“Kyoto Indigo Blue Bikes” by Bryan Cole
This particular shade of blue can be found throughout Japan and is one of my favorites. The traditional color is used for dyeing kimono material as well as Noren curtains used in entrance ways to traditional businesses/restaurants and a denim type of material used for everything from pants to festival wear and cloth shoes (tabi) worn by construction workers. “Ai” or indigo is a natural dye made of fermented leaves of indigo mixed with water. Dyeing thread or cloth with indigo is called “aizome” in Japanese. In the Edo period (1603－1868), just about everyone from common folk to samurai used indigo dyed clothes. Today we can also see it being used for the traditional HAPPI coat at many festivals in Japan.
There is an incredible BLOG about Indigo Blue The Ardent Thread, and the writer also fell in love with Kyoto and the culture that is so vibrant in the historical city.