Kyoto Infused with Tea
With the concept of touching the nature around Kyoto, we have invited cosplayers to explore the sea, the forests and the tea fields in the neighbouring areas, taking local transport to get a feel for the area! This page looks at the experiences that the cosplayers that went to the woodland area experienced!
There may be some parts that were created especially for the cosplayers and are not able to be booked.
Start: Mimaru Karasuma Oike + Mimaru Shinmachi Sanjo
An early start on a chilly Autumn morning the day after Magic Kyoto 2019!
We jumped on a train to pick up our car and then headed off to the south of Kyoto to our first location for a fun filled day trip in the tea infused areas of Kyoto!
d:matcha Kyoto CAFE&KITCHEN
When thinking about Kyoto and tea, the most common answer is Uji!
After a drive of about an hour from the centre of Kyoto, we finally arrived in Wazuka! Found near the famous Uji city, this place is also home to some amazing tasting matcha! It is a hidden spot that not many tourists venture to!
A reservation was necessary to enter the fields and we had our own guide that took us through the fields.
The guide was a kind Japanese worker, that could speak and explain about things in English, making our time here even more enjoyable! While the Autumn season wasn’t fully in Kyoto at the time, we had the chance to explore the area with a sea of green in front of us!
The guide handed us a small bag and told us to try and take the “Kissako Isshinnyou” or literally one core two leaves.
They meant for us to try and take some leaves that were still closed and close to the core, with this type of leaf creating some sweet green tea. This is because it hasn’t been exposed to the sun as much.
After this we took a small break and got to enjoy some warm tea, which warmed us up!
While we took our break they told us that while this plantation is harvested 3 times a year, the first time is always the best quality.
Then the second is just normal quality tea and then after that for the final leaves, they normally are leaves used in cooking.
After this, we could sit in front of a large window overlooking the fields, and while trying amazing tea, we prepared to make our own teas! The stone mill grinder were a lot heavier than they looked but it was fun but tiring to make our own powdered green tea!
For lunch we had a special seafood spaghetti made with tea powder instead of basil or other herbs, all topped with crunchy tea leaves. The different mixes that the tea made, the aroma, the bitterness as well as the sweetness made for a completely new food experience compared with a normal Italian seafood dish!
There are three types of tea in the tea garden: Yabukita, Okumidori, Goko
All three have their own flavors.
In addition, there are three ways to make the teas, full-covered tea, short-term covered tea, and uncovered tea, with each way of producing creating various tea products with different characteristics.
We were able to drink 3 types of Sencha and 3 types of Matcha.
The teas that we were able to drink were in a whole different class of tea that we would normally drink, with it have both an amazing aroma and taste.
We ate small biscuits that came with the tea, but the biscuits were also tea flavour! All in all it was a tea-lightful experience!
Location: Kyomachi-17 Large Kamazuka Wazuka Town Soraku-gun Kyoto Prefecture 619-1212
Showen Kumihimo Visit and Experience
Next we moved on to our next location! This time we checked out a traditional Japanese crafting place.
Have you seen the anime “Your Name” directed by Makoto Shinkai? The craft of Kumihimo appeared in the movie!
We learnt about how the use of the strings came about and all about the patterns and so on! The string used come from a need or want in personal life, to tye or keep something together. From patterns in pottery from the Jomon period (14000-300 BCE) we can know that there was at least a prototype of the braid was already devised in the Jomon period.
Kumihimo is a work of art where each thread forms an Aya or pattern, and such elegant traditional crafts were developed in Kyoto, which prospered for a long time as the land of the royal castle.
At the time of the founding of “Showen Kumihimo”, there was a great demand for kimono tying, and they started the production of braids mainly by hand, where craftsmen made each braid and pattern, one by one, as during this time, there were no machines.
We then headed off to try our hand at making our own braids!
With this simple experience, we used only two colours separated into 8 lines, but even with this, it is extremely hard for beginners requiring the utmost focus. However for professionals, it is said that they can do so while watching TV.
Next, we visited a small weaving factory that uses machines to imitate the process, and the sound of the factory in full operation is a bit much, requiring you to protect your ears.
We were then shown around while being explained that in regards to how patterns are chosen, they shape everything to the customer needs. This leads to a whole range of patterns available!
We also came to realise how far the experience for beginners is compared to this real craftsmanship. It was interesting as well because cosplayers make their own costumes for the most part, so seeing these different techniques were impressive!
Showen Kumihimo (Uji Main Store)
Address: Kyoto Prefecture Uji City Uji Myoraku 146-2
Opening Hours: 10: 00–17: 00
Regular Holidays: None (Special holidays such as Obon and New Year may be taken.)
Nearest transportation: 8-minute walk from JR Nara Line / Uji Station, 12-minute walk from Keihan Uji Line / Uji Station
Nonohana Plant dyeing academy - Cloth Dyeing experience!
The last experience was a cloth dyeing experience, and this time we decided to rent a place at a facility called LOGOS LAND.
The accommodations available here are inspired by camping. The rooms design was like a real camp. There are full-fledged camping tents and props, as well as a warm fire. This is a new type of accommodation, so you should definitely check it out! It may be good for a camp beginner to try here.
“Nonohana Plant dyeing Academy” is located in Ide, a town in the southern part of Kyoto, where rich nature is abundant!
The academy looks at creating experiences that ties in with the changing seasons, and teaching many people about the fun of plant dyeing and its future potential! We got to experience first hand how many people can connect through plant dyeing.
Our dyeing experience with producing colours by boiling natural plants in hot water.
Depending on the season, the flowers and plants that can be used differ, but for this experience we looked at preparing a yellow color created by a special type of grass and the red color produced by a few types of scrub.
The special grass is actually grown quite close to the location!
Our teacher first demonstrated the fabric dyeing procedure and pattern design skills, using items such as wood, rubber bands and splints. By changing this we could also change the pattern.
With this, we had to take care as the colour that is used is wash resistant, so we put on an apron to protect our clothes. We then thought about how to make a design that we wanted and proceeded to make our own unique scarf!!
Nono Hana Dye Academy
73-5 Idemiyanomoto, Ide machi, Tsurugi-gun, Kyoto
TEL / FAX 0774-29-3337
This time, we were able to get in touch with Japanese culture and traditional techniques in person! It was really amazing to see how the cosplayers were also so talented when it came to the handicraft work!
After we got to see the things that make city of Joyo, special products made from gold and silver thread as well as super tasty dried plums (umeboshi). This area is the birth place of this special gold silver thread and holds the biggest share in Japan. In regards to the dried plums, the area is well know for its plum blossoms, and that the area is filled with the sweet scent of Aoya Plum trees from late February to March.
Kyoto is a traditional Japanese capital with lots of valuable craftsmanship and natural scenery. It was a pleasure to enjoy the local culture and atmosphere while experiencing this kind of experience even outside of famous spots.
THE THOUSAND KYOTOー KIZAHASHI
Travelling back to Kyoto, we stopped at THE THOUSAND KYOTO Hotel and had amazing traditional food at the restaurant in side (Kizahashi)
The menu we received was called Kaze or wind and it was amazing! We were also asked beforehand about any allergies that our group might have.
The food we ate was superb and of a quality that was unbelievable!
〒600-8216570 Higashishiokoji, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto