Celebrating the visual languages of PEOPLE, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, and ENVIRONMENT through the global practice of resist-dye traditions and innovations, keeping in mind authenticity, reciprocity, and networking.
Q: I’m going to be traveling to Japan soon. How do I reach Arimatsu?
A: From JR-NAGOYA station, take MEITETSU Honsen line to Arimatsu station, which is beyond Narumi. If you are on a Limited Express train, it will only stop at Narumi so you must transfer to a local train and travel 2 stops to Arimatsu. (as of 2010: ~340 yen and about 30 mins).
Q: In Arimatsu-Nagoya, what do you recommend I do and see for shibori interests?
A: Shibori Kaikan museum (English website) for live demonstrations and videos, an array of historical shibori samples upstairs (closed Wednesdays). Also numerous shops selling new shibori products. The first weekend in June (4+5, 2009) is the Annual Shibori Fest, held along the old Tokaido highway, which parallels Meitesu Railway and is only 2 minutes walking from the Arimatsu station. Festival floats, music, antique puppets and shibori vendors set up along the Tokaido. Some of the old historical houses are open to public offering a peek into truly traditional homes.
Q: How can I visit natural indigo master Mr. Hiroyuki Shindo or see the countryside where he lives/works?
A: Visit a true Japanese thatched-roof village on a mountainside, away from city noise, in the countryside near Kyoto.
Shindo says: You will be welcome to visit our small indigo museum. If you want to visit our village on your own using JR and Nantan City bus, it might be bit complicated. Please let me know when you are settled in hotel in Kyoto City, then I will send you a fax which is showing how to get to our village. We do not have our home page though; try to see the home page of “Earth Garden” as their cafe is next to our village. Their English website will be very helpful to understand how to come to Miyama. Please do understand that the trip to Miyama from Kyoto station would take almost 3 hours (one way), therefore you must spend a whole one day or you can stay in or around the village. There are Minshuku (home stay type pensionne). It should be a wonderful adventure for you away from noisy city for a while. I believe you will enjoy a trip to real Japanese country side in deep mountain side. I am looking forward to seeing you. – Warmly, Hiroyuki Shindo
Q: I will be in Kyoto for a few days. Where can I see SOU.SOU home and clothing designs?
SOU.SOU is always an excellent stop while in Kyoto. They are a leading example of how traditional tastes and practices can be reformulated for the contemporary market. Check out their cool, hip, classic wares in a number of locations scattered about. VIEW SHOPS & STORE HOURS here. See a PDF map.
Buying something? Mention “WSN” and help our organization: mention “WSN” or “Yoshiko Wada” at checkout when making a purchase from any of the SOU.SOU physical stores and SOU.SOU will kindly contribute a percentage to our not-for-profit organization. Per their request, send a follow-up email to Mr. Wakabayashi [firstname.lastname@example.org] and cc: to WSN [email@example.com] as a reminder of the donation, subject line “WSN sale contribution” (email must inlcude your name, date of purchase, location of purchase (city), sales amount, and whether you paid by cash or credit)