Friday, July 15, 2005

A Day of Crafts - Part 2 -

-- My one day trip to a town called Ino on Jul. 14 --

In the afternoon, I tried something else… this time, weaving. It was something I had been wanting to try since my childhood.

The workshop

The weaving workshop was a little hard to find, but when I got there after climbing up narrow stone steps surrounded by summer grass, I fell in love with the place. It was a traditional old house with 5 or 6 looms inside, and as the ad said, “you can try weaving, enjoying the nice view of the Niyodo river.”

A reservation was necessary, and I had taken care of it several days in advance. One disappointment was that though I wanted to try the least expensive course that I had seen on their website, coaster-making (30-minutes for 700 yen), I was told that it was the special, quick version for kids and group visitors only. The least expensive course for regular visitors was 20cm vase-mat making for 1400 yen. Well, no other choice.

The instructor was a Japanese lady who was probably younger than my mom. First, she let me choose the loom to use. (Each loom had warp threads set in different color-combinations.)

Then she let me choose weft threads and said I could use more than one color.

Weft Threads

After setting the weft thread to the shuttle for me, she taught me how to weave. Honestly, it was not too difficult and I felt so good watching the textile growing longer.

My vase mat... almost done

Actually, the color of my vase mat turned out very different from what I had thought beforehand. When I chose the weft threads in the beginning, I expected their colors to show a lot more in the final product, but they didn’t. So my vase mat looked rather plain and gray all over. Nevertheless, it was not bad.

She offered me a glass of iced tea and asked me to wait until she finishes giving my vase mat a final touch -- brush fringe on 2 sides.

The river turned out just white in this photo, but actually it was so beautiful

When I finished my tea, she handed me this vase mat… MY vase mat which is the one and only piece of work in the whole world. I'm thinking about giving this to my mom.

Vase mat by obachan

After all, I enjoyed my experience in this small, quiet village, and the souvenirs I brought back are very special with vivid remembrance of the time I spent there.

To be honest, I was so tempted to try the canoeing lesson for beginners, too. If it weren’t way beyond my budget, I would have, because it was terribly hot and the river water looked just too cool and soothing.

Another thing I was tempted to try but couldn’t was the French cuisine they served at the restaurant. According to their ad, there you can enjoy the creative French dishes by the chef who won the gold medal at the 21st World Culinary Olympics 2004. The “lunch set” by the chef was over 1000 yen and there was NO bank/ATM machine in the village (the receptionist said that the closest one was 15 minutes away by car), so I gave up on the adventure. Instead, I had a bowl of cold udon flavored with green laver kneaded into the dough. It cost about half of the French lunch and I liked it very much.

I'm going to take my mom there someday...uh.. but she wouldn't want to try canoeing. I'll have to take someone else for that... :)

Kuraudo (Cour aux dons) 
1226 Kajiki, Ino-cho,
Agawa-gun, Kochi 781-2136
* Paper and weaving workshops are closed on Wed.
* Room rate of the accomodation facility is not listed on their English website

posted by obachan, 7/15/2005 01:03:00 AM


Too bad you didn't get to experience the canoe lessons. It is SOOOOOO much fun. I take my dogs and go to a lake in VT. and we canoe around a beautiful lake that is near where we stay.. The dogs love it and don't even mind wearing their life jackets.. ha ha. I would love to try the weaving. I have a friend who has a small loom and weaves. She makes all sorts of fabrics. I really don't think I would have the patience to weave!!!
You must try the canoeing.....So much fun and good exercise. and very relaxing.. 

Posted by Carlyn
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7/23/2005 9:46 AM  
OH, canoeing with dogs must be a great fun :D I wish I can join you, but that would be a terribly expensive canoeing. I'll give it a try here in Japan somehow. 

Posted by obachan
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7/24/2005 9:26 AM  

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