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Travel Journals - Wica Grocery, the artisanal Japanese straw hat atelier

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Travel Journals - Wica Grocery, the artisanal Japanese straw hat atelier

It has been a month since the opening of our gallery in Prahran. Let's start to record our travel journals of visiting some of our Japanese artist friends between September and October in 2022. We were honourable to have the assistance and good company of our dear friend Fuka Kamata, who is a professional photographer and the ambassador of Nikon Zfc in Japan, to record our journeys and memories.

Before summer in Melbourne is over, we would like to introduce the artisanal straw hat brand Wica Grocery and the designer behind the brand, Yoko Orihara from Saitama, Japan.

Japanese designer Yoko Orihara holds a strong concept of using natural materials and century-old craftsmanship to create versatile and timeless straw hats for various groups of people without age limits. She has one simple wish that her hats can bring people happiness and smiles.

Yoko is a gentle and determined person. From our conversations about the ultimate and best straw hat, she undoubtedly answered that it's all about "quality materials", "excellent craftsmanship" and "timeless designs and practical cuttings that suit most people regardless of styles, ages and heights".  All of her straw hats use Japanese fine straws that is not prickly and provide good comfort. They can fit everyone by adjusting the hidden strap inside the hat brims. We were amazed by her clever design when she was demonstrating the hat size adjustment. 

Among many signature designs, the Garden Brim Series and Pork Pie Garden Series are the recommended styles if you would like to collect a Wica Grocery straw hat. It is worth to mention that you can purchase extra straps in different colours. By easily changing the exterior straps, your Wica Grocery straw hat will become another new design!

Dried botanical series is another popular and limited collection of Wica Grocery straw hats. The natural straws used are the even finer type. The hand-weaving patterns is so beautiful that each dried botanical straw hat is unique and very special to be collected.

"Travel around the world with Wica Grocery straw hats" is Yoko's brand philosophy. Now, we have brought her creations to Melbourne and would love to introduce to more people by making more joyous encounters with Wica Grocery's straw hats.

Photo disclaimer: 

All of the pictures in this article are protected by photography copyright with an exclusive ownership to Kurashi Japanese Crafts Pty Ltd. Any reuses or redistribution of photos are strictly prohibited.