Beep beep Kyoto

Be warned – tonight’s blog post comes to you from the hotel bar in Kyoto. But really, if you’re going to model your bar on an old English library then offer 40% off drinks between 5-7pm then what do you expect us to do?

Amazingly we’re the only ones here. I’m three cocktails in.

We’re used to long train rides in Japan and today we journeyed from Osaka to Kyoto… In 15 minutes! The efficiency of Japanese trains is phenomenal.

A wander through the back streets of Kyoto saw us popping into boutiques and spotting great signage and shop names.

I love how niche you can be in a big city and really appreciate shops run by one or two people on a very specific theme. For example, this place sold really beautiful artworks using preserved flowers…


Something that struck me is that signage often intentionally plays up it’s handmade-ness by being a little wonky or hand painted. It’s a good thing to be small, to only make a few of something and to be a tiny business.

This is so different to New Zealand where we seem to strive to be more “professional” and in a way, corporate in the craft community. You only have to compare the look of stalls at somewhere like Craft 2.0 now to five years ago to see that in action.

It’s made me think about what’s different about Emma Makes and I have a lot of ideas for making new and different things when I get home.


P.S – I called this post ‘beep beep Kyoto’ because in four weeks in Japan I’ve only heard three people use their car horns. Today in Kyoto I’ve heard four – they’re a feisty bunch!


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