Trip to Papyrus House, Echizen
We started our Echizen paper journey at Papyrus House. It’s kind of a mush of an information center, store, workshop space, and exhibit hall. The building exterior is nondescript and doesn’t come close to indicating what’s inside. You could just walk right by it and never realize it was there.
But holy crap – the interior. Just inside the entrance was this fantastic wall piece composed of folded origami cranes.
And then there were these insane pieces hanging from the ceiling – all of them included tons of origami pieces.
There was a display that showed the papermaking process and all of the little figures were made of paper.
If you feel inspired to create while at Papyrus House, you’re in luck – they’ve got a studio where you can take a quick papermaking workshop.
And if you feel inspired to shop, you’re also in luck – Washidokoro Echizen offers a wide variety of products (fans, books, cards), all made from Japanese paper.
Yep – they also sell sheets of paper, many of which were made locally. So.much.paper.
Most of the rolled paper you see in the image below cost just ¥100 (less than $1.00 USD)! This is the part where you picture me doing a happy dance.
So some shopping happened.
This sheet of Chiyogami with Samurai dudes was just too fabulous to pass up. It measures 28.25″ x 25.5″ (grain short).
Next I selected a few machine-made sheets with different designs. These papers don’t look printed. They seem to have two layers – the bottom sheet is a solid color, while the top sheet is a patterned, light color. I think that the pattern in the top layer is created like a watermark. All of the sheets measure 21.625″ x 31.5″ (grain long).
The next paper was another machine-made sheet. It’s soft and has a crinkled texture. I’m pretty sure that this sheet is also made from two layers of paper. It measures 21.875″ x 31.5″ (grain long)
The next two papers are machine-made and have lovely shiny fibers floating on the surface. This yellow sheet measures 21.875″ x 31.875″ (grain long).
Interestingly, the purple sheet isn’t the same size – it measures 21.625″ x 31.75″ (grain long).
This next sheet is probably my favorite from today – it’s a handmade wood-grained lace paper. It is simply gorgeous – thin, delicate, and floaty. It measures 23.875″ x 35.75″ (grain short).
If you’d like to see how it’s made, check out Awigami Factory’s video. The process is really fascinating.
The next two papers are machine-made papers. They’re crinkled and reversible, which is awesome. Both sheets measure 31″ x 21.625″ (grain long).
Then came two more crinkled sheets, but each has the same color on both sides.. The brown sheet measures 21.75″ x 32.125″ (grain long). It’s kinda chocolaty.
The purple sheet measures 22″ x 31.5″ (grain long).
The next two sheets are also machine-made, crinkled, and reversible. I love the crisscross pattern of the lines. The patterned side of the paper also has little iridescent flecks on it. Both sheets measure 21.625″ x 31.75″ (grain long).
And the last sheet of the day – a brown Katazome paper, screen-printed with assorted symbols. It measures 24.875″ x 38″ (grain short).
If you’d like to check out the place for yourself, here’s the scoop:
- Address: 8-44 Shinzaike-cho, Echizen City, Fukui (Google Map)
- Phone: 0778-42-1363
- Public Transportation: Take a train to JR Takefu Station. After exiting the train, you’ll see the bus stop (sheltered area). Take the Fuku-Tetsu bus for the Nanetsu line (heading towards Akasaka) – it’s about a 20 minute ride. Get off at the Washi-no-Sato stop. Click here to access a map of the area.
Total sheets of paper purchased to date: 44