From traditional craft techniques to the elaborate tea ceremony, a host of unique hands-on experiences awaits the traveller to Tokyo.
Try your hand at printing ukiyo-e
An ukiyo-e woodcut print is produced by a team of artisans: one creates the design, another makes a relief carving of it on the woodblock, and a third inks the carved block and makes the impression. At the Mokuhankan woodblock printmaking workshop in Asakusa you can make your own prints with the help of the shop’s friendly staff.
Attend a full tea ceremony
Get hands-on experience in the Way of Tea, one of Japan’s oldest and deepest cultural heritages. Located in Takadanobaba amid a beautiful Japanese garden, Sado Kaikan offers an opportunity to learn the basics properly. You can attend a full tea ceremony with a cha-kaiseki meal of rice, one soup, and three side dishes. Private sessions can be arranged for small groups.
Make a wind chime of handblown glass
At the workshop of Shinohara Furin Honpo, a venerable maker of Edo-style furin wind bells, craftspeople form the bells one at a time by hand, blowing glass free-style without the aid of molds. You can make an appointment to try that and paint a wind bell yourself, for a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
Don Japan’s traditional dress
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo invites registered guests to choose their favorite combination of a high-quality silk kimono and obi sash from its ample selection; an expert stylist then assists in donning it all. Guests may enjoy dinner in the garment as well as stroll the hotel’s famous landscaped garden for the ultimate Tokyo photo session.
Wagashi is known as confectionery that follows the subtle changes of the Japanese seasons, and as food raised to the point of art that delights the senses.
Learn how to make the visually stunning confectionery from a Tokyo-based wagashi artist, Shiho Sakamoto, or “Shiwon” as she’s known.
The confectionery workshop can be tailored to your wishes, allowing anyone to get a feel for a distinctly Japanese attention to detail.