Kurume Kasuri Tour by Fukuoka Now (just 20 seats – book soon!)
Nov. 10, 2018
English Speaking Guide – for the entire trip!
Only ¥4,000 per person! – details below.
At the turn of the 18th century, a young 12-year-old girl called Den Inoue devised a method of textile production that involved dyeing material before starting the weaving process. This technique has been used to create Kurume kasuri and other cotton textiles in the Chikugo region ever since.
The final product is cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and extremely comfortable on the skin, making it ideal for daily life. However, the production process is quite time-consuming and involves 30 stages, which are carried out across a three-month period.
This tour will take place during the Chikugo Village Kasuri Open House event which takes place in the area where Kurume kasuri originated. The event is held twice a year. Seven studios that produce Kurume kasuri will be open to the public, allowing participants to learn more about the indigo dyeing and weaving processes, while taking in the surrounding countryside.
Enjoy local delicacies for lunch, including unagi no seiro mushi (bamboo-steamed eel) at a well-known eatery. There will also be a chance to pick some delicious kaki at a nearby persimmon orchard. Participants on the tour will be able to see some of the tools that Den Inoue used to produce textiles at a local facility! This trip coincides the 150th year since her passing.
Kasuri workshop tour and indigo dyeing experience
Enjoy free time to join the Chikugo Village Kasuri Open House to see natural indigo dyeing and weaving processes up close at local Kurume kasuri studios. And at Ikeda Kasuri Kobo, a studio with over 100 years of history, everyone will design and dye their own bandanna. It’s yours to keep!
Steamed Eel Lunch at Tomimatsu Unagiya
For lunch we’ll dine on a local specialty, unagi seiro mushi, steamed eel coated with a rich and savory sauce served on a bed of rice in a bamboo container. This dish originated in nearby Yanagawa, and in Kurume a variety of old and new unagi restaurants are dotted along the Chikugo River. Among these establishments, Tomimatsu is particularly popular and attracts a constant stream of customers. Diners are always impressed by the sweet, fragrant aroma of the eel and the way that it is steamed on top of high quality binchotan charcoal.
Chikugo Persimmon Picking
Fukuoka Prefecture is one of the leading persimmon producing areas in Japan. People often say that they can see autumn scenery reflected in the reddish orange color of this delicious fruit. We’ll stop by an orchard for fruit picking. Taste the fruit in the field or purchase some to take home!
Kurume kasuri exhibition & local products
At our final stop, participants can see a wide range of finished kasuri items and a 150th year commemorative display dedicated to Den Inoue, founder of Kurume kasuri. Inoue began to study the art of cotton weaving at the tender age of seven. When she was 12 she developed a technique for dyeing material that would provide the basis for producing Kurume kasuri. At 40 years old she had over 1,000 students, 400 of whom are said to have opened studios in various places. The display also features the tools used in the manufacturing process and actual items that Inoue used. Participants will also be able to shop for special Kurume products such as liquor, confectionery, and handicrafts.
8:15 Meeting time
8:30 Depart by chartered bus from Tenjin (in front of the Bank of Japan)
9:30~9:40 Hirokawa Service Area (rest stop)
10:20~12:00 Chikugo Village Kasuri Open House and indigo dyeing experience
12:30~13:40 Steamed eel lunch at Tomimatsu Unagiya – Araki
14:20~15:50 Persimmon picking
16:10~17:10 Kurume kasuri exhibition and shopping at Jibasan Kurume
18:10 Return to Tenjin