We came to Yuza by shinkansen and limited express train ('Inaho' or rice ear) via Niigata on Thursday. I had a cold and we were still feeling a bit unwell with jet lag and recovering from our New Year's sickness, so we took a cab to Ueno station and got there early enough for Glyn to get his favourite Tokyo Banana cakes. Souvenir cake shops are a big feature of Japanese railway stations.
I was travelling incognito because my cold had become a nasty cough.
The landscape changed as we travelled north.
It got quite snowy.
After Niigata, the train runs along the coast, in and out of bays and through tunnels.
Reiko, Chie, Keiko and Sakuraba-san were there to meet us. There was also a sashiko planning meeting that afternoon, for the new Yuza Sashiko book, which will be published in spring 2017.
In Yuza, it snowed that evening. But the snow didn't last too long. On Friday morning, we went to Yuza Sashiko's weekly meeting at their new meeting place.
Here are some projects in progress by different group members. The first is a kotatsu table cover.
The sashiko is arranged to look good from all four sides.
The striped cotton is cleverly used in the patchwork.
Each section of this noshi panel will be filled in with a different Yuza Sashiko stitch. Reiko filled in some parts of the outline freehand.
The new room is not too big, with a nice fresh feeling and lots of light.
Keiko is making a very interesting design, overlaying a wool tartan from MacNaughton's in Perth with a pattern by Hokusai.
We met Suzuki-san for the first time when we visited in 2014 and she had been doing sashiko for about 2 years. Her new hanten jacket is lovely and the stitches are so even.
Another noshi design, almost completed.
Auditioning a patchwork border.
Reiko's award winning quilt came home from Scotland.