Thursday, September 5, 2019

Weekend in Nikko - Nikko Kibori Class

Saturday morning, I left home at 4:00 am to catch the 5:13 am train.  I had to change trains two times to get to my destination, Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. This is what my train station looks like early in the morning (looking through a dirty window). 

The first place I went when I arrived in Nikko was the Tourist Information Center at the train station. I was happy that the person working there spoke English. He was very helpful.  I told him the places I wanted to visit and he gave me advice on which bus pass to buy.  There are several different options with different costs.  I decided on the 2000 yen, two day pass that would include Kegon Falls and all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

I always like to take local arts and crafts classes when I am on a trip. The local craft in this area is Nikko Kibori, a wood carving craft.  I went to Kibori no Sato for my class.

There were many choices of carving pictures and objects and sizes, like plates and mirror backs.  I chose three monkeys because it is a famous shrine site in the area.  I probably should have chosen something with a difficulty level of one star instead of this with three stars, but it was okay.  This is the example of the piece I chose.

The teacher did not speak English, but had this written explanation for me and she showed me how to hold the cutting tool. 

She helped me a lot with the practice board, but left me to do my own project piece.  Some teachers want to work on your piece or want to try to fix your mistakes, but I was happy that she didn't try to do that.  I like the thing I'm making to be my own work, mistakes and all. I carved the lid of a bowl.  The picture is drawn on the wood, then the lines carved out.  

Here is my finished piece with my name and the date in Japanese carved on the bottom. It looks rough, but I did it myself.  

It was a fun class! I'll have more about my trip in the next few days.


DUTA said...

Kudos to you! You've done a wonderful piece of carving!
I always go first thing to the local tourist office when I arrive in a new place. It's very helpful, indeed.

Vireya said...

That was an early start! I wouldn't be able to accomplish anything after getting going that early.
I like your idea of doing craft classes in new places. Wood carving looks challenging, but sounds like fun. They obviously have a few tourists attend the carving workshop, to have the instructions ready for English speakers.

White Rose said...

Hi Pamela wow this is amazing ,what fun,you did well my friend xx

Beth in IL said...

What a great class! Looks like you had a good time.

SUWA said...

Your ability to take action is wonderful!

Jeanie said...

I think it is terrific -- and ESPECIALLY for a first time effort! I love the design and it's cool that it's regional. It looks like a fun project. Do you think you might ever do it again?

Jeanie said...

Oh, and I especially agree about teachers who try to get in there too much. THe best way to learn is to dig in!

Leonore Winterer said...

Where do you take all that energy from! Once I make it to the weekend, I usually don't want to leave my couch anymore. Another wonderfully exciting trip, and such a fun new craft to try. I think you did very well for a first.

KaHolly said...

I would like to do this! Looks like fun! You did an awesome job on your first try!

kiwikid said...

Well done your piece looks wonderful. Great teacher to let you work unhindered.

FlashinScissors said...

My goodness! You do all this travelling (at that time of the morning), and joining classes, even with the language barrier!
I think you are very brave! What an adventure you are having, and your work is lovely ..... a real treasure!
Barbara xx