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Japan’s Unique Cotton-Spinning Bar

Contrary to what its name suggests, ‘Tokyo Cotton Village’ isn’t a rural settlement of cotton farmers, but a bar located in the heart of Japan’s capital city, in Setagaya Ward. The one-of-a-kind establishment allows its patrons to experience spinning cotton, which is supposedly a relaxing activity.

The service is available for free to anyone who orders a drink – they get to enjoy spinning threads of wamen, a type of cotton that’s cultivated in Japan. The airy texture of wamen is believed to calm the mind and relax the body. The concept is a big hit with customers, many of whom visit the bar several times a week.

“Getting absorbed in [spinning threads] lets me forget bad things that happened at work,” said Yoshiko Jimura, 32, who visits at least twice a week. “This is a precious time for me to change my mood.”

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Photo: Yomiuri Shimbun

“It is interesting because seeds turn into threads,” added Yoshio Suzuki, 45.

Bar owner Takuya Tomizawa has first-hand experience growing cotton – he has been working with the crop for the past seven years. The 46-year-old was initially into advertising, but in 2007 he participated in an environmental protection campaign where he learnt that the Japanese cotton industry was facing a crisis due to the growing imports of cheaper cotton cloth.

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Photo: A Kimama

So the following year he and his friends began growing cotton on a rented farm in Tochigi Prefecture. But they soon realized that spinning cotton made them extremely hungry and thirsty. That’s when Tomizawa hit upon the idea for a cotton spinning bar. So he quit his advertising job and opened the bar in November 2012. He continues to grow cotton in a field nearby, and employs mentally impaired workers on his farm.

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Photo: A Kimama

The Cotton Village is just one of the many unique bars and cafes found only in Japan. In the past, we’ve written about other wonderful venues, like the Owl Cafe, the Cuddle Cafe or the Tropical Teahouse reptile cafe.

Source: The Japan News