“Some no Komichi” is a festival highlighting the art of dyeing and screen printing in the Nakai/Ochiai area of Shinjuku ward. Traditionally, dye producers were located along the banks of the Myoshoji River which runs through the area. On clear days, colorful kimono fabrics were hung out to dry outside the factories. As an artistic tribute to this heritage, 50 to 60 long pieces of kimono cloth will be draped on wires above the river as a “River Gallery”. The shopping area will also be decorated with 87 specially produced noren—the dyed curtain-like fabric that you often see hanging in front of the entrances to restaurants, onsen and shops selling traditional wares.
The Some no Komichi committee often provide English-guided tours for those who are interested in the festival. Tours will visit the River Gallery see colorful noren in the street gallery and enjoy some highlights of the Ochiai and Nakai area. You can also enjoy an actual dyeing experience at a workshop. These tours are available between 9.55 am – 12 pm and 12.55 pm and 3 pm and spaces can be reserved in advance.
If you’re keen to get more involved, then you can join as part of their ‘volontouring’ opportunity and work alongside the English-speaking volunteers to run the event. In return for your participation you’ll be given an original Some no Komichi tenugui towel as well as the opportunity to try wearing a kimono for free. You can find out more and sign up online.To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many events have been canceled. Always check official sites before heading to an event.