Art, Culture & Design
The Art of Hakata-Ori
weaving, nishimura orimono

For nearly 800 years, Fukuoka has served as an entry point for Silk Road trade routes. That legacy lives on today in Hakata-ori, a traditional Japanese weaving method that's been passed down for generations.

Located on Kyushu’s northern shore, Fukuoka is a study in contrast. Home to everything from vibrant nightlife and iconic street-food stalls to centuries-old temples and volcanic hot springs, the city has become a mainstay on must-visit lists in recent years thanks to its masterful blending of old and new.

At the heart of it all is Hakata-ori, a traditional Japanese silk textile that has been used to create kimonos and obi sashes for centuries, after its initial creation as an offering to the shogunate. The ancient weaving tradition traces its history back to 1235 CE, when a Japanese merchant and a Buddhist monk traveled from Fukuoka to China to learn Song-period trades and traditions. When they returned to Japan six years later, they worked to refine the textile production techniques they had learned, ultimately creating a uniquely strong and stunning textile that is now known as Hakata-ori.

Throughout modern-day Fukuoka, myriad museums and temples pay homage to the fabric and its role in the region's history. Here's where to go to uncover the secrets of this storied craft and the city it calls home.


Hakata-ori texitile
weaving, nishimura orimono
Jyotenji temple

Tucked inside Fukuoka's Old Town is Jotenji Temple, which dates back to 1242 and is believed to be the birthplace of Hakata-ori. Each fall, the temple plays host to the annual Hakata-ori New Works Appraisal event, which offers a rare opportunity for the public to visit the usually private space. Sentotei, the temple's dry landscape garden, serves as a subtle nod to the handicraft's origins, as it evokes the Genkai Sea that links this locale with the Chinese mainland. 

At the nearby Maison Hakoshima, you'll almost always find a Hakata-ori craftsman weaving textiles on the loom. Searching for a souvenir? The Maison Hakoshima shop carries an impressive array of Kyushu wares curated by local designer Mai Hayashi.

Original design card holder
weaving, nishimura orimono

At The Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka, guests are invited to forge a deeper connection to the region's rich history through onsite Hakata-ori workshops. Using remnants of the famed silk, guests of all ages can create a treasured goshuincho notebook to collect stamps and calligraphy from the local shrines and temples they visit during their stay.

Alternatively, our youngest guests are invited to let their imaginations soar by creating figurines from the fabric remnants of Hakata-ori kimono. Under the tutelage of expert instructors, kids get to create their own keepsake, all while discovering the joy of turning something old into something new.

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