Saturday 31 October 2009

Sorazora Online Store

After one month's absence, our online store has re-opened and we are now able to manage orders as per usual. We apologise for closing the store throughout October and highly appreciate your patience and understanding.
Our one month in Japan was a busy period for us as we continue to work on our sister company over there as well as here in the UK. The Japanese festival season runs through October as their winter tends to arrive a little later than ours. Typhoons aside, October remains quite sunny with many clear bright days and fairly cool evenings.

We look forward to your continued support and will be slowly uploading some of our new winter items over the next few days.

Monday 19 October 2009


KAMANDO is a fairly new market held in Kamakura and organised by our good friend Shinji-san. 18th October was the second time for this gathering of over 200 stalls. The weather was perfect, although a little windy on the coast.

Quite a few of our friends made it to Kamakura to set up shop creating a relaxing, yet busy day. Setting up on hard standing without decent weights made for a few scares with the wind picking up in the afternoon. One stall was lifted up by a gust and Makoto's hanging rail with 10 djembes came crashing to the ground! Fortunately no injury was caused to anyone and all of the djembe were saved from damage.

You can see from the following photo that we have removed the roof from the stall, this was because it was acting as a large sail in the sea breeze. KAMANDO is held twice a year, Summer and Autumn, and is worth visiting for anyone who happens to be in Japan during those seasons.

Friday 16 October 2009


After the Country Festival in Kita-Karuizawa on the Sunday, we had a long drive back down to Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture to open our stall on the Monday at the Keihin Rock Festival. It was the first time in over a year for us to setup stall amoungst familiar stallholder faces within the Japanese festival scene. The weather was considerably warmer than that of the previous day's event up in the mountains and not a single line dancer was in site.

The usual japanese style food stalls were there to give us a taste of what we had been missing. The music lineup was made up of former members of famous Japanese bands from the 70's and 80's who are either solo or have since formed new bands. This drew in crowds of a slightly more mature age.

The 6th Country Festival

Sunday 11th October saw the 6th Country Festival held at Sweetgrass camp site in Kita-Karuizawa. Sweetgrass is one of the top three most popular campsites in Japan. This festival had a very strong country music theme to it which was new for us. Sweetgrass sits in the shadow of volcano Asama, which is constantly on a 24 hour watch as it smoulders away.

The following photo will show you what most of the crowd were wearing. The young lady in the middle was a member of the Tokyo Cowgirls who came up to Kita-Karuizawa to put on a show. The other (not so young) ladies helped make up the line dancers.

Another aspect of this festival that was new to me was having a couple of children assigned to each stall as helpers. Of course, with child labour rules in mind, we let them choose what they wanted to do (not that we had much for them to help us with).


Being back in Japan to open our stall at a few events has been a bit of a logistical challenge regarding the shop's setup. The last typhoon to pass over the Kanto area of Japan was perfectly timed for us, leaving a vast selection of driftwood scattered along the beaches of Chigasaki.

After we had collected all that the five of us could carry back to the van, we set about making the shelves and tables we needed. The natural look of the driftwood blends well with the shop and doesn't need yards of fabric as a tablecloth. Once the four events are over, these pieces of driftwood furniture will become permanent features of Makoto-chan's garden.