Every time we go stay in the Traditional Japanese Style Hotel or Hostel, called “Ryokan”, we often see a room with flooring and interior made by Mulberry Paper (Washi Paper).
A Japanese Mat so called “Tatami”, is what makes traditional accommodation unique and appealing to people around the world.
What if you get to see how this elaborate craft is made from the start, how cool will that be? It is quite rare experience even for Japanese people!!
Tatami (Japanese Mat)
I am pretty sure that most of tourists may have seen this mat from picture but don’t know its name, some might have touched on stepped on it while staying over night in some ryokan or sightseeing places.
Tatami has rich history for almost thousand years which can be tracked back to Heian Period (794-1185). This mat has come across so many changes through periods of time of its country. However, it managed to survive until present day because it became a part of lifestyle of Japanese housing.
When you see or step on this mat, you might be surprised how elaborate and delicate it is. I always wondered how much effort makers have use for making just one mat, especially in the past which they did not have machine to help them.
Good news!!! You can get to experience how to make Tatami mat from the real expertise who has making and running tatami business for many decades. In the heart of Tokyo city, we found a group of tatami makers who is kind enough and willing to introduce the history and art of tatami to all of us.
Mr. Kimura and his crews are one of the nicest and kindest local people I have ever met in Japan. When we went to his small tatami store, they were very enthusiastic and welcome us like a friend rather than customer. They brought us to their small warehouse and showed us how to make tatami from a piece of fabric.
Here, you will know how one tatami mat is made and they will teach you how to make your own tatami as well. Don’t worry that you can not put it inside your bag, it is just under cup piece but it is still awesome!
Kimura Tatami Co., Ltd.Inc
Hatsudai Station (Kieo line)
First, we will start with sewing tatami’s edge by traditional way which by using our hard. They will give us a protective gear for our hands. Safety First!
Next, we will see how a tatami is made. The main fabric is already made from other suppliers. In this warehouse, there are machines that automatically attach tatami fabric with a board which will do the job for us with in no time.
After that, it is time for souvenir. They will prepare us small piece of fabric and let us make our own tatami. It is Under Cup Piece!!
Picture of the day
If you are interested, You can either reserve online here