Tag Archives: kamakura

Kamakura, Yamanashi, and heading to Kyoto…

I’m finally getting a bit of time to do another post or two while I’m still here in the Tokyo area (I’m now in Amamioshima)! I really am struggling with all the information and photos I have collected-trying to get it put together into some order that makes sense without just rambling on and on…
Not to mention that Hirata sends me folders of photos each day on dropbox to share with participants and some were mistakenly deleted and I had to sort through that and figure out what was missing and get them re-uploaded. Easy to do if you are not used to dropbox. Need to get a new system for that. Anyway,here goes…

The last day of our time in Tokyo we headed to Kamakura where Hirata is always eager to share the sights and sounds of his hometown. Everyone got a taste of riding the train and learned to use their Suica cards to enter and exit the stations and I’m glad to say that this time we didn’t lose anyone (it has happened-but the lost is always found in Japan)! They saw the first of their temple and shrines- Engaku-ji, Tsurugaoka Hachimangū and the Daibutsu (the Great Buddha) as well. Schoolchildren and tourists crowded Komachi-dori (the main shopping street) and at a point we broke up into smaller groups with the promise to either meet up for the return train trip to Ginza or to adventure it on their own. Hirata’s wife Rumiko and good friend Megumi welcomed us to their home to rest and have cold tea to those who needed a break from the heat and the walking.
Photos from Kamakura…



The next day we checked out of the Ginza hotel and our charter bus whisked us away towards Kyoto for a four night stay via Kawaguchiko and one night there. The Star Pegasus was complete with wifi, USB charging, and a bathroom! Not to mention the best bus drivers ever-they had some crazy skills!



but first… a visit with Fumiko Sato to see her studio, have a demonstration of indigo dyeing and opportunity to view and buy some of her work, as well as enjoy a bento lunch of macrobiotic vegetarian sushi that was almost too beautiful to eat!

it’s always hard for me to say goodbye to Sato-san-I want to stay, work and spend time with her. Unfortunately, this time I won’t be able to return as I usually do.

Afterwards, we headed to the Ichiku Kubota Museum to see the work of this imaginative shibori dyer who took tsujigahana dyeing to a whole new level. It’s always a pleasure to take people here since it’s such a mind-blowing experience. Unfortunately, the gift shop here no longer carries any books or postcards depicting his work. When we asked why the answer was “copyrights” without any further explanation. Also no photos this time. I’m glad for the ones I do have. The bead collection is wildly diminished and not on view as it was before. ¥500 additional gets you into the cafe where there are a few cases but we opted out of that in order to get to our hotel and relax in the onsen. Perhaps they sold off the collection to raise funds. Not sure what is going on there. Still, a beautiful museum and ever changing collection of his work.

After a full day we retired to the beautiful Kakuna Hotel for a one night stay. Views over the lake towards Mt. Fuji (which only peeked out from behind the clouds here and there as we visited the rooftop onsen) and a beautiful dinner put the day over the top and we slept with dreams of indigo, tsujigahana and beautiful Japan swirling in our heads.

The next morning it was off to Kyoto for 4 nights which deserves it’s own post (or two)!

Let’s see if I can get the next post started (Kyoto)tonight- today in Amamioshima it was very warm and humid but the day was filled with dorozome- (mud dyeing) which also will be it’s own post down the road. But just to tease a little bit…

seas tides moons

yesterday was a “me day”in the studio and i am claiming at least one a month and hopefully more. of course, days of pure experimentation and reflection are just necessary for me and serve to enhance everything. jude has been paying attention to the tides and discovered a red moon. she reminded me of a project i have had in my head since Kamakura with her photo of red seaweed.

walking along the bay in Kamakura, camera in hand and the wind blowing very hard, i photographed seaweed. such lovely sculptural marvels! textures and colors! i saw shibori in every single one.

from Colby Brink’s in his paper “Seaweed and its Valuable Use” i gleaned the following information:

From the polars to the tropics, estimates range from 20,000 to 130,000 species of seaweed can be found, but the real figure is probably around 45,000.

Seaweeds are divided into three major groups by color: the greens, the browns, and the reds.

… seaweeds are held up while living at the bottom of the ocean by tiny gas-filled bladders or swellings which are found in the fronds. They act as floating devices to keep the plants closer to the surface, allowing for maximum light exposure. This allows for the process of photosynthesis to occur more easily .

The majority of seaweeds are perennial and live more than two years.

and this from Patricia Behnke:

Beach wrack consists of sea grass, reeds and marine algae that have drifted at sea before washing ashore, especially after storms. After landing on dry land, beach wrack becomes host to a diverse cast of insects and other tiny invertebrate animals, such as jumping beach hoppers, which are harmless rice-sized crustaceans. The tiny animals, in turn, serve as food for many other creatures.

“A beach without wrack is like a gallery without art.

the recent full moon and spring tides have brought with them some interesting things.

i found the sea calling to me so i went to have a look .

it was a great day!