Some no Komichi is the festival that celebrates the art of dyeing fabrics and screenprinting that is the tradition of the Nakai/Ochiai area. The festival—which is more like an arts and crafts fair—runs along the river and goes all weekend. We decided to check it out Friday, which was opening day.
We got out at the Nakai exit, the closest stop to the festival, and walked upstairs to the street level. The long narrow strips of fabric strung over the river were dead giveaways that we were in the right place. People dressed in traditional garb were located at various places along the river handing out maps of the area—in Japanese.
In the old days, dye and fabric producers used the Myoshoji River in their processes, and were located along this river. Until the 1960s, workers washed their newly dyed fabrics in the river and on clear days, these colorful kimono fabrics were hung out to dry outside the factories. In honor of these craft traditions, the festival features a “River Gallery” of long pieces of kimono cloth draped on wires above the river. The festival also features current artisans along the river who display their crafts for sale, with some demonstrating their artistic processes as well.
Tours of a dye factory are available, as well as some hands-on demonstrations, but we didn’t go to the factory. We simply walked along the river. Stopping to poke our heads into the various shops, we bought a couple of card cases made out of fabric, before leaving.
It is in an older part of Tokyo and not a neighborhood that would otherwise have come to our attention. It was a pretty festival, and a great opportunity to buy handmade items made in Japan, and we were glad for the chance to spend some time here.