Special Aizome experience in Miyazaki
Miyazaki has a lot of place to go and play outside. But it’s difficult question even for native Miyazaki people
“Do you have an idea where we can play in such a RAINY DAY?”
Now, I’ll tell you a perfect answer about this.
Aizome is Japanese traditional method of indigo dyeing. The beautiful and deep blue of Aizome has been called “Japan Blue”. The material of traditional Aizome is “Tadeai”, a natural plant. However, synthetic dyeing method replace the traditional method and we seldom see it today.
Then, I heard there is a place we can experience traditional Aizome in Aya town, Miyazaki. It must be fun!
So I went there with my friends including international students from EU.
Now, I’ll tell you the details of my perfect answer for rainy Miyazaki day! (of course, its a good choice even for sunny day)
宙藍工房 Sora-ai koubou
We visited 宙藍工房 (Soraai-Koubou). It is in “国際クラフトの城 (Kokusai Kurahuto no shiro)”, meaning “the international castle for art and crafts”. (In spite of “international”, there are less information in English……)
Aya town has large laurel forest(good for trekking) and lovely townscape. The town has been loved by craftsmen and there are a lot of their studios. Aya also has the second highest suspension bridge in Japan. I think Aya can be a best place for sight seeing if it has more English information.
To try Aizome at Sora-ai, you have to book on the phone.
Probably, the staff isn’t accustomed to English. Please ask Japanese speaker to book.
[tenugui towel] ¥1,550
(take 40 min)
The castle has a large parking area and a Multipurpose toilet. It may be good for families.
This is the gate of castle. You have to pay ¥350 as the admission fee, but it’ll be payed back after hands-on learning.
And this is the studio for Aizome. The too big Kanji to miss on the wall is “Ai” of “Aizome”. A staff has been waiting for us there.
Let’s try Aizome!
Look at this pitiful cloth. Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t bully it. To draw patterns on the cloth, using rubber bands is general technique.
Wearing gloves and an apron, my clothes didn’t got any blue stains. Even a girl who were in white clothes didn’t have any problem.
Unbelievably, this dark liquid like a which’s soup gives beautiful blue color to the cloths.
Not only sinking cloths, but also exposing it to the air is important for dyeing because reacting with oxygen is essential for indigo in order to combine to the fiber. Do it again and again.
Washing it after dyeing must be an unforgettable moment for everyone. A black and dirty, wet cloth immediately got a deep, beautiful Japan Blue. Her bandana became a night sky with Milky Way.
Look! This is my work! I really want to show off my bandana to everyone!!
Why don’t you have a precious time in Aya where you can try Aizome?