By Duncan Hervey
Arts & Craft Village makes use of beautiful, renovated wooden buildings that used to be an Elementary School and Nursery.
In addition to this we borrow nearby abandoned farmland to grow our own vegetables and indigo.
We studied natural farming and permaculture and use these skills to create a community through agricultural and craft life.
You can attend various workshops such as dyeing, weaving and woodworking in this tranquil place where we watch the seasons go by.
① Old school building ; Arts & Crafts Village main building
Weaving & Spinning Workshop
The textile area is situated in one of the former classrooms at the ground floor of the school building.
We have various types of looms such as SAORI, suitable for beginners and other 4 shafts looms for advanced students.
Besides weaving, the space is equipped for spinning and sewing. We have 7 Ashford spinning wheels and 2 Japanese traditional one. Carder or sewing machines are available to use.
Cafe & Gallery
The cafe tables and chairs are all made by the Arts & Craft Village wood workshop.
The pink rocket stove is connected to the bench by a 13m long flue duct set in the seat.
Through this system of drums, ducts and soil, the seat and the whole cafe are warmed in the winter.
In the summer the bench stays cool.
The café is only available to customers who have participated in Arts & Crafts Village workshops.
Please note that you cannot use the cafe only.
② Old gym
The workshop is a fully-functioning wood workshop that is located in the old gymnasium.
It is equipped with various woodworking machines such as a lifting board, horizontal cutting board, hand-carrying board, automatic plane board, square chisel board, hand saw and scroller (thread saw board). There are also 3 workbenches.
From now, the wood workshop has become a shared workspace.
③ Old school kitchen
The dyeing workshop uses the space that used to be the school kitchen.
Using natural materials, you can try your hand at various dyeing and weaving techniques that have been passed down since ancient times.
Bathroom / Open-air bath
There is an indoor bathroom and a handmade outdoor bath.
You can relax here and stargaze at night.
④ Play ground
The parking lot is the old playground.
There is enough space for more than 10 cars.
There is a hen house in one corner of the parking lot.
The chicken’s eggs are very delicious and indispensable in the practice of agricultural life.
⑤ Old nursery
Multipurpose space (yoga space)
The old nursery school is a multipurpose space.
While we do not have a yoga instructor at the moment you can use this quiet space to practice yoga/pilates if you wish.
⑥ Natural farm
We have a natural farming field with no fertiliser and no-tillage cultivation.
We hold workshops on satoyama and permaculture.
We grow cotton in natural farms and spin these fibres into yarns to use in weaving and knitted fabrics.
In addition to this we grow indigo which we use to dye these yarns and fabrics.