This area in the northern district of Awa province, the historical origin of Awa Indigo since 794AD. The museum is the former residence of Ai-merchant Mr Okumura, built in 1808.
The museum offers 'hands-on' experiences so Craig and I opted to each dye a cotton table runner, at the modest price of 2000Yen (approx $25AUD), I'm going to wear mine as a scarf as the material is more suited to our warm climate.
We were able to choose from a selection of designs, I chose a random crumpled look whilst Craig wanted to do stripes.
After donning apron and gloves, we proceeded to start our dyeing, dipping our bundles in and out of a large van of dark, pugent indigo. Our tutor could only speak Japanese, but as usual we were able to communicate sufficiently using hand gestures and smiles and a modest smattering of essential Japanese words.
|Indigo dyeing samples in the Exhibition Hall|
|The designs we could select from|
|Dyeing in progress|
|Rinsing our scarves|
|Hanging our finished pieces out to dry|
When we returned to the city area of Tokushima, we hired bikes to explore the area. Bike riding for commuting purposes is really popular in Japan, I guess that cars aren't practical in a country with a high population density and not much carparking space. We hired our bikes from the bike-parking lot in the basement of the train station, its just amazing to see thousands of bikes parked like the equivalent of the underground carparks of our big shopping centres.
|The bike-parking lot where we hired our bikes|
you can't do that in Australia!
I'm standing outside a typical department store restuarant,
complete with plastic food display.
...when's our next visit???? we're thinking about it already.....