trip to Japan with you. When my old laptop died I could not access my photos, but now I am really enjoying looking through them again. A list of the previous posts are at the bottom of this post.

I went to Japan in November last year on an Arena Travel tour with Janice Gunner and 10 other wonderful women quilters, and one husband. P had come along with J, his wife, to see Japan, not intending to join in with the dyeing and sewing workshops, but he did join in and loved it.

In the last post I wrote about Japan we were at the Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo,d1 on a special national holiday and the place was packed with people.

Wandering around the streets nearby there was a festival atmosphere, with fabulously garish food stallsd16

selling sweet potato chipsd18and rib sticking bananas coated in a sugary icing

d17I have been told by Golden Diamond that the Japanese generally have a horror of sugar and don’t eat much fruit as a result, but maybe this is put to one side on special holidays.

I went in search of a calmer place and walked towards a garden close to the Temple, where I came across a group of teenage girls all dressed beautifully in kimonos.d14

Sadly I only had my little camera with me so the photos are not great. I offered to take a photo of them all together with their cameras, they were delighted and this took quite a time. They were all so happy and giggly and when I asked if they were going to a special ceremony, they all laughed a lot and told me that they had gone to a kimono salon where they could hire the kimonos for the day, and have their hair and make-up done, just to go out and about and have photographs taken. Lots of people stopped to take photos of the group and there was a wonderfully friendly party atmosphere.

I was disappointed later when I realised I had not taken a better photo of them with my own camera.

Then a family came onto the bridge d10

and I offered the same to them


remembering to get one with my camera too this time

Mum stood back whilst masses of photos were taken by passers by


I wonder what it feels like to be a star for a day when you are 3 and then again at 7 years old.


All over the city there were kimono clad young women being photographed


After a packed day, it was time to pack our bags and prepare to leave early the following morning to go to JR Shinagawa Station to catch the Bullet Train to Nagoya ……

Previous posts:

First Evening in Japan

Japan Day Two: 1

Japan Day Two: 2

Japan Day Two: 3 Shopping

Japan Day Two: 4 Craft Centre

Japan Day Two: 5 Crazy Cats and a Hare in High Heels

Japan Day Two: 6 Doors and Windows

Japan Day Two: 7 Boro

Japan Day Two: 8 Temple


Japan Day Two 4: Craft Centre

Here we are back in Japan and off to the Japan Traditional Crafts Centre Aoyama Square where we were given a detailed demonstration of the intricate way the weft thread is prepared for weaving the cloth to make indigo kimonos


The cloth is woven in narrow strips. The weft thread is put on the frame you see above and the design is marked with a ‘resist’ on the weft thread at each place where the thread will remain white (undyed). The thread is then dyed in indigo, the ‘resist’ removed and then the cloth is woven with this thread. What a process!
c4 c5

There were other smaller items made from this cloth


The centre is supported by the Japanese government and only certain crafts that reach the required standard are admittedc6 c7 c8


There was a mass of origami papers, very tempting!c10 c11

and cute little craft kitsc12

My notebook is filled with craft ideas, if any of them ever emerge into reality I will be sure to share them with you.