Chubu Region Arts & crafts workshops

Our most recommended Chubu Region Arts & crafts workshops

Kyoto Samurai Class: Become a Samurai Warrior

1. Kyoto Samurai Class: Become a Samurai Warrior

Study the art of the samurai warrior class that ruled ancient Japan for centuries. Practice the stylized movements that make up the samurai technique as you handle a sword and uncover the discipline of Kembu. Watch a 3-minute film about the basics of the samurai. Then, suit up and take hold of your samurai sword. Learn how to bow before your sword training begins. Discover how to draw it and replace it in its protective scabbard. Get a short photo shoot in your samurai suit, and then discover how to wield the sword against a potential opponent. End with a respectful bow to your instructor, grab your souvenir photos and certificate of achievement before leaving.

Kyoto: Traditional Bookmaking Workshop

2. Kyoto: Traditional Bookmaking Workshop

Select your own kimono fabric and make your own book to take away with you. Be taught all the techniques and choose from a regular, advanced, or Temple Stamp bookmaking class. Visit the family-run studio of a traditional bookmaker in the Kitano Hakubaicho district near the Golden Temple. Feel welcomed in a location surrounded by local gardens in one of the few original geisha entertainment districts. Learn techniques like page stitching, sizing, and cover creation, as well as how to press a book. Select your favored patterns from kimono textiles and fabrics to design your item. The bookbinder will guide you as you glue, arrange, and assemble your own traditional Japanese book. Choose from a regular, advanced, or Temple Stamp bookmaking class. Temple Stamp books are used in Japan as passport-like proof of pilgrimage to a temple, while advanced classes will also teach embossing.

Kyoto: 2-Hour Maiko Makeover and Photo Shoot

3. Kyoto: 2-Hour Maiko Makeover and Photo Shoot

On this special 2-hour activity, learn about the life and art of the maiko, or apprentice geiko. Maiko are female performing artists who wear traditional makeup, hairstyles and costumes. They work in the Gion area and perform various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance and games. The maiko are apprentices and are between 15 and 20 years old. You don’t have to be in this age range to participate in the Yumeyakata Maiko Makeover project, however! The professional staff will apply your makeup, use a wig, and dress you extravagantly to look like the real thing. They'll also show you the proper maiko poses for beautiful pictures.  The package includes studio photography, so you’ll have souvenir photos to show your family and friends.

From Osaka: Sakai Knife Factory and Craft Walking Tour

4. From Osaka: Sakai Knife Factory and Craft Walking Tour

The tour starts at "Nankai Sakai Station" south of Osaka, where you meet your guide. Relax at the beginning with an old fashion sweet shop and one sweet included. Then, visit the Sakai City Craft Museum and discover what this city is famous for. Finally, get the privilege to step into a real knife factory, with over 100 years of history, where the raw blades arrive directly from the Blacksmith. Visit the Sharpening Station and the main office. Observe the blades being turned into proper handmade cooking knives. Learn and practice the traditional Sharpening technics with a trained guide and get the chance to order your own customizable knife that you can watch being made in front of you. Isn't it amazing?.... sure it is!

Kyoto: Morning Ikebana Class (Japanese Flower Arrangement)

5. Kyoto: Morning Ikebana Class (Japanese Flower Arrangement)

Your Ikebana lesson will be hosted by a master of Ikebana from the Mishq school, one of the most famous flower-arranging schools in Japan.   Your instructor will explain the history of Ikebana in English before showing you how to cut the flowers and trees at the correct angles for the arrangement. See how the flower arrangements differ from those in Western culture.  You may also take part in a tea ceremony after with a master craftsman after your Ikebana lesson. 

Kyoto: Japanese Style Ikebana Flower Arrangement Class

6. Kyoto: Japanese Style Ikebana Flower Arrangement Class

Expand your knowledge about Japanese culture and learn how to do a traditional Ikenobo style flower arrangement in this class. Arrange plants that are removed from the nature and fill them with new beauty and place them in a new environment. You can re-create the shape of the plant it had in nature with branches, leaves, and flowers.  Dive into the history of Ikenobo, which  is the history of ikebana. Ikebana began with Ikenobo and although over 550 years many other schools have branched off from Ikenobo, Ikenobo is said to be the origin of ikebana. Arranging flowers and finding beauty in flowers are linked to a heart that values nature and cares for other people - this is the spirit of Ikenobo Ikebana.

Miyazu: Tatami Workshop, Coaster Making, and Old House Visit

7. Miyazu: Tatami Workshop, Coaster Making, and Old House Visit

“Tatamiya Tatsuzo” Tatami Workshop was found in 1927 and is currently run by three generations. Its present owner is the fourth generation, who has a profound knowledge of Miyazu history and can provide lots of interesting local stories. From old times tatami mats have been used in Japanese houses, travel inns, shrines and temples, and you can observe the traditional way of making them as well as their healing and relaxing effect that is similar to the one you feel in the forest. You can also try making your own tatami coaster to bring back. Learn about Tatami culture, the floor mats made of natural material Igusa rush using traditional techniques. The aroma of soft rush used for tatami making has a therapeutic and relaxing effect. Then enjoy the stroll along the old quarter of Miyazu and experience the exquisite atmosphere in a tatami room of one of the most successful old merchant houses from Edo period to feel the high class Japanese culture

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What people are saying about Chubu Region

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 102 reviews

As a man, this was such a fun experience. When I checked in, I think the (male) receptionist was a bit shocked to see it was only me, but he handled it with care and I didn't feel embarrassed at all. The photoshoot itself only lasted about 10 minutes, but they do offer to take some personal pictures with your cell phone. (So you don't only get the professionally shot photos advertised!) They also have an option to go to a private shoot in a home, but the cost was like $400 or something. Something to consider if you really want to have an extra special experience.

I was lucky enough to have an entire advanced workshop to myself, with just the instructor, Mr Matsuda and the translator, Akari, who were both lovely! I loved asking Mr Matsuda about how he got into bookmaking and he was very charming and friendly. So much detail and care goes into every book he makes that at the end of the workshop I was honored to own something he helped me create! An amazing and unique experience.

This activity was worth every penny. The amount of work that it took to turn me from an American into a Japanese was amazing. The place is a little tricky to find but if you go to the main office they will call the proprietors and she will come and get you. The photographer was also great and sent my pictures right away. It’s a fun thing to do when your IQ to encourage everyone to do it. :-)

We were treated very courteously and learned a lot with a lot of jokes. For my partner it was probably the highlight of our vacation. The photo shoot in the great, high-quality costumes was a lot of fun and we still received small gifts. Thank you for the great evening!

Good class with nice introduction of culture! Sparked my interest in zen flower arrangement. Will definitely look into opportunity for learning more when I get back to California.