Ever since I first decided to go to Kyoto I had been sooooo excited about visiting the bamboo forests of Arashiyama. The photos of it online looked astonishing. This was the day I was looking forward to the most AND it turned out to be better than I had imagined because we had company. Let me introduce you to the lovely Ai Kawauchi.
Ai is one of the designers who is going to be in my book. She makes the most beautiful textile pieces by wrapping silk organza around black beans or marbles and soaking it in special chemicals so that the fabric takes on their shape. As well as making exquisite jewellery, like this brooch, she makes large lighting pieces too, hence her appearing in Illuminate. I had only ever spoken to her online so I was really happy when she she came up from her home in the south of Japan to meet us in Kyoto.
We found a beautiful cafe in Arishiyama called Sagano-yu.
It was located in an old bath house.
This is the cupboard where people put their shoes.
It still had taps on the wall.
It was good to have Ai to help us read the menu.
We shared a lovely lunch and there were presents!!! Ai had bought us both one of her brooches and the sweetest soy sauce pot which has been made in her hometown.
Ai was very pleased with her fennel tea light cover.
After looking at lots of sweet things in their shop upstairs
it was time for some Shinrin-yoku or what the Japanese call forest bathing!
Can you smell it? Oh my. It was the perfect day.