Thursday, 6 December 2007

Kyoto - Day 5

Day 5 of the conference was a full day of tours. And I mean full. We left KIT at 8.30 am and headed to Iga City. If the mud map is correct that is to the south of Kyoto.

Our first stop was Maesawa Kumihimo Studio.

Entering through this door was this very small shop. Can you imagine a busload of braiders trying to see the all of their braided items.

We were also able to go out the back to the braiding studio. Here braiding is still done in a very traditional manner.

Note that the lady is kneeling at the Takadai. There was hardly a sound coming from her braiding.

Remember the photos of the Department Store braids, they were made on a machine like this.

This is the factory. Rarely are tourist allowed in the factory however Makiko " asked a lot" and they agreed. It was very noisy compared with the tranquility of the studio.

On a mat in the studio they had layed out lots of braids for us to view.

Our next stop before lunch was the Iga Kumihimo Centre. This comprised of shops, studio and museum. The museum was wonderful. Lots of ideas for using braids.

This is braided peacock. I found it quite difficult to capture the whole bird.

This is a detailed image of the work that went into it.

Also on display were lots of braided lamps.

We ate lunch on the bus and headed back into Kyoto. I think everyone had a snooze. Our next stop was to Sun and Moon, the home of Akihiko Izukura. Elise was absolutely besotted with his designer clothes and entertained herself upstairs while I headed to the basement. Here was quite a small room absolutely filled to the brim with braiding. It was even on the ceiling. In an even smaller room they were selling some threads. This was the only hank in this colourway and it was destined to come home with me.

Our last stop , time permitting was to be the Nishijin Textile Centre. I really wanted to go there because I had read so much about it in all the tourist books. Elise said that if we didn't make it today we could always find our own way there tomorrow. I'm glad that we did actually squeeze in a quick visit before closing. I would have been very disappointed if we had gone to the trouble to go on our own. I don't know if it was beacuse we had been privileged to see so much amazing handcrafted work but Nishijin fell a little short of all the hype. If time was an issue then I guess you are able to see a lot in one place.

It was now after 6pm and we were dropped at the nearest subway. Our afternoon nap energised us so we headed into the city.

Had to take this photo. I always call our bargain shops the $2 Shop. Kyoto has their own equivalent.

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