Traditional Japanese Paper Making in Kurotani Village, Kyoto

Originally written for Voyapon Sponsored by North Kansai Tourism Association Ohhhh, hand-made paper. I remember going through and feeling my mother’s old collection of Japanese washi papers as a kid, loving the texture of the delicate veins of natural fibres weaved into a smooth layer. I even went through a phase of making my own paper, using everything…

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The 800-Year Old Japanese Craft Heritage of Tamba Pottery

Originally written for Voyapon Sponsored by North Kansai Tourism Association When I was a kid, my mother thought it was best to keep my brother and I occupied with a myriad of craft-making camps and workshops that filled our summer vacations. What probably started as a crafty (cough, cough pun intended) idea to keep a couple of…

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A Stay in the Traditional Japanese Home of Umetan FUJI, Hyogo

Originally written for Voyapon Sponsored by North Kansai Tourism Association “Watch out for those deer!” I whispered, as a herd suddenly skipped across the road in the dark. It was a moonless night in Hyogo prefecture’s Tamba Sasayama (丹波篠山) as we headed to our accommodations at Umetan Fuji for the night. Our guide Michiko however, seemed to have seen them a mile…

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The Swordsmith of Arao, Kyushu

Originally written for Voyapon Sponsored by Northern Kumamoto Administrative Headquarters “Strike while the irons hot.” I always knew what this meant, though never witnessed it in its complete, literal meaning. That is, until one a stormy day, while the furnace roars and hammers clang, as Mr. Matsunaga of Arao, Kumamoto leads us into the elusive…

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