“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 will be providing English guided tours for those who are interested in the festival. Tours will visit the River Gallery see colourful 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 – available in the afternoon tour slot, costing ¥500. There are two tour times – from 8.55am – 10:30am and 1.25pm – 3pm.
If you would like to participate in the festival, on Friday there’s an opportunity to join in with locals in running this exciting event. Many speak English and will help you participate in the day’s events. In return you will get a free Some no Komichi tenugui towel and a chance to experience wearing a kimono as a token of appreciation from the group. The festival will take place in the Ochiai and Nakai areas in Shinjuku. Since opportunities like this are usally only open to locals, it’s a great chance to try something unique!