Since I had missed the Saturday vigil mass (having been unable to find the church), I spent some time in the hotel chapel this morning.
Today, we took a bus to a small indigo dyeing factory. Here are some scenes along the way:
This one has been around awhile:
Once inside , we saw large bales of indigo plants, and in ground vats of liquid indigo for dyeing fabric.
Step one was to paint a design with wax onto a silk scarf. Toshi had told us on the bus that we could paint anything we wanted, and encouraged us to do some practice sketching. I wanted to do some Japanese Kanji symbols, so I borrowed some from a placard in the pocket on the bus seat in front of me, so my scarf probably says something like - Buckle your seat belt. I also added a bird.
We then moved to the vats and dipped our scarves several times - in for one minute, out for half a minute to allow the dye to oxidize.
Here, the master shows the indigo plant, and whips up a fast whirpool in the vat, and shows us some fabulous rolls of shibori dyed fabrics used to make kimono.
Outside again, we enjoy the blooming flowers and fruit. We are now at the most southern point of our tour.
Back on the bus, we head for a traditional Japanese dance performance in the afternoon. Some scenes along the way: A memorial area surrounded by crops.
This may be a daycare center. Not sure.
Shrines were everywhere!
Surprises in store windows:
People on the move.
Peek a Boo!
A gentleman in kimono.
We are given some time to shop and grab lunch before the dance performance. I happily stumbled upon a department store which carried fabrics, yarns and sewing supplies, as well as reasonably priced clothing. I raided the remnant bin, finding several Japanese prints for about $2 each, and picked up a sweet top and jumper. Many of the large department stores have fantastic downstairs places to get all sorts of food. I wish I had taken photos of some of the options - it's quite wonderful and overwhelming. I chose a quick chicken, noodle, veggie combo, and was impressed with the way it was packaged.
We arrived at the Awaodori-Kaikan theater. I didn't realize until later that these structures are modeled after the women's hats!
The dance show was wonderful - fantastic costumes, lighting, and audience participation. Here is Heather, blending in at the gift shop:
I was impressed to see many men in the audience and participating as well.
Here are Martha and Toshi, getting into the rhythm!
After the performance, we viewed an area where there were dioramas with tiny figurines that were wonderful.
On the bus back to the hotel, I did some hand stitching. Walked to the nearby port to snap some photos. Joined Lisa and Martha for dinner at the train station - Pork with Ponzu sauce - yummy!
Toshi says winter weather is coming to Japan soon! Tomorrow we'll be in Kobe, trying out Kobe beef. This has been such a fantastic tour. We are seeing and experiencing so many wonderful people, places, and events.