Experience making accessories from kimono fabric in a cafe

(kimono key holder)

Make a lovely, handmade key holder while experiencing the feelings of people from long ago.

Kimono patterns are imbued with people’s wishes. Good health, good luck, protection from evil spirits, improvement of skills, and so forth. Learning the meanings behind the showy patterns also leads to knowing the wearers’ wishes for happiness. Encounter the history of Watari while making a key holder from kimono fabric.

For centuries, the spirit of valuing fabrics has been handed down in Watari. In this land, WATALIS, the organizer of the workshop, engages in upcycling of old kimonos.


More than 7 tons of kimonos, forgotten in chests around Japan, have been gathered by WATALIS. The fabric used for the kimono key holders is cut from colorful kimonos, once worn by women and children.


Come and feel the individual meanings inherent in the patterns, while encountering kimono fabrics of silk, cotton, and other materials. Finishing a work as you touch the fabric and gaze carefully at the colors and patterns will make you feel the culture of kimono is now closer to you.

The perfect key holder for brightening a bag or accessory. Different expressions will be discovered, depending on the pattern revealed.

Even persons without skill can freely take part in the experience. With adult help, children 7 to 8 years old can join in. (The condition for participation is age 10 or older. Please inquire about participation by younger children.)

The patterns of the kimonos are imbued with various thoughts, such as “improvement of technique,” “realization of love,” and “prayers for success.” At the workshop, the meanings of the patterns will be thoroughly explained.

How does a bolt of fabric become a kimono? What is the process by which unworn kimonos are recycled into accessories? These will be explained simply, using actual materials.

Souvenir FUGURO and lip balm

Thanks to the Governor of Miyagi Prefecture taking FUGURO (in the paulownia box) and the Setsureika Whitening Series from Cosmetic Aida Co., Ltd. as commemorative gifts on visits overseas, WATALIS now also handles skin care products.

*Presented by the Governor of Miyagi Prefecture on August 23, 2016, in a courtesy call to President Tsai Ing-wen during the Taiwan–Japan Tohoku Exchange Roundtable in Taipei.

You can choose your own color and pattern for the souvenir FUGURO.

What can be learned from this experience?

  • The meaning and beauty of ancient Japanese patterns
  • The spirit of upcycle
  • The appeal of work handling fabric
  • A way of life that values things

Recommended for

  • People interested in kimono patterns and fabrics
  • People who want to experience handiwork together with family
  • People interested in the traditional lifestyle of Watari
  • People interested in sustainable living
  • People interested in women’s employment and entrepreneurship following the earthquake

Details of the experience program

Offered by WATALIS
Description of the plan Create one-of-a-kind accessories from kimono fabric selected from thousands of pieces. Learn about the recycling culture passed down in Japan, the current state of clothing recycling, and Kissho patterns in kimono fabric. To commemorate your trip to Japan, create a one-of-a-kind Japanese beauty to take home as a souvenir. After you enjoy the production work, enjoy your favorite drinks and baked goods from the cafe menu.
Requirements for participation Age 10 or older
What to bring Nothing in particular.
Fee 7,000 yen (excluding tax) per person
Included in fee Materials fee, handicraft tool rental fee, production instruction fee, drink and cookie fee, souvenir fee (FUGURO in your favorite color and pattern: drawstring bag and lip balm)
Meeting place Nakamachi Cafe (22 Azanakamachi, Watari, Watari District, Miyagi Prefecture)
Time required Approximately 1 hour
  1. Learn about Japan’s recycling culture and clothing recycling
  2. Learn about Kissho patterns in kimono fabric
  3. Select a kimono fabric
  4. Make an accessory
  5. Relax during teatime (drinks and baked goods)
  6. Choose the color and pattern of the souvenir FUGURO
Support for overseas guests Support is available if accompanied by interpreters

Please make a reservation through the form below. (The reservation will be complete when the reservation confirmation reply, made by e-mail or telephone, has been received by the applicant.) Replies will be made on business days. Extra time is required for applications made on a holiday or nonbusiness day. Thank you for your understanding.

Reservable dates

Dates five business days or later from the date of reservation can be requested.
*Business days are days excluding holidays and nonworking days.

Cancellation policy 3 to 5 days in advance: 20%
2 days in advance: 50%
Same day: 100%
Related website Company website http://watalis.co.jp/
shopping website https://watalis.com/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Watalis/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/watalis/
Twitter https://twitter.com/watalis/

Experience program application form


メモ: * は入力必須項目です

Note: * indicates required items

Related experience programs

Experience making accessories from kimono fabric in a cafe (two-way button badge)

Watalis works to upcycle old kimonos into cute accessories. In this workshop, choose your favorite fabric from the colorful kimonos and create a one-of-a-kind button badge.