Today we visited a traditional Japanese paper maker. The hand made paper is called washi. The process of making paper is very complicated and specific, and we got a personal tour of the papermaker's workshop. Need I say this was another completely amazing experience which we would never have been able to have in a city?
Yokono Washi (Japanese-style paper) dates back six generations to the paper made for the Tsuyama feudal lord Matsudaira and is famous across Japan as "Foiling Paper" when placed in between sheets of gold leaf. The Mitsumata, or oriental paper bush, grown in the Mimasaka region, is used as raw material, and we got to see it in all different stages of processing.
This traditional method of making paper relies almost completely on manual labour and has been passed on in the papermaker's family - he learned it from his father.