The air was thick with an early summer heat this past weekend, but there was a whole lot of cool going on over in Agata-no-mori Park where over three hundred vendors had their wares on display for the 2019 Matsumoto Craft Fair. They began setting up early Saturday morning – one wood craftsman told me he’d been up since 4am – and throughout the day and again on Sunday they beat back the heat as they reveled in the healthy crowds who had come to gawk and to gaze, to admire and to buy.
“Everything is so beautiful!” an Australian woman said to me as she looked over a table of colorful decorative glass trinkets, backed by a pair of glass-blowing cats. She was in the midst of her fourth visit to Japan, but she’d never been to Matsumoto until that day. “We had no idea this was going on,” she continued, motioning to her husband nearby. “We’re so lucky to be here for this!”
Then she leaned over to whisper in my ear. “But I’m spending too much money!”
Ceramic artist Kotomi Daigo sold several pieces in the short time I was perusing her works. This struck me as particularly impressive considering there were around seventy different people offering their own unique handmade pottery and ceramics. On top of this a man came by to let Ms. Daigo know that he used a lot of her dishes, plates and bowls in his three Shibuya restaurants. For a quick moment I thought maybe I should switch creative pursuits.
For all the ceramics all over the park, checking them out never got old. The variety was virtually endless.
There was so much more than ceramics on display, however. Everywhere I turned I saw something different, something new. I’m not sure it was a good or bad thing that I’d mistakenly left my wallet at home.
Here’s more of the wide variety of good stuff the good people of Matsumoto have created.
And what craft fair – or any fair, or any event out in the sun – would be complete without plenty of food and drink?
And in the midst of it all was some space to relax and cool off.
The 2019 Matsumoto Craft Fair is now in the books as another big success! Hope to see you out there next year!