tourism

An Easy-to-Make Eco-Friendly Reusable Bag

Create Your Own Azuma Bag at Nomura Textile(1.45 hours)

Make an azuma bag by sewing together Kurume Kasuri fabrics of your choice
The azuma bag is an Edo period version of the modern reusable shopping bag
Choose your favorite color and pattern of fabric from a wide variety of Kurume Kasuri textiles
Hear from Shutaro and Sayaka Nomura about their passion for Kurume Kasuri
Learn from Shutaro Nomura about how Kurume Kasuri is made
Also popular among visitors experiencing Kurume Kasuri for the first time

Nomura Textile is a Kurume Kasuri weaver based in Hirokawa Town, Fukuoka Prefecture. The easy-to-understand factory tour led by owner Shutaro Nomura makes the tour popular also among visitors who are experiencing Kurume Kasuri for the first time. After the tour, choose your two favorite fabrics from Nomura Textile’s colorful selection of Kurume Kasuri and sew them together to create your very own azuma bag, an Edo Period (1603-1867) version of the modern reusable bag. The bags can be completed with a simple straight stitch, but for those who find it difficult to sew, staff can help by stitching the bag together with a sewing machine. There are also many unique Kurume Kasuri clothing pieces, such as one-piece dresses and wide pants, available for purchase at the Nomura Textile shop.

  • Tour the Kurume Kasuri factory led by its owner, Shutaro Nomura
  • Choose your favorite two Kurume Kasuri fabrics and sew them together into an azuma bag
  • Sew the bag with simple straight stitches. Staff can also help with a sewing machine.
  • Hear from Shutaro and Sayaka Nomura about their passion for Kurume Kasuri
  • Shop for Kurume Kasuri pants, skirts, accessories, and cut fabrics at the Nomura Textile shop
Shutaro NomuraFourth Generation Owner, Nomura Orimono
Sayaka NomuraSales, Nomura Orimono
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Kurume Kasuri: One of the Three Great Japanese Kasuri Textiles

Kasuri is a textile-making technique. Threads are dyed beforehand in specific configurations so that patterns appear when the fabric is woven through either the weft threads, warp threads, or both. Kasuri techniques are said to have originated in India, from where it then spread across the world; the weaving technique came to Japan through Okinawa. Kurume Kasuri was created by a young woman named Den Inoue around the year 1800, and refers to kasuri fabric that is woven in the former Kurume feudal domain (which includes the modern-day towns of Hirokawa, Chikugo, and Yame). Currently, fewer than 20 Kurume Kasuri weavers remain, the production area unique in the wide variety of weaving techniques among makers, which range from traditional hand-weaving and indigo-dying to power shuttle loom-weaving.

The Kurume Kasuri of Nomura Textile

Nomura Orimono: Weaving in Tradition

Established in 1898, Nomura Textile is a long-standing weaver located in Hirokawa Town, Fukuoka Prefecture. A traditional maker with high technical skills, Nomura Textile weaves highly difficult weft-warp kasuri patterns as well as classic Kurume Kasuri patterns. The company machine-weaves and uses chemical dyes, but dyes its own threads, a process other Kurume Kasuri weavers often outsource. And though the kasuri is machine-woven, Nomura Textile uses 100 year-old Toyota automatic looms to create their fabric. One craftsperson is assigned to four looms to make adjustments — operating and maintaining each machine with care.

The Nomura Textile workshop

An Accessible Kurume Kasuri Factory Tour

Making Kurume Kasuri requires about 30 distinct steps from the initial dyeing to final weaving. Tour the impressive Nomura Textile factory under the guidance of its owner, Shutaro Nomura, who will provide easy-to-understand explanations of how Kurume Kasuri is made.

An Accessible Kurume Kasuri Factory Tour

Make an Azuma Bag, the Edo-Period Reusable Bag

The Azuma bag is said to have originated in the Edo Period, when common folk created simple bags from leftover hand towels and kimono fabric after seeing Westerners’ bags. Azuma bags made from 100% cotton Kurume Kasuri can be folded into a compact size and easily washed, making them an easy eco-friendly way to incorporate Kurume Kasuri into your lifestyle.

Azuma bags made from Nomura Textile’s Kurume Kasuri

\Testimonials From Past Participants/

  • ・Seeing all the colorful Kurume Kasuri fabrics lined up across the table made my heart race with excitement. It was really interesting hearing about the history and unique characteristics of Kurme Kasuri, which made me even more excited for the factory tour that followed. We were also able to catch a glimpse of Mr. and Mrs. Nomura’s friendly personalities, which really made the tour light up.
  • ・This tour was very fun and exciting; it was truly a valuable experience to see the entire kasuri-making process (except for thread typing) step-by-step through this program.
  • ・I was impressed hearing from Mr. and Mrs. Nomura about the history of the Kurum Kasuri craft. It was amazing to see how the efforts of past craftmakers helped keep the Kurume Kasuri craft alive.
  • ・Because I got great advice when picking fabrics so that I could choose fabrics that I liked, I was really looking forward to seeing the finished bag even before I began sewing.
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GFHK04

schedule

10:25
Meet at Nomura Textile

10:30

Introduction・Choose Fabrics

Introduction by Shutaro Nomura and Sayaka Nomura. Afterwards, choose two of your favorite Kurume Kasuri patterns from Nomura Textile’s wide selection of fabrics.。


10:40

Kurume Kasuri Workshop Tour

Join a guided tour of Nomura Textile led by Shutaro Nomura. In the meantime, Sayaka Nomura will prepare the fabrics you chose for sewing, such as treating the fabric ends.


11:20

Making Azuma Bags

Hand sew the prepped fabric to make an azuma bag.


12:15

Commemorative Photo

Take a commemorative photo with your camera or smartphone. If you wish, you can also shop for various kasuri products at the Nomura Textile shop.

Languages

Japanese

Participants

Minimum 2 / Maximum 2
(Groups of 3 or more can be accommodated. Please contact UNA Labs for more details.)

Meeting Place
Aizome Kasuri Kobo
1745, Niishiro, Hirokawa-machi, Yame-gun, Fukuoka 834-0115
**
ご注意
  • This is an experience program where guests arrange transportation themselves to and from the meeting place.
  • UNA Laboratories staff will not accompany guests on this program.
  • Included in the program fee is domestic travel insurance provided by JI Accident & Fire insurance Co., Ltd (2.58 million yen in the event of death, 3,000 yen per day in the event of hospitalization, 1,600 yen per day for non-overnight hospital visits, 10 million yen for personal liability. However, children who participate in the program for free are not covered by this insurance plan.
  • The tour will be held even in the event of rain, barring cases of inclement weather such as heavy rain or a typhoon.
  • All of the photographs displayed on this website are for illustrative purposes only. Also please note that as the workshop is not a tourist attraction, the processes that visitors can see may change depending on the day, and there may be days when some machines may not be running.
  • Children of elementary school age and younger may participate in the tour with a parent or guardian. However, UNA Laboratories or Shimogawa Textiles shall not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur in the parking lot or during the tour. In particular, when touring the factory, please keep an eye on your child/children to make sure that they do not touch the machines.
  • This tour may be cancelled in the event that its smooth implementation becomes difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the event of cancellation, the tour fee will be fully refunded.
Reservation Deadline

Seven days before the start of the tour

Payment Method

Advance payment by credit card (VISA, Mastercard, Amex,) through the application form sent upon confirmation of reservation.

Attire

None

Please Note
  • This is an experience program where guests arrange transportation themselves to and from the meeting place.
  • UNA Laboratories staff will not accompany guests on this program.
  • Included in the program fee is domestic travel insurance provided by JI Accident & Fire insurance Co., Ltd (2.58 million yen in the event of death, 3,000 yen per day in the event of hospitalization, 1,600 yen per day for non-overnight hospital visits, 10 million yen for personal liability. However, children who participate in the program for free are not covered by this insurance plan.
  • The tour will be held even in the event of rain, barring cases of inclement weather such as heavy rain or a typhoon.
  • All of the photographs displayed on this website are for illustrative purposes only. Also please note that as the workshop is not a tourist attraction, the processes that visitors can see may change depending on the day, and there may be days when some machines may not be running.
  • Children of elementary school age and younger may participate in the tour with a parent or guardian. However, UNA Laboratories or Shimogawa Textiles shall not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur in the parking lot or during the tour. In particular, when touring the factory, please keep an eye on your child/children to make sure that they do not touch the machines.
  • This tour may be cancelled in the event that its smooth implementation becomes difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the event of cancellation, the tour fee will be fully refunded.
Cancellation Policy

3 to 1 day(s) preceding the tour start date: 50% of the tour fee
Before departure on the tour start date: 100% of the tour fee
After the start of tour or no-show: 100% of the tour fee

UNA Laboratories COVID-19 Policy

UNA Laboratories is committed to ensuring the safety of our customers, staff, and community. In accordance with municipal, national, and industry guidelines for the prevention of infectious diseases, UNA Laboratories is implementing the following measures:

  1. 1. Guides will wear a face shield during tours.
  2. 2. Guests are requested to wear a mask.
  3. 3. Hand-sanitizing alcohol will be provided.
  4. 4. We will check your temperature and general physical condition at the start of the tour. UNA Laboratories reserves the right to refuse tour participation if a customer’s temperature is over 37 degrees Celsius.
  5. 5. We strive to maintain adequate social distance throughout the tour, so the maximum number of participants will be capped at six.

Travel Planning: Implementation

  • UNA Laboratories Inc. (Fukuoka Prefectural Governor Registration #2-951)
  • 3-12-22-302 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture 810-0022
  • TEL: 092-982-7956E-MAIL: tour@unalabs.jp
  • Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors:
    Aya Tamura, Noriko Yahata, Rei Watanabe
  • Business Hours:
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)
  • *Requests received outside of business hours will be processed the following business day.
  • *Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors are responsible for transactions held at the sales office that processes customers’ travel. Please do not hesitate to contact the aforementioned Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors with any questions or concerns regarding the travel contract.

Tour Information

Dates
・Monday-Friday 10:30-
Duration
1.45 hours
Recommended Age
Suitable for All Ages ※ For those who have difficulty sewing by hand, simply pick two of your favorite Kurume Kasuri textiles and Nomura Textile can help you finish the bag with a sewing machine.
Price
5,800yen (tax included)
Remarks
※material fee included
※Participants under 12 years old: ¥3,500 (tax and material fee included)Participants under 12 years old (factory tour only): free