Sunday, 9 October 2011


I have not blogged for several days because we werer staying at a Kyoto Ryukan which is a traditional Japanese inn. Tatami mats on the floor, take your shoes off at the door - and no internet access!

The beds are made up on the floor with tiny pillows. We slept reasonably but I would not want to stay there for more than two nights. Sitting was very uncomfortable. The place is built for people who can sit cross-legged on the floor which I can't.

However we did have a Japanese bath which was great and a magnificent dinner - another kai seki but much, much better. Everything very elegant. I took pictures of every course- all ten of them.

One thing I have decided is that I am reasonably broad minded about food and even prepared to try chewing octopus but I draw the line at Japanese food for breakfast, particularly noodles. I have ended up with a serious hankering for bread and marmalade and a bacon butty. And a piece of black pudding would be good too.  

This photo was taken across the river at Kyoto and shows what Kyoto houses are like. It is a most attractive place. I could have done with another few days there.

Early this morning, we took the train from Kyoto to Osaka and then flew to Okinawa - and then, most exciting, I drove a hire car into the centre of the Naha city. The hotel has a strange car park system. You drive the car onto a set of rollers, get out , lock up and it ascends to the heavens.

We then went out for a walk in the city. Lots of nteresting textiles which surprised me. I have discovered several good places to visit tomorrow. We took in an exhibition in the City Museum of items from the Sho family - who were the kings of Okinawa until about 1890 when the Japanese invaded. There were three kimonos of bingata which are lovely - never seen anything like them before and they are all 18th century.

We walked through  a good market, vegetables, fish - and these snakes. Quite repulsive. Okinawans consider them a delicacy. Maybe but, for me, they have just joined noodles for breakfast as a no-no.

We have found several places where you can do a session on bingata and also hana-ori (weaving). Tomorrow we are going to set out to one of these places early and see what we can manage.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.