When I travel I always throw in some shopping expeditions to make the trip more interesting. Shopping is part of the fun of travelling. You get to see what is available locally. If I get a chance I like to visit local markets and supermarkets as well. I enjoy seeing what the local markets have to offer. Some markets are a real treasure trove too.
I did do a bit of homework before I went to Japan. I learned that there are markets in every city in Japan. Generally both fresh food and general markets are joined together in the same location. I went to the markets in Osaka, Kamakura, Nogoya and a few in Tokyo including Sugamo street market which the locals call the 'oldies' market, and Nippori Textile Town in Tokyo. The markets I wish to visit next time are the shrine markets at Toji and Kitano in Kyoto on the 21st and 25th of each month.
There are lot of photos to share again in this post. I will keep the writing to a minimum. Usually pictures tell all. Enjoy and thanks again for reading my Japan journal.
I was at the vintage kimono shop Komehyo in Nagoya. The shop was part of a market. There were all types of kimono there. I couldn't choose which one to get. I was looking for silk jacket (hoary) and not too expensive. I finally found one.
More full length kimonos on display. It was a hard choice to make. I had to narrow my choices by price, kind of fabric, colour and the space I had left in my luggage! They were just beautiful to look at even though I couldn't bring them all back.
You would find sweet treat and knic knack shops everywhere in Japan. This one sells old fashion candy and sweets. My friends told me she used to buy them when she was at school. I'm glad they still make the old fashion sweets instead of sweets you get these days.
A supermarket in Shiga where my friend's family shops. I spotted durian on the shelves. Durian is a famous Thai's fruit. I was surprised it is sold in Japan.
It was our last day in Osaka and Ayako and I both love markets so what better place to spend on our last day. We found nice snacks stalls and tried most of them. Having Ayako to explain what they all are helped a lot. Half of Osaka is built underground in and around train stations. It was a good thing too because it rained for most of the week I was in Osaka.
A friendly shopkeeper in Nappori. I got chatting with him and found that he came from Isfahan, Iran. I have been to Isfahan, so we got talking and reminisced about what we remember in Isfahan. His shop sells braid of every kind and leather supplies.
The antique sewing caddy made with cane base and fabric body and draw string. I have seen them before, but didn't know that they were used as a sewing caddy. I love the idea so much I bought a book on how to make them. The second book is on quilts made from recycled and vintage kimonos.
If you haven't heard of sakabukuro before this might be interesting for you. Sakabukuro is a bag used to filter out the remaining sediment of the fermented rice sake brew. The bag was first dyed with kakishibu (persimmon dye). I found a good link if you want to read further.
My friend's mother had a bag made from sakabukuro that I fell in love with. She told me what it was and that it was hard to find these days. When I was at Arimatsu Shibori Festival one of the ladies told me she had some and would bring them the next day. I got two from her and I cut one up and made two bags from it. I will keep the other one to use as display on the wall.
Shibori tote bags found at the "shotengai" in Nagoya. These are cotton bags and they are natural dyed. I could have easily bought one in every colour, but space in the luggage was the problem again!
These cute little bags were as common as paper bags. They can be used for anything like tissue napkins, glasses, cosmetics, jewelry, cameras, you name it. They are great little gifts from Japan.
The photos below are of fabric I brought back. Some of them are new, but most of them are vintage in both cotton and silk. I'm looking forward to using them in my online workshop starting next week.
Some silk products I found on the tour. I hope to make magic thread out of the cream and blue yarns, but first I have to wind them onto bobbins before I can ply them on my spinning wheel. A long process, but it shouldn't be too hard.
I really enjoyed writing about my shopping expedition today. I do miss these places and wish I was walking through them again right now! I hope I haven't bored you with my ramblings. Travelling is one big book of knowledge. To think that before this trip to Japan I didn't know anything about kakishibu, the natural dye that has been used for 100's of years. I feel that there is a right time for everything.
I'm glad to hear that you have enjoyed reading my Japan journal so far. Don't miss out my next post on natural dyes.