A trip filled with sightseeing is enjoyable, but you may also want to include experiencing traditional Japanese craftsmanship in your travels as well. There are interesting programs for tourists from abroad that include learning how to make sushi, which is a popular dish around the world, and painting on furin chimes made of Edo glass, which are Japanese summer traditions.
Furins are small chimes made with materials such as glass. When summer comes in Japan, these chimes are hung under the eaves and produce different sounds depending on the wind. Have a try at painting pictures on these chimes made of glass in a workshop from the inside. You can also try making them starting at the glass blowing stage.
Shinohara Maruyoshi Furin (Taito-ku, Tokyo)
Lesson fees – Drawing only: 1,200 yen, From glass blowing to drawing: 1,700 yen (both fees include costs of materials and tax)
*Glass blowing lessons are given only from mid-September to November 30.
Required time: 30 – 60 mins. (about 80 mins. when starting from glass blowing and on to drawing)
Sushi Making and Sushi Parties
Enjoy a sushi making experience such as by placing ingredients like tuna and vegetables on vinegared rice, rolling them up with laver, and making sushi rolls. It is easy even for beginners as simple instruments are used. After you learn how, you might even be able to surprise your family and friends when you return home.
Institute for Japanese Culture Experience and Education (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo)
Lesson fees: From 14,000 yen per person
Required time: About 2.5 hrs.
Origami is the art of folding single square sheets of paper into various shapes. Try it to experience a unique Japanese form of creative skill.
Origami Kaikan (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo)
Lesson fee: 525 yen (mini course)
Required time: 15 mins.
Experience the world of bonsai, where the grandeur of nature is hidden in small pots.
Shunkaen BONSAI Museum (Edogawa-ku, Tokyo)
Lesson fee: 3,000 yen (includes a mini bonsai, cost of materials, and tax) *Additional 800 yen fee for admission
Required time: About 60 mins.
Japanese Calligraphy Experience
Japanese calligraphy is done by writing characters and text on Japanese paper with a brush dipped in ink (black ink made of soot that is resistant to corrosion and deterioration). Today, it is recognized as a form of art.
Udoyoshi Calligraphy Lessons (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo)
Lesson fee: 3,500 yen
Required time: About 1 hr.