One of my favourite destinations. I try to visit at least every 2 years. This trip was different as it was in March 2020 and covid was causing havoc in China and little did we know. I decided to go anyway.
Normally I start my trips in Tokyo but since a tradeshow was canceled I rerouted to fly to Osaka and got some extra days to spend. Osaka has, like Tokyo, two very opposite sides; the famous neon and bustling streets, on the other side there are the tranquille backstreets where you wonder into the night.
The next morning it is time to get to work.
From Osaka it is a short train ride to Kojima where I was visiting Collect / Momotaro Jeans / Japan Blue, I have been working with them since 2007 and offer one of the biggest & diverse fabric collections in Japan.
You can spend days going through their archives and get completely overwhelmed, luckily I learned to fly through these collections and have build my methods in doing selections.
In the afternoon we did a tour through their mill next to the HQ (they have more in the region). It never gets old hearing the rumble & clatter of the shuttle looms being in the process of weaving our fantastic fabrics.
Before heading back to the train, I did a walk through 'jeans street', which was a bit sad to see, 80% of the once thriving jeans businesses were closed down for good. I grabbed a coffee at the beautiful Momotaro cafe and visted their store.
It was almost time to head home again, but not before a few days exploring Kyoto, which has been on my list for a while to do, and with the canceled trade show I had some extra time so better spend it well.
Trains in Japan are a great way to travel around, they are super comfortabel and arrive and depart on the second.
Kyoto was everything I imagined and even more beautiful than all the pictures I had seen planning my trip. A big shout out to Covid19 that restricted Chinese tourists to travel to Japan, so everything was dead quiet, even the most popular temples and sights could be experienced ( and photographed) without people queuing up in line.
Flying home in an empty 747 with literally 6 people on board was a very eerie feeling and only a few weeks later we went in a full lockdown and changed our lives and businesses completely.