I've opted not to go chronologically with my superbuzzy trip coverage, but thematically instead. I'm going to try to get everything all posted before everything gets too oldy-moldy. I see that Mariko is tackling the trip posts as well!
We had already walked most of Japan (or at least my feet were feeling like it!) by the time we got to Yokohama for the Quilt Show on Thursda, so I wasn't sure I was ready for the hordes of people and the large exhibit hall we discovered getting off the train in Yokohama. The women bound for the show had been quite easy to spot on the train: they were carrying quilted bags and totes, and wearing incredible pieces of wearable art - much more modern and sophisticated than the quilted clothing I see in the US. There were scores of women lined up waiting to get into the hall as soon as it opened at 10am. I was surprised at the rush to see the quilt exhibit; later I realized the rush was to do some serious shopping - not necessarily to see the quilts!
Although we were interested in seeing the quilts, our priority of the day was to take care of superbuzzy business. Stefana was such a gem - she stuck with us the entire day, helping me communicate when needed, and just being an overall good sport! Once business was taken care of, we wandered through the vendor booths and the quilt exhibits. Stefana and I dragged Mariko around while we admired the quilts (wow!), and we even found a super eggplant!
There were lots of amazing quilts there, and I probably didn't take as many photos as I should, but here is one I wanted to share:
I was completely amazed at how this quilter used these striped fabrics - such a cool effect and such a great pallette! I've uploaded more pictures of my favorite quilts and the quilt show on flickr (including a tiny glimpse of Mt. Fuji!).
Although the quilt show was not overwhelming in size, it was pretty overwhelming with the sheer number of people there. I did not see as many non-Japanese as I had expected to see, and, not suprisingly, I could probably count the male attendees (not including vendors) on my fingers and toes! The Japanese women were shopping with a purpose, snatching up all kinds of fabric, notions, kits, and gift items - including loads of vintage American fabric, buttons, and trims. I was impressed at the wide variety of cool crafty kits available - just more evidence that the craft scene in Japan is more geared toward the modern crafter than it is in the US. There were also vendors selling vintage kimonos and kimono scraps for premium prices; several of the quilts we saw on display were made entirely of silk.
After a few hours of this, we were thrilled to discover a corner with a bunch of foot massagers lined up! We all sat down for an extended period, and our feet thanked us again and again! In fact, Mariko and I returned to the show again on Friday and made a second stop at the foot massage station! Although we didn't buy one (!), I can definitely endorse them! If I were on my feet all day on a regular basis, one of these would be a necessity!
More superbuzzy trip news to come! Please let me know if this gets boring!