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Showing posts with label Japan trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan trip. Show all posts

Mission Accomplished 2 - Kanazawa in Winter

Hello again,

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Mini Log Cabin Quilt
Before my Japan trip last January, me and my friends discussed about taking a quilt to Japan and take quilt photos with snow background just like those quilters we saw in Instagram.  Since I would be traveling solo, I decided to take mini quilt. I completed this quilt just 2 days before my departure. It was a hectic week!!

Kanazawa Station
This time, I was not very fit throughout the trip. I had a sore throat and my nose kept bleeding due to the cold and dry weather. For me who grew up  in a tropical country, winter (snow or no snow) is always tough. Besides the winter eczema, the nose bleeding business is really bothersome.

Anyway, we decided to go to Kanazawa with the grand plan to visit Gokayama or Shirakawago. But then, man proposes God disposes! Weather was not cooperative during our stay in Kanazawa.
Since the other three girls, brought their suitcase, we decided to take a taxi to our rented Airbnb. The problem with Japan is there was hardly any people who can speak English. Thank God for the google translate. But, you have to write a proper English sentences for Google to translate it properly. Or else another long  conversation will take place.

The attendance In the taxi stand at the Kanazawa station was a nice old man who tried to help us. When we showed him the address, he could not make out what is what (it was written in English). After several minutes, he took me to the information center and thankfully, there was a lady there who spoke a decent English. After another  lost in translation conversation, the lady decided to call the house owner, and finally we got our address written in Japanese (pheeww)!  Happily the attendant took us to the other side of taxi stand et voila, our fancy SUV taxi!! We were surprised, between thrilled and worried, praying it won’t be too expensive LOL. Luckily we travelled in group!! The taxi driver was a nice gentleman, he didn’t speak English but tried his best to tell us any landmarks we passed along the way. He even got down to check out if the house we rented was the correct one.
Arigato gozaimashita

The house we rented via Airbnb in Kanazawa was a two storey house. It’s called the Ibaragi House. Luckily we were on the ground floor. The Japanese keep the house key in a mini box with combination lock. It was a little tricky to open, especially when you were cold and in a hurry. After several attempt ( and a message to the owner later) we were able to unlock the house. The Ibaragi house was very compact and comfortable. The sliding door on the other side of the house remind me of Lee sang Yoon drama! Hahaha. Anyway, we were quite comfortable there since the owner provided us with extra blankets, electric heater and hot water bags.

The Ibaragi House  Airbnb Kanazawa

After settling down, we decided to brave the cold and walk around the city. 

The city is quite impressive with big brand shops, but I love to see the indie designers shops. Most of these shops have either French or English name.

 I suppose many Japanese love French vintage theme or English Victorian theme.

coffee shop in front our rented home

can you see the star?

The next day, we thought of going to Gokayama, but we were too late plus we were uncertain with the weather. It was raining and snowing in the morning when we left the house.

breakfast at Mister Donut - The donuts we had did not contain any lark, mirin, or sake. We asked and apparently they have all ingredients listed in their computer!! 

A window display remind me of my son's concert before the trip! 

 We decided to get a one day tourist pass and go to Higashi Chaya district, where we can see the old Japanese houses which mostly are souvenir shops or tea shops (Chaya literally means Tea house)

the loop bus - a hop on hop off bus

A cafe as we enter the Higashi Chaya 

 By the time, I felt a bit feverish and I ran out of my antibiotics! (sigh!). After strolling a bit, me and Kak Jenny decided to go into a noodle shop. She loved her noodle soup esp Soba!! I could not have anything since there was no halal food. So I just enjoy a cup of matcha aka green tea with lots of sugar! Hey, I need energy, right?!

my matcha and my log cabin bag

Noodle Shop & Souvenir shop
The vintage shop next to the tea stall
look at those patchwork bag made from kimono fabrics!! 

Me and my quilt again ^_^

After a bit of photo session  near the bus stop, we decided to go to the Kenrokuen Garden and Castle. The 2 girls – mbak Belly and Kak Ria, went ahead to check out both,  while me and Kak Jenny, decided not to go. By the time it was raining and snowing intermittently.  

Kanazawa Castle 
We decided to catch the loop bus and got down at the mall near our rented airbnb ! But not before I took another photo in front of the castle gate! 

the Kanazawa scene as we were leaving 

Hopefully, next time we can go and check the castle and the garden and hopefully in a friendlier weather!

Thank you for the beautiful memories girls! <3

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

 Now, mission accomplished!

Until then,

Happy Sewing

I will  write more about Japan trip in the next posts. Subscribe to my blog via email so you won't miss interesting post!

Mission Accomplished Part 1 - Meeting Suzuko Koseki


Last month, I went to see Tokyo Quilt Festival in Tokyo Japan again with a couple of friends from Indonesia. It was rather sudden decision. My dear hubby asked me if I'd like to go again and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands! ha! I traveled with mbak Belly last year too, so this was our second Japan trip together!

I had 2 missions this time! First, I want to meet Suzuko Koseki again and show my passport wallet I made with her fabrics!! I was so excited (despite having cough and cold)Suzuko Koseki has a distinct quilt style. Or maybe it's just me. I could recognize her work even before I saw the information written on the special booth.

This year's Theme was Little Women. You can read the details about it in HERE

I love how simple yet attractive her quilts are. 

Thank you mbak Belly for taking this photo for me!

I love how the Japanese make everything so intricately beautiful and beautifully displayed. The quilts displayed are mostly hand quilted and hand applique with uniformly spaced stitches and not a single thread shown on the appliques. One must see closely to see that the leaves are stitched and not glued. 

I then made my way to La Clochette, Suzuko Koseki booth, and I bought quite a few of her fabrics. I did not see her in the booth, so I asked the lady there if she will come back. She could not speak English and tried her best to explain to me where she's gone. 

I showed her my wallet and there was another Japanese lady, who speak quite good English,  told me, that Ms. Koseki was giving lectures in her special booth. Then she sweetly told me to wait, she will take me and introduce me to her, since she's the student of Koseki Sensei. 

I wish I could understand Japanese

We went and listened to her lectures and this generous lady, translated (in general) of what was being said. Generally, Ms. Koseki was explaining the making process of the quilts being displayed in the booth. The most difficult part was to draw the face of the 4 women who each has a distinct character. It certainly took a lot of hard work to be able to capture that in a quilt. 

Thank you!!

Afterwards, I was introduced and interacted for a while with Ms. Koseki. I felt so humbled when she took my wallet and inspected it,  she gave me a thumbs-up and told me to come again next year (I hope hubby will take the hint!!) . I felt like a kindergarten kid who got her first 100 mark LOL. 

The sweet Japanese Lady

I love the hospitality of Japan and how down to earth and humble they are. All the extraordinaire quilters I met in the show this and last year, left me speechless. We can certainly learn one or ten things from them! 

Another best thing was I get to meet Vatsala Kamat of Tsala Studio. A quilt shop owner in Bangelore. I always admired her Japanese style works. I hope to see you soon in India! 

I hope to be able to go back again next year! Maybe I can join a workshop or two or even visit La Clochette store! That would be awesome, right? 

 If you want to see the quilts photos (and some of my weird photos), you can see them HERE

Until then,

Happy Sewing,

Tokyo Quilt Festival 2017

Where did February go?? 28 days passed so fast. I always feel the first 3 months of the year is the slowest but looks like it's different this year. 

I had an amazing time in Japan last January . It was a dream trip since I always want to see the Tokyo International Quilt Festival and yes it's worth every penny.

I went alone from India all the way to Japan and met my friend who was traveling solo from Indonesia. We planned to see the show for one day and then we'll check the fabrics stores around Tokyo, but we ended up 2 full days in the show. Yes, you need at least 2 days to see (almost) everything to see the displayed quilts and the market stalls...ahh there was just soo many amazing handmade stuff there.

Here's some of the amazing photos from the show :
(More photos can be seen HERE)


and my fave:

And the market booths

and of course we visited all the Fabric "shrines" where ever we went. We discussed our itineraries for months out of excitement and all the historical shrines suddenly forgotten when we knew there were fabric stores in vicinity LOL. Well, I can go  back with the boys for those historical places, right? 

Truthfully, the show is sort of one stop shop if you want to buy any craft supplies, fabrics and meet the designers. Oh yes, I met the Suzuko Koseki. I've been a big fan of her works and she was such an awesome person. So humble and obliged when I asked for a photo. I bought 3 of the recent books too. I'd love to go back every year if I had my way LOL.

Besides, where ever you go in Japan, there is always fabric shops. The famous one would be Yuzawaya. You can find it almost in every city, I guess.

In Kyoto, my fave would be Nomura Tailor. It's the best. I don't remember which bus we took, just consult your Google Map (thank you Google) when you are in Kyoto. 

Look at those yummy fabrics!! -- Nomura Tailor Kyoto
Nomura Tailor Kyoto

Yuzawaya - Kyoto

and of course one have to Visit Tomato in Nippori. It's fabric heaven!!
The only thing to remember is in Nippori the shops closed at 5 PM. Some of the shops closed at 6 PM and some at 8.30 PM,


So you have to think and decide fast when you have little time ^___^ 


That's the most difficult part of fabric shopping in Japan. To buy or not to buy. 

While choosing all those beauties, my mind did quick calculation - will it be over luggage (I was allowed 30 kg) , do I still have balance in my debit card - some of the shops accepted cards payment (to my hubby's dismay)


So, I came back home happy with full suitcase of fabrics, quilting books and happy memories and an empty bank balance. 

Now, I better get some sewing done 

Stay tuned for exciting offer in my next post ^^

Happy Sewing

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