A Yukata Stroll around Kawagoe

Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture is also called “Koedo” or “little Edo” from its resemblance to Edo as Tokyo was known as before the Meiji period. The streets are lined with ancient merchant warehouses giving the city the atmosphere of Tokugawa period Japan. Even so the warehouses are interspersed with smart cafés and chic boutiques to make your walk even more interesting. In Kawagoe, you can rent a yukata, footwear and other gear and there is even a service that will help you to put them on. Thus even if you come unprepared, you can easily and quickly slip into more time-appropriate wear to enjoy the sites.   A short…

Sitting cat & luck cat

Releasing a Video on How to Make Clay Cats

The first video provides the steps to create a basic sitting cat. The second video shows how to remake the sitting cat into a “manekineko” or beckoning cat by unceremoniously stripping off one front leg of our sitting cat.


Clay cat exhibition at Koenji, Tokyo

From March 7th through March 15th, Risa Takahashi held a personal exhibition in a small gallery called KIYA in Koenji, Tokyo. Despite concern over the impact of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), she was able to bring it to a safe and successful close. In the following, we introduce some of the artworks that she exhibited and which were also for sale. Every cat has a unique name. Enjoy! By the way, she gave me this cat mustache at the gallery!!I put it on top of my mask and ignored the bewildered looks of people we met on our way back to the station. Sumima senbei This cat is eating a rice…


Ise Shrine & 25th Maneki-neko Festival – 1/2

On September 28th (Saturday) and 29th (Sunday), I visited the Maneki-Neko Festival (Beckoning Cat and Lucky Cat Festival) held in Ise City, Mie Prefecture, where Ise Shrine is located. This is the 25th time this year!! It was 9.29 (September 29), which can be read as kuru-fuku in Japanese, which means happiness is coming.

Just Relaunched IROHASHOP!!

After a long hiatus we are now finally ready to announce the reopening of our IROHASHOP online store! As you will realize when you enter, we have completely changed the appearance of the shop using the latest technology. We continue our line of traditional arts and crafts centering on Ishikawa prefecture, but we are adding new items almost daily to build a full lineup of attractive pieces. Be sure to pay us a visit! The wars and other unfortunate events occurring around the world makes us wish for a more peaceful world. We wish we were able to do something about it, yet, at the same time, it is sad…

Fun Bonsai workshop at Bonsai Village, Saitama

The vibrant and twisted trunk of a Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine) brings an invigorating freshness to the tips of each green leaf in the beautifully pruned foliage. In their tiny pots, Bonsai fascinate me as a symbol of the strength and vitality of nature. Although bonsai have always fascinated me, I have been daunted by the seeming difficulty of growing bonsai. However, one day, I found that a one-day hands-on Bonsai workshop was held in Saitama, and decided to give it a try – on a whim! The workshop was held in Seikouen, a Bonsai shop, located in Omiya Bonsai Village, Saitama prefecture. It was still very hot on the…