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Number of Registered Facilities/Groups 91 (as of April 2024)
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Yasakamura Watabun Art Fabric

Area name Hamada Area
Practitioner Yuji Kono
Hands-on Experiences Traditional Cultural Experiences
Accommodation Day Trip Experience
Meals

Yasakamura Watabun Art Fabric is located in Yasakacho, a quiet valley town full of nature in Hamada municipality, western Shimane prefecture. In the past, the area thrived on sericulture (raising silkworms) and had many mulberry trees.
For 34 years, the venerable Watabun was a factory which wove fashionable obi in Nishijin, Kyoto, but in 2012 it closed shop. Although they no longer weave obis, representative Kouno and several other former employees wanted to make use of the knowledge and techniques they gained weaving Nishijin obis. In 2013, they restarted their business, this time as a weaving factory of Kibisohada Tomodachi, an innovative silk bath towel which contains plenty of sericin, a component with excellent moisturizing properties. In this way, they also hoped to teach others to appreciate the wonders of silkworms.
Upon entering the factory, one sees the hand looms standing packed together in rows and hears the almost musical clack-clack of the looms resonating comfortingly throughout the space.
The factory contains many current, vibrant silk threads. Among all those sounds and colors, the sound produced when weaving a large shawl from real handspun silk thread—"tu-ton-ton"—became the brand name. It conveys to all of Japan a "manufacturing practice showing Shimane's relaxed countryside lifestyle." The group also offers tours of the factory and allows people to try hand-weaving cloth from thread using their visitor looms. These experiences actively increase interactions and exchanges in the region.

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Loom weaving experience

detail

Experience category Traditional Cultural Experiences
Period March to November
Suitable age group Elementary school age and above
Number of participants Maximum of 10 people
Time required Approximately 3 hours (please consult with us)
Fee Weaving 2 place mats: 3500 yen
Things to bring Nothing
Necessity of reservation Yes (telephone reservation seven days in advance)
Experience content Experience turning threads into a woven fabric. You will weave 2 place mats of approximately 23cm×38cm in size. This session will be done on a visitor loom. The materials will of course be luxurious handspun silk thread.

After choosing your preferred warp thread (loom), next you will select your preferred weft. After a simple lecture, it's time to start weaving!
Shuttle the thread across, switch feet and—ton-ton!
Shuttle the thread back across, switch feet and—ton-ton!!

After weaving one place mat, everyone will take a short tea break. It's time to chat. Let's make some friends.

After refreshments, move to a different warp thread (loom), choose a weft that you like, and start weaving mat number 2. Once you have the knack, weaving the second mat will go faster than you might expect.

Clean up the ends and you're done. Take home this unique creation woven by your own hands.

Facility details

Group name Yasakamura Watabun Art Fabric
Practitioner Yuji Kono
Address  514-1 Kitsuka I, Yasaka-cho, Hamada-shi, Shimane Prefecture
Inquiry phone number +81855-48-2436
Business hours 9:00-16:00 (weekdays only)
Closed days Obon, New Year, Saturday, Sunday, holidays
Transportation method From national highway 9 or the San'in motorway, get off at Hamadako interchange and take prefectural highway 34 toward Yasaka for approximately 15km. Enter the Kitsuka area, pass the Kinezuka post office, and turn left at the sign for the factory. The factory is located immediately on the right-hand side.
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#1
ご利用に関しては事前に予約が必要です。
#2
普通の民家ですので、寝間着や洗面具などのアメニティ用品はございません。
各自ご準備ください。
#3
体験メニューは各家庭ごとの独自メニューで対応します。
内容・体験時間等により料金が異なりますので直接ご確認ください。
#4
受入家庭は親戚を迎える気持ちで接します。旅館や民宿とは違うことをご理解いただき、
田舎の親戚に帰ってきたようなリラックスした気持ちで、
普段着のままの田舎のおもてなしをお楽しみください。
#5
原則、食事の提供はお客様との共同調理となります。
しまねのおいしい田舎料理を調理段階からお楽しみください。
#6
携帯電話がつながりにくい地域がありますので、受入家庭に事前にご確認ください。