Craft Sakura Postcard in a Japanese Paper Shop
Welcome to Kamitowa Paper Store in Kyoto!
On 12 March, we did an online live “Craft Sakura Postcard in a Japanese Paper Shop Tour”
Washi 和紙 is a traditional Japanese paper, registered in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO . It is more durable than ordinary paper, which is why it is used in many different fields, including the production of lanterns, fans, umbrellas, as well as in calligraphy and origami.
Although washi is increasingly produced industrially, there are still places in Japan where this paper is made by hand – almost in the same way as was done hundreds of years ago.
KAMITOWA shop is located near the Karasuma Oike Station in Kyoto. With very easy access from Osaka or Kyoto Central Station. (Added location map at the end of this article 🙂 ) The workshops last about an hour, and the service in English is available for foreign visitors.
Miwako-san, owner of the Japanese Washi “KAMITOWA” store, taught us everything we need to know about washi, such as materials, tools and history. She also showed us an interesting process step by step!
This traditional process is based on collecting the branches of the appropriate tree or shrub species (most often paper mulberry), then boiling them or steaming them so that it is easier to strip the bark off them. The peeled bark is then cleaned, boiled and churned. The pulp is dissolved in water containing hibiscus root extract, and the resulting mixture is placed on a special bamboo mesh, creating a wet sheet of paper of the desired thickness, which is then removed and dried.
We decided to prepare postcards. The most creative part of creating our postcards was decorating our – still wet – paper with seasonal pressed sakura cherry blossom flowers and leaves.
Except postcards, you can also try to make a table-mat, wraparound lampshade, or tapestry panel.
In the past, washi was used for almost everything that modern typewriter paper is used for. Of course, as a craft product, washi is a bit more expensive than regular paper. However, there are still many uses for which only the best washi is enough!
Due to its interesting, almost earthy textures and exceptional quality that brings out soft, translucent light, washi has long been recognized as the ideal material for lamps, indoor displays and, more recently, blinds and shutters. Its organic and natural appearance is much more visually appealing than bulk sterile paper or other artificial materials.
Japan is a country that loves literature, so it’s no wonder that washi and publishing go hand in hand.
With a more solid and malleable texture, washi paper is a great origami tool. It keeps its shape much better than other finer origami papers. And of course, the unique look of the washi gives it beauty to the finished item.
Many traditional art forms in Japan are based on washi. The use of washi instead of modern canvas or paper is one of the defining elements of this quintessential Japanese style.
Cards, postcards, and wedding invitations, for example, are incomparably more fun when printed on Japanese washi, aren’t they?
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you’re interested, I also invite you to watch the live tour video. 🙂
Why don’t you join our next online tour? You can participate in the live tour and ask questions on the spot!
Watch the past Tour
“KAMITOWA” 紙TO和 – Japanese Washi Paper Shop
|Getting There from Kyoto|
Local train from Kyoto station (Karasuma Line); it takes approximately 6 minutes and cost 220 yen.
7-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Station
Workshops available on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10:30-17:00.
|Admission Fee||Variety of workshops available on official KAMITOWA website|
|Location and Contact No.|
345 Sanjo-cho Nakagyou-ku Kyoto