On a recent trip to Kyoto, Japan, I was in awe when I walked into the CHIRI-MEN CRAFT MUSEUM during my last day of the trip. Draped from the ceiling (as you can tell from the below picture), were handmade mobiles featuring creatures, shapes and people of various kinds. The mobiles were created in an assortment of colours and varying in lengths and patterns. I just couldn’t resist, I had to get my hands on some of their cool works of art!
This space is not really a museum per se, but rather more of a shop filled with an array of small toys, souvenirs and decor items. I guess with the way that the items have been created and how they are displayed, many believe it resembles more of a museum; a place for visitors to observe, learn and take in the many goodies that it has to offer.
Chirimen, I learned is a traditional weaving technique that was developed in the late 16th century in Japan which refers to the cloth or silk fabric that is made as a result of this weaving. If you look closely, the cloth has soft wrinkles or grooves. According to the pamphlet from their store, “the wrinkles are created by alternating two types of silk thread twisted in different directions by turns in the weft. The woven cloth is first flat, but the wrinkles suddenly emerge after rinsing dirt out of the thread.” Pretty neat eh? I also learned that this Chirimen is used for finely made kimonos.
Being a foodie, I was very excited to see one of my favourite foods (sushi), being displayed. I had to get a set of my own as a Kyoto souvenir! There are various types of sushi to choose from, and you can choose a box or wooden geta to display your pieces of nigiri sushi. The size of each piece is only slightly smaller than a life size sushi piece. Each piece is approximately 150 yen, which equates to about $1.50-$2.00 CAD per piece.
Here is my plate, can you name them all?
Other than sushi there were also a variety of other items to be in awe over…like veggie baskets, cute dolls and animals. Just take a look at the rest of the pics below. If you ever have a chance to visit Kyoto, make sure you stop by to have a look and maybe pick up a couple things for yourself!