We maintain our fully-equipped, 800 square foot woodshop in the suburbs of Tokyo, and a beautiful 150 year-old traditional house next to it. I use this shop on extended visits to Japan, and in the meantime rent it out to traveling Americans. It’s located in the town of Atsugi, about a fifteen minute bicycle ride from the train station. The town is admittedly not Kyoto, and anyone looking for picturesque scenes will be disappointed. However, as a base of creative operations it serves its purpose well. The mountains and all their perfectly-maintained trails are a stone’s throw away.
Establishing our workshop in Fort Bragg has taken all our energy lately, and visits to Japan-especially working visits-have been few. However, as things settle in Fort Bragg we plan to spend more time in Atsugi, reorganizing and making the place beautiful. Part of the vision is to form a sort of cultural bridge between Japan and the US in wood craft as well as weaving (my wife’s realm). This would include taking tours of wood, furniture and carpentry-related destinations (weaving too!), sponsoring hands-on workshops in Japanese techniques in my Atsugi studio, attending lumber auctions and setting up pub crawls in the far-flung (and distinctly un-American) districts of Tokyo. Fun for all.
Please contact me if you are vaguely interested in any of these activities. As we develop the Bridge we will dedicate a website to it. Until then, stay tuned.