Traditional activities

Tea Ceremony, calligraphy, origami, ikebana & bonsai are just a few of the traditional activities you could include as part of your trip to Japan. Talk to us if you would like to try out any of these activities.


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Calligraphy Lesson

Learn the ancient art of Shodo, or calligraphy. Learn how to write Chinese characters – kanji as they are known in Japanese- with a Japanese artist. This calligrapher will help you write the beautiful kanji characters in the traditional way, using a brush and sumi ink. Calligraphy lessons can be arranged in a number of…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Throughout Japan  |  Tags: , , ,

Geisha, Maiko or Samurai Makeovers

Fun for both foreign tourists and Japanese visitors to Kyoto, dressing up in traditional style for a photo session is a very popular activity. There are several photo studios around the city offering ‘maiko henshin’; transformation into a maiko (apprentice geisha) – or geisha, ninja or samurai. Some studios allow you to walk around Kyoto…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , , , ,

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremony is perhaps the most enigmatic of the traditional arts. Unlike the more familiar daily brew of steeped green tea, or o-cha, tea for the ceremony is made from bright green powdered matcha, and served with the utmost care during an elaborately restrained ceremony. Also called chanoyu, sado, or chado, the ceremony is,…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , , , ,


If comparisons between east and west can be made, kabuki is Japan’s opera. Dramatic storylines featuring sword-fights, ghosts, and love affairs are brought to life by gorgeously clothed performers speaking in hypnotically sing-song voices. Though it is said that kabuki was invented by a woman, and was traditionally performed by both sexes, men’s only kabuki…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Throughout Japan  |  Tags: , ,

Kimono Dressing Experience

Have your photograph taken with traditional Japanese costume, Kimono. You will have a professional photo shoot to capture the best image of you dressed in traditional Japanese clothing. There is a range of costumes to choose from for men and women, from opulent imperial style juni-hitoe of the Heian period to more contemporary kimono and…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags:

Plastic Food Making

Have you ever wondered how the delicious looking replica food in restaurant window displays is made? This is your chance to find out and try the techniques for yourself under instruction from one of the best known companies in the industry. Based in Kappa Bashi, the ‘kitchen’ of Tokyo, this company has supplied restaurants for…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , ,

Taiko Drumming Experience

A private lesson of the exciting art of Taiko drumming. You will learn how to play the Taiko, or Japanese drum. Unlike western drums, Taiko are often played standing up; this is because the Taiko player uses their entire body to hit the drum rather than just their arms. The drumming style is almost martial…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , , ,

Takayama’s Sake Breweries

Takayama’s clear mountain water and high quality rice are the perfect combination for brewing sake, (nihon-shu in Japanese). The breweries on San-machi Suji can be easily identified by their traditional sugidama (balls of cedar leaves). Although special tasting events are only available over the winter months, all breweries will willingly loan you an o-choko (the…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Central Honshu  |  Tags: , ,

Temple ‘Zen’ Sessions

Experience a taste of Zen with a private meditation session at a Kyoto temple or at a historical Zen Buddhist temple in Kamakura. The Vice-Abbot will offer you introductory sessions on zazen meditation, Buddhist philosophy, and temple tours. Each session generally combines a tour of the ancient temple with two fifteen minute meditation sessions, a…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Throughout Japan  |  Tags: , , ,

Wedding Kimono Photo Session

If you’re travelling to Japan on Honeymoon – or even if not! – why not create a wonderful souvenir of your trip with a wedding kimono photo session in Kyoto? You’ll both be dressed in traditional wedding attire; for her, a beautiful shiromuku white wedding kimono or perhaps a brightly coloured iro-uchikake kimono. For him,…

Type: Traditional activities  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , , ,