Meet your guide at a machiya – a traditional wooden townhouse that’s typically found in the historical capital – providing an authentic atmosphere for your calligraphy or origami lesson. (The location is just a 5-minute walk from the south end of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.)
After a demonstration by an expert instructor, you’ll have plenty of time to experiment with brush strokes or paper-folding techniques, depending on which class you’ve selected. Your English-speaking guide will translate your native Japanese teacher’s instructions as well as offer assistance during your lesson. If you upgrade your experience to include the kimono-wearing session, you’ll have the opportunity to keep it on while you fold origami. (See descriptions of each option below.)
Option 1: Calligraphy Lesson (1 hour)
Practice the art of Japanese calligraphy, called shodo. Learn the proper way to use the brushes and liquid ink to write kanji (Japanese pictographs) as your instructor demonstrates how to begin and end each stroke. You’ll be introduced to a number of tools used, including brushes that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Then, create your artistic composition, which requires concentration as you paint characters on the paper. After your lesson, you can take your work home with you!
Option 2: Origami Lesson (1 hour)
Experience the Japanese art of origami! This traditional Japanese craft of paper folding began in the 17th century but has been popular outside of Japan since the mid-1900s. Your instructor will demonstrate how to fold a flat, square sheet of paper into whimsical shapes and tiny sculptures such as hats, boats, animals or flowers. You'll even practice making paper cranes, a symbol of peace. A textbook featuring a variety of origami figures and techniques is made available for your reference. After your lesson, you are free to take your creations back home with you.
Option 3: Kimono-Wearing Session plus Origami Lesson (2 hours)
Before your origami lesson, you’ll be properly fitted with a traditional kimono and obi (sash). As your beautiful kimono is draped gracefully around you and the obi is tied around your waist, your guide will explain the historical custom of wearing the traditional garment in Japan. The full-length robes with wide sleeves are still worn on special occasions, especially weddings, and can be seen in Kyoto’s remaining geisha districts.
Once you’re adorned in the lovely kimono, settle in for a lesson on the art of origami! (See description above.)
Click on "View Additional Info" for the machiya location.