Must-see Places

Ochiai, a Dyeing Industry Town

Until around 1965, there were more than 300 dyeing-related manufacturers along the Myoshoji River and Kanda River, making the area one of the three biggest producers of dyed fabrics along with Kyoto (Kyoto Pref.) and Kanazawa (Ishikawa Pref.).

There are still dyeing shops here and there in the Ochiai and Nakai areas. “Futaba-en,” one of the dyeing shops in this area, showcases various works of dyeing. The area organizes an event called “Some no Komichi (Fabric Dyeing Festival),” offering “River Gallery” in which long pieces of kimono cloth (tanmono) are draped on wires above the river. In Shinjuku City, there is also Tokyo Some Monogatari Museum (Tomita Some-Kogei Co., Ltd.), which offers a factory tour as well as exhibitions and hands-on sessions of dyeing.

The dyeing industry in the town started with the opening of a new dyeing factory by a dyeing manufacturer who had his eye on the clear-flowing stream of the Kanda River around the middle of the Taisho period (around 1920), and developed along with the opening of new dyeing factories upstream by craftsmen who had trained at the factory and became independent. As the “Dyeing Kingdom, Shinjuku,” the area has been maintaining generations of skills and history down to the present day.

Postal code 〒161-0033
Address Around Ochiai, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
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