Showing posts from October, 2017
It's the first night in my new home for the next 5 weeks. Today has been all about travelling here and meeting the other artists who, like me, submitted their application proposals 14 months ago and have flown across the world to this tiny village to learn the craft of Mokuhanga (Japanese Woodblock Printing).  So far so good - they all seem lovely. I'm looking forward to Monday when we each give an introduction and  slide-show presentation of our work. There's 6 of us in total; five female artists and one man (poor thing) - a Brazilian, two Dutch, a woman from Moscow, one from Colorado USA, and me. Tomorrow isSundayand we will be given an orientation of the village.  I've been told there is a supermarket a 20 minute walk away. We'll also be shown our studio and workshop. Everything is in one large, old and traditional Japanese house. Our accommodation in one half of the building and artist workshop in the other.

My first impressions of the house...well let's ju…
I've just spent four days in Takayama, for the bi-annual, two day festival. It was really wonderful. Eleven, three hundred year old floats are lined up to be viewed by the public and there are thousands of visitors who flock to the city to experience the celebrations. The floats are very tall, grand and elaborately decorated carts that sit on four wheels. Mainly made from wood with a black lacquer and highly polished. They are really breath taking, covered in gold leaf and in-layed with mother of pearl and more gold. And that's just the wheels! Wooden carvings adorn the main body of the floats, some are bright, colourful and have been painted. Others carvings left to show the grain of the wood. These intricate carvings depict rabbits, tiger's, dragons and plants. Heavily embroidered fabrics, basically a tapestry, hang to conceal musicians and puppeteers within the floats. The puppets made from painted wood sit at the very top of the structure (floats) and must have been m…
I'm currently sitting in the kitchen of the hostel that I'm staying at in Takayama. I'm in the fairly small, very quaint old town of the city which is set in the heart of the Japanese Alps. The views from the train journey here were stunning - so much green! Tree covered mountains and rocky, fast flowing rivers flew past the window of my train - 4 hours from Tokyo with a change at Nagoya. 

It's Sunday evening, the 8th October and day five of my trip. This hostel is great and really feels like the perfect place for me to be. Sitting around me are a couple from Australia, and Israeli, a girl from France, a guy from Canada and a retired lady from Spain. All swapping stories of our trip, where we've been, where we're going and how long we're in Japan for.  Having just stayed in Tokyo for four nights as a guest in an airbnb it feels lovely to be amongst other visitors to japan. We all have this in common so there's lots to talk about.

The Airbnb in Tokyo was…