Apply yourself to the traditional artisan practices of Japan as you enjoy a 1 to 1.5-hour lesson learning origami or calligraphy from a local expert. Along the way you’ll discover the delicate beauty and supreme concentration fostered by these two elegant Japanese traditions.
Pick your preferred class time and skill from the list of options, proceeding to the machiya (traditional wooden townhouse), located just 5 minutes from the Kyoto Imperial Palace. These iconic houses, utilizing a characteristic building style of this ancient Japanese city, offer the perfect environment for your lesson. Upon your arrival you’ll meet your English-speaking guide and instructor who will oversee your lesson.
After observing a demonstration by your instructor, spend a few moments working to test and perfect your own origami/calligraphy technique. As you work to improve your skill, receive helpful tips from your instructor and translator along the way.
For those that select the kimono-dressing experience, you’ll have the opportunity continue wearing your ensemble as you fold more origami.
View full descriptions of each itinerary 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.