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Explore Aizu

where Classic meets

Contemporary

Your Destination for the Authentic Japanese Countryside Experiences that Contemporary Designs Embracing Old-Fashioned Traditions

 
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SAT, January 14, 2023 - SUN, January 15, 2023

Find Out the Exclusive Trial Package Tour Opportunities

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DAY 1

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IIE Lab.
Factory Tour

IIE Lab. http://iie-aizu.jp/ (Japanese only)

IIE Lab., a Woven Cotton Fabric Mill in Aizu, has reconditioned the discontinued century old loops for their up-to-date creativity while carrying on the tradition.

IIE Lab. is not only an Aizu Cotton Mill but also serves as the hub where to learn, anticipate, “weave” and “sew” all the backstories of the perpetuating history of “Aizu Momen Cotton” and the comprehensions of the community’s vivrant life to eventually propose new products. The tour includes an opportunity to hear their foundation and methods. Enjoy learning more about the product developments of their new loungewear and the sample of “Shima” exclusively designed for your experience during this trial opportunity.
 

About IIE Lab. and Aizu Momen Cotton:

Aizu Momen is one of Japan’s “Kogei”, traditional crafts of Japan, and it was established in West Fukushima nearly four hunbred years ago. Aizu Cotton, which is a well-made sturdy textile, has been commonly used for farm clothing. Contrary to its history, the last 3 mills are striving and facing the challenges of their survival.

 

IIE Lab. is the brand name of “Aizu Momen Cotton” distributor. The company took over the century old loops from the mill that went out of business. All loops were once deconstructed and fully reconditioned after the long journey of finding the discontinued parts and maintenance engineering.

 

12 meter of fabric is the limit of the loom per day. The abandoned 100 year old traditional shuttle loom was brought back to life in order to recreate this scarce textile which tradition was once lost. The process of this premium fabric takes time; however, its high density with extra vertical threads creates its sturdiness including the edge of fabric.     

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IIE. Representative Director : Takuro Yazu 
 

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IIE. Craftsman, Engineer : Takashi Chiba 

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ACCOMODATION

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NIPPONIA
Narayama Village

Experience an authentic community culture, and enjoy the Aizu Art during your stay in the Planetary Village under the wide open sky.
Constructed with three furnished lodgings adjacent to each other within the Narayama Village.

Maximum capacity in the “Kura” is four guests. “Naya” has two individually separated areas, and each area is designed to accommodate up to four guests.  

The isolated two lodgings of Narayama Village, the Planetary Village under the wide open sky, are located deeper than Okukawago of Nishi Aizu in Fukushima and higher than the clouds surrounding the top of the mountain.

 

The extensive sky pops up right above you as the village sits in the mid height of the tall mountain where nothing obstructs your views.

 

The scenery looking down the mountains over the rice terraces takes your breath away. Just one step away from the lodging, the sea of morning clouds awaits you with the crisp air. The galaxy with countless diamonds and the milky way gently but dramatically hugs you at night. These are the authentic sceneries of Japan that remind us of the strong connections between nature and human beings.      

 

The 19th Successor of the village has spent his time and effort for his landscaping design to awaken and transform the lifeless Kura warehouse and Naya storage into the inviting lodgings called “NIPPONIA Narayama Village” where visitors freely spend their quality time as if they were the actual villagers. The breathtaking views of the fields, the village and Mother Nature entertain visitors as if all were a part of the extensive backyard.

 

Inside the lodging, the beauty of Nishi Aizu surprises visitors; the fusuma dividers which were made with Izugahara washi paper, the handcrafted potteries that used clay of the village, etc.

 

Uncomparable opportunities of this tour include;

  • an Experience with the exclusive “Shima” loungewear of IIE Lab. Aizu Cotton

  • a Taste of freshly cooked rice that were cropped in the Village

  • a Feeling of the handcrafted potteries made with clay of the Village 

Related Project

NIAV- Nishi Aizu International Art Village

The old wooden structure of an abolished middle school has been transformed as the Art Center where the worldwide creative artists are called in by the Project Leader a.k.a. Director of NIAV- to bring the Beauty of Nishi Aizu to the art exhibitions, events and workshops. Meanwhile, Narayama Village syncs the NIAV projects and displays the artworks of the artists who have worked with NIAV.

DAY 2

Snapshot of  Narayama Village Nature and Life

Discover the Winter Wonderland Villagers’ Lifestyle

  • Artisan Kashiwa Oak Inscense

  • Straw Rope Braiding

  • Kanjiki Walking

Guided by Yoshihiro Yabe

Director of NIAV/

The 19th Successor of Narayama Village/

MBA, Department of Landscape Architecture,  University of Manitoba, Canada

 

As a Aizu native, Yabe continues exploring his learning journey of Sustainable Landscape Architect & Design in Japan, Canada, and Shanghai.  Ever since 2011 Tohoku

Earthquake and Tsunami brought Yabe back to Narayama Village where his original roots were established, Yabe ‘s lifetime project and his vision have been expanding the interactions with his community and his background as an experienced landscape designer and the part of historical Kominka community that has been existing for over three centuries. 

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Instructor : Yoshihiro Yabe
 

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Registration and Requirements

INFORMATION

Pick-up/Drop-off location: JR Kooriyama Station

5,000JPY/person for this exclusive trial opportunity

  • Regular package tour price: 45,000JPY

  • Limited to three groups (4 guests maximum/group)

  • 1 Night 2 Days Package includes activities, accommodation and 3 meals (Personal expenses and transportation to/from Pick-up/Drop-off location NOT included)

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • Participants must be eligible to fully complete the One Night Two Days package schedule.

  • All agreements and requirements are mandatory to be read and accepted. No medical issues accepted upon tour check-in.

  • Properties of all tour photography must be agreed and shared with Boot Association and J Crest Co.

  • Participants must hold public SNS accounts (private accounts not accepted) to upload the tour experiences

  • Post tour questionnaire and summary are mandatory.

HOW TO REGESTER

Please click the link and complete a registration form no later than December 15, 2022.

We will review all forms after the application deadline carefully and equally. Selected participants will receive our email notification around December 20, 2022.

 

IMPORTANT

  1. Selection processes will not be disclosed under any conditions.

  2. No transfers, exchanges, or refunds will be made for the participant privileges.

  3. Intentionally or not intentionally, missing and/or false information may cause registration cancellation or termination.

  4. Tour schedule may change due to weather conditions and/or any circumstances.

  5. Package excludes any personal expenses and transportation fee to/from JR Kooriyama Station, the Pick-up/Drop-off location, if needed. Beverages are also separate and not included in the meals and will be charged accordingly.

  6. Children ages of three and under are free of charge if meals, bed and activities will not be needed.