Journeys in Japan – fun with Indigo and Udon

Up to My Elbows in Indigo!

After a fabric filled few days in Tokyo, for something different, we flew to Tokushima on the island of Shikoku to partake in a hands-on indigo dyeing experience. This area in know for the quality of their natural indigo dyeing.

What fun! Glen tried it too, our results were reasonable for first timers.…

The following day we went to the small town of Kotohira to learn how to make Udon noodle. Kotohira is famous for its magnificent Shinto shrine (Kompirasan) to the God of the Sea, Kotohiragu. Near the base of the mountain that takes you up to the shrine (785 steps) is our Udon noodle making school. Once again we were “up to the elbows”, but this time in flour. After a lot of fun making the noodles, we got to cook and eat them for lunch. Yum!

Then it was off to Kyoto by bullet train for more temples (culture) and more fabric and yarn shopping (entertainment).

The Avril yarn shop in Kyoto is more spacious and more dangerous to the wallet than the Tokyo shop. A bit of damage done…

My selection of Avril yarns

My selection of Avril yarns

The best fabric shopping we found was Nomura Tailor. Three floors of various goodies. While most of the cottons and linens are on the ground floor, be sure to visit the upper floors as well. There are certainly special items to be found on every floor.

Wandering the small streets of Kyoto was a treat. There are small shops everywhere with interesting things. For fabric lovers, there are several with used kimonos for sale or bags of silks and indigo’s to be used in patchwork. A good city to explore by foot.

Glen and I took a train to Nara one day (about a 45 minute train trip from Kyoto) to visit the large park and temples. The temples were impressive but the tame deer were a special treat. So funny to watch and not shy about being petted. Beware feeding them though – they become very affectionate when food is in hand!

I loved Kyoto and the surrounding area. Even though it snowed and was always cold, we had a terrific time. Can’t wait to go back (maybe when it’s warmer?)

sayonara from Japan,


Posted by Glen

  1. Sounds like a fabulous trip … I can see you loving the indigo dyeing!

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Of course the funny part of the indigo dyeing was when the protection gloves started to leak and the hands then started to turn blue!

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