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Sustainable Travel: Hand-Dye Beautiful, Indigo Textiles In Tokyo

To borrow from Halsey, everything is blue. The cloth, your hands, hung seams.

While many tourist activities in Tokyo highlight the city’s modern flair, an unassuming shop in a town west of the Capital keeps Edo Period craftsmanship alive.

Indigo Omejima textiles hanging on a clothesline

On sunny days, Kosoen Studio hangs newly dyed pieces to dry.

Kosoen Studio produces Omejima textiles using a traditional and eco-friendly Japanese method of indigo dyeing.

The method still uses the same sustainable techniques developed in the Ome region over hundreds of years. Cloth is slowly and repeatedly dipped into dye made from 100% natural raw materials (fermented leaves of indigo plants, lye water, lime powder, wheat bran, and sake). The longer the cloth is kept in the dye, the richer shade of blue it becomes. Patterns are made with the dye by tying strings, sticks, or rubber bands on the cloth before submersion.

Since it is chemical-free, the natural indigo is safe to touch with your bare hands. Once the dye becomes too old to color textiles, the studio uses it as fertilizer in nearby fields.

A close-up of sustainably dyed indigo clothes in Tokyo

Dyed patterns range from geometric to organic.

Visitors to Kosoen Studio can shop their selection of indigo items or learn to dye themselves. If you’re interested in a sustainable souvenir of your time in Tokyo, this studio is worth a visit.

Kosoen Studio | The Details


Address: 8 Chome Nagabuchi, Ome, Tokyo 198-0052

Phone: +81 0428 24 8121


The studio is approximately 1.5 hours from Shinjuku Station by public transportation.

  • Option 1: Take a train to Ome Station and walk 25 minutes to Kosoen Studio.

  • Option 2: Take the train to Kabe Station and transfer to Bus 20 or 21 for 10 minutes to Kami-nagabuchi bus stop, which is near the studio.


When visiting Kosoen Studio, you can shop from their selection of vibrant, hand-dyed textiles. They mostly carry clothing items such as jackets, shirts, pants, bandanas, and scarves, but they have a few household items including pillow covers and blankets. All items are in their signature “Japan Blue” shades of natural indigo.

You can also reserve a dyeing experience during your visit. The experience lasts around 2 hours and costs between ¥2,200 and ¥6,600, depending on the item you dye. You can bring home your item on the same day. If you book the experience, indicate in your message if you don’t speak Japanese. They have a few English-speaking staff members.


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