The two-day event showcasing its art history heavily influenced by snow culture started at Tokamachi City Museum where participants saw the exhibition of the flame-patterned earthenware, Japan’s oldest national treasures created some 5,000 years ago.
The museum director explained that Tokamachi and other municipalities in the area are endeavoring for the design of flame-patterned earthenware to be adopted for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic cauldron.
After the museum, participants visited Matsudai Nohbutai, a facility related to the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale art festival which started in 2000 and is held every three years since then, to connect local communities with other parts of the world through modern art and revitalize the communities.
The latest art festival in 2015 drew some 510,000 people to the area and brought the economic ripple effect of 5,089 million yenin the prefecture, according to the executive committee of the festival.
“Since I would like to cover in depth Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, it would be nice to organize a press tour on the preparation of the next event,” one of the participants said.
On the second day, media members toured the “Suizan Kobo” kimono factory and observed part of kimono dyeing procedures.
Since the area is blanketed with heavy snow during the winter, people started spinning and weaving inside their houses from a long time ago and Tokamachi is still known for the kimono industry.
They also made their visit to the House of Light created by award winning American artist James Turrell. It is a unique work of art by Turrell because it is a real guest house where people can actually stay.
After the press tour, many of them said they were impressed with tourism resources of Tokamachi and they would like to visit the city again, probably in the wintertime.