Tatami (Japanese Mat) D.I.Y Experience: Make a cultural souvenir like no others

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)

Traditional Japanese Style Hotel or Hostel, “Ryokan”

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.

Japanese Letter of Tatami Mat

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

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.

Tatami Warehouse

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)
Website Click>>>

Sewing Tatami

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!

Protective Gear
We will use it with this pin, so be careful
Main fabric will be prepared for us. We just sew the edge. Even so, it is still difficult
We  sew the main fabric with this another green fabric

Warehouse Observation

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.

Puting the board and fabric in the machine
Adjusting length and width
Still, there are some parts that rely on man’s work
This one will sew the edge for us
It looks so complicated
This one puts fabric and board together
Finishing the rest
Some parts need to be done by ourselves
Elaborate Work
It ‘s done!!!

Tatami D.I.Y

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!!

Let’s begin
Then, we will get to do small one for our souvenir.
Mr. Kimura and his crew with help us along the way
This time, it is much easier!
It’s done!!

Picture of the day

Tatami Experience

More questions? Comment down below!!


Travel Blog in Tokyo

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