Feel Japan with body and soul—Japanese cultural experiences

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Special Report: One-day experiences of the wonders of Japan Back to Discover × Tokyo

Feel Japan with body and soul—Japanese cultural experiences

The cultural experiences we introduce here are hobbies and practices so deeply ingrained in Japanese life that anyone staying in the country is sure to come across them sooner or later.
Some experiences involve a single sheet of paper and can be tried easily at home. Others involve special tools or costumes and can be undertaken only in a dedicated venue. But if you’ve ever encountered an intriguing aspect of Japanese culture on TV or in a magazine, there’s a good chance that experiencing it yourself is rather simple.
Discover Japan with both body and soul through these one-day experiences.

WADAIKO - Japanese drum - (TAIKO-LAB Aoyama)

A lesson in wadaiko offers the chance to perform the traditional Japanese drum and enjoy its dynamic resonance. Work up a sweat and feel refreshed after an energetic percussion session.

Wadaiko Japanese drum (TAIKO-LAB Aoyama)

Address

Concept Aoyama B1, 3-1-30 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Access

4-min. walk from Tokyo Metro Gaienmae Station Exit 1/3; 7-min. walk from Tokyo Metro Omotesando Station

Charges

5,000 yen (including tax) * Performance by instructors available on request * Charges may vary by the number of participants

Time

60 minutes

Languages

Japanese, English

Inquiries

0120-979-447

URL

http://www.taikolab.com ( External link ) (Japanese)

IKEBANA - flower arrangement - (Ohara School Ikebana lesson in English)

Learn to arrange flowers beautifully the Ohara way at one of the most prestigious schools of ikebana in Japan. The lesson starts off with the name of each flower and is friendly to novices.
Ikebana flower arrangement (Ikebana Ohararyu Beginners’ School)

Address

Ohararyu Kaikan 1F, 5-7-17 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Access

5-min. walk from Tokyo Metro Omotesando Station Exit B1/B3

<English lesson>

Charges

4,000 yen (including flowers and tax)

Time

120 minutes (Thursdays 11:00–)
*Trial/First lesson (Thursday at 11:00)

Reservations

Required
* Introductory class for guests considering joining the school

Languages

Japanese, English

Inquiries

03-5774-5097 (Weekdays 9:00–17:00)

URL

http://www.ohararyu.or.jp/english/index_e.html( External link )(English)

ORIGAMI - paper folding - (Origami Kaikan)

The charm of origami is the unlimited possibilities of a single square sheet of paper. Folded into a unique shape, each paper craft embodies the rich creativity of Japan.
Origami paper folding (Origami Kaikan)

Address

1-7-14 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Access

7-min. walk from JR Ochanomizu Station Hijiribashi Exit, Tokyo Metro Ochanomizu Station / Shin-ochanomizu Station / Suehirocho Station

Charges

525 yen (mini lesson)

Time

15 minutes (11:00–, 14:00–)

Languages

Japanese; some English-speaking staff available

Hours

9:30-18:00

Inquiries

03-3811-4025

URL

http://www.origamikaikan.co.jp/( External link ) (Japanese)

BONSAI - miniature tree cultivation - (Shunkaen BONSAI Museum)

Bonsai miniature tree cultivation (Shunkaen BONSAI Museum)

The world of bonsai enshrines the grandeur of nature in a miniscule pot. Guests are welcome to take home the miniature tree they have used in class.

Address

1-29-16 Niihori, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo

Access

From JR Koiwa Station South Exit / Toei Subway Mizue Station, Keisei Bus No. 76 to Keiyoguchi (short walk)

Charges

3,000 yen (including miniature tree, material, and tax) * Separate 800 yen entrance fee required

Time

Approx. 60 minutes

Days

Sundays 10:00–17:00

Reservations

Required
* Students may bring their own miniature tree

Inquiries

03-3670-8622

URL

http://www.kunio-kobayashi.com/english/index.html( External link ) (English)

Faux food crafting (Yamato Sample)

Faux food that looks exactly like the real dish is a feast for the eyes. Guests of the lesson make imitation tempura fries and parfaits topped with juicy fresh fruit.
Faux food crafting (Yamato Sample)

Address

4-21-12 Kamiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Access

5-min. walk from Tobu Tojo Line Kita-ikebukuro Station

Charges

1,050–2,100 yen (including material, packaging, and tax)

Time

20–30 minutes

Reservations

required

Languages

Japanese

Inquiries

03-5980-8099

URL

http://www.yamato-sample.com/( External link ) (Japanese)

Others

Maiko and geisha makeover (Cocomo)

Experience a full-scale makeover into a Japanese maiko dancer or samurai warrior. Courses are available that include a photo shoot and even a stroll in the city.
http://www.cocomo.tokyo/( External link ) (Japanese)

 Ninja experience (Musashi Clan)

Guests learn the basics of ninja-style combat with and without weapons, and may experience a makeover into ninja armor.
http://shinobinoshu.the-ninja.jp/shinobiculture.html( External link ) (English)

Shodo calligraphy (Udoyoshi calligraphy lessons)

Guests write one character of kanji and can take their work home with them.
http://wayoh.jp/( External link ) (Japanese)

 

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