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Traditional Japanese Calligraphy Experience with a Master of the Art

Discover the soul of Japanese culture through expertly guided calligraphy lessons.

Overview

Japanese calligraphy is at the essence of traditional Japanese culture. Why not try your hand at the art?

“Shodo,” or Japanese calligraphy, is artistically written words, written in a style that is both artistic and emotionally driven. The art of calligraphy was handed down from China during the 6th and 7th centuries, at which time the Japanese learned how to make brushes, ink, and paper. Soon after its introduction, it became an indispensable skill for educated nobles and samurai, the leaders of Japan. Over time, the appreciation spread to the general public, and now can be found not only as works of art per se, but also in things such as New Year's cards and other special occasion writings. The art has been fully intertwined with Japanese life.

The calligraphy experience we offer here, under the guidance of the master calligrapher Eikaku Matsumura, will allow you to learn about and then experience calligraphy first hand. Mr. Eikaku Matsumura, known for his elaborate and ingenious style, is extremely well regarded and in high demand in advertising, television, and other fields. He was also a part of the 2011 film "1,778 Stories of Me and My wife,” where he provided professional guidance to the singer and actor Tsuyoshi Kusanagi of SMAP fame. Best of all, Mr. Eikaku Matsumura is a charming and approachable master, sincerely eager to facilitate a unique and memorable Japanese experience for you!

① Meeting with the Guide
Meet the guide at the ticket gate of Umeyashiki Station and move to the Workshop place.

② Workshop Overview
Introduction and a brief demonstration by Instructor Mr. Matsumura.

Practice drawing horizontal lines with a brush (10 minutes)

Practice writing the kanji character for " three / 三 " with a brush (10 minutes)

Practice writing the kanji character for " ten / 十 " with a brush (10 minutes)

Practice writing the kanji character for " thirty / 三十 " with a brush (10 minutes)

Write one to two kanji characters of your choice. Typically, guests choose to write a single kanji character based on the sound of their name. Practice on washi paper for about 20 to 30 minutes, and finally, write it on colored paper (10 to 20 minutes).

Highlights

・Calligraphy lecture by Eikaku Matsumura, a master in the art
・Professional guidance by a calligraphy master
・The chance to write your own Japanese calligraphy
・Traditional, atmospheric surroundings suited to the contemplation and quiet reflection conducive to the art of Japanese calligraphy
During the peak travel seasons of March, April, and October, please be aware that there will be an additional charge of 2,000 yen per person for the tour.

Note

・In cases where five or more people attend, the meeting location is subject to change.

  Price From ¥10,000 / person

¥10,000 for 2 adults or more
¥16,000 for a private 1 on 1 lesson

  Duration 1.5 hours
  Hours of availability

10:00am - 6:00pm

  Inclusions

・Japanese calligraphy lessons and guided practice
・Use of all materials required for Japanese calligraphy
・Pictures to remember the occasion by, including of you practicing calligraphy
・English guide and professional instructor
・Tax

  Exclusions

・Food & drinks
・Transportation
・Hotel pick up & drop off (add ¥6,000 for hotel pick up)

  Participants 1-4 people

Meeting Point

Keikyu Umeyashiki Station ticket gates (about 15 minutes from Shinagawa Station)

Reviews (18)

Kiriru Furai(United States)★★★★★

Expert calligraphy lesson

Had a great time with the fam. Two guides that spoke great English picked us up all the way in Shibuya, guided us to the artist's studio and translated the lesson. The expert was patient and taught us the basics and artistic versions of our names in kanji. Highly recommend to anyone for a fun excursion to a place a little outside the busy hussle of the city!

amypatrick(USA)★★★★★

A Great Class for the Whole Family

Our translator Yoko was very prepared and helpful. The calligraphy instructor was knowledgable, talented, and very funny. We worked hard and ended up creating some great wok. Our 9 year old daughter got to work on her name and other phrases and had a wonderful time. If you are interested in learning something about Japanese culture, this class is informative and educational.

Chris_J (USA)★★★★★

Fantastic experience!

Fantastic experience and totally lovely people! Highly recommended.

Martha S(Brazil)★★★★★

Great experience!

Great experience! The tour guide was lovely. The teacher an artist, with great knowledge and patience. They discover that was my birthday and sang happy birthday, and gave me a beautiful gift. Thanks to everyone, that made it possible.

Katy B(Australia)★★★★★

A must do cultural experience.

A must do cultural experience if you're travelling to Japan! Our guide Yoko, who took us from the railway station to the Master's studio and back again, was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. It was such a once in a lifetime cultural experience, being a beginner to learn about calligraphy from a Master first hand. It was a happy atmosphere and the Master was very kind and patient with us. We can't wait to show our family and friends what we achieved, and have it framed!

Elizabeth F(USA)★★★★★

Amazing

The master and his work is amazing. He has so much patience and a good personality to instruct students in creating calligraphy. We got to keep our work which was a nice souvenir.

Nikki D(Australia)★★★★★

Wonderful experience

The master was very talented, and wonderfully supportive and fun, helping us create a terrific souvenir and an incredible experience. Something unique and memorable, and a highlight of our Japanese holiday. Our guide and translated Yoko was also very sweet and helpful. Thank you both so much!

Renuven(USA)★★★★★

Traditional Japanese Calligraphy course

Sachiko is an excellent guide. Such good English and helpful, patient personality. The time we spent with Matsumura was humbling, unforgettable, and beautiful. We have committed ourselves to practicing the new skill and attitude to this art every week for the next year until we have learned as many Japanese characters as possible and can write them in the calligraphic style.
I recommend this experience to anyone who wishes to do more than "see something" in Japan, but to create lasting and deeply valuable memories.

Melissa(USA)★★★★★

So much fun!

We were greeted warmly at a nearby train station by our local translator. The calligraphy teacher was very pleasant to work with. He showed us some basic movements and guided us through the whole process. He explained why the movements were done the way they were. We were given photographs and a video of us writing our chosen word. I would recommend this experience to anyone wanting to do traditional Japanese calligraphy.

Laura(Germany)★★★★★

Calligraphy experiens

Mana did a very good job. Ich würde die Tour jeder Zeit wieder buchen. Alles hat super funktioniert und es war eine tolle Erfahrung. Der Lehrer war sehr freundlich und hat einem alles auch mehrfach gezeigt. Dabei sind auch tolle Bilder entstanden die uns innerhalb von wenigen Stunden zu Verfügung standen.

Imartyer(Australia)★★★★★

Calligraphy Class

We had a great afternoon learning some traditional Japanese calligraphy whilst here in Tokyo. Our guide Sachiko was awesome, very helpful and enthusiastic! So were the teachers, it’s not as easy as it looks! Worth trying for something different and off the beaten track!

Hulten Alf Bertil (Sweden)★★★★★

Two hours with a Japanese Calligraphy Master in Tokyo

I spent two hours with the Calligraphy Master. The writing was difficult - of course - but also fun. I enjoyed it thoroughly and can now write "happiness" in a shaky Japanese character. For anyone interested in calligraphy and/or Japanese ink and brushes, this is a rewarding experience. Grab it if you can! I also enjoyed the company of a guide/translator who, on the way to the Master, explained a lot about Japanese life and culture. She also answered my questions (so many after three weeks in Japan). All in all a very Japanese and interesting afternoon!

Robert Schwoegelhofer(Australia)★★★★★

We stayed about two weeks in Tokyo and had a lot of impressive insights in Japanese culture. One of the highlights has been this calligraphy session. It started with our guide Sachiko waiting for us patiently for a pick up at the railway station (sorry again for being late 45 minutes on our side!). Afterwards Matsumura Eikaku showed to us his philosophy of artful writing. This ranged from writing traditional Chinese letters to a presentation of a personal artistic way of doing calligraphie that literally took our breath away. We will do our best to conserve this special awareness of creating letters and promise to write more carefully in our own language. Thank you very much for this wonderful experience as well as for the photo documentation! Warm regards from Vienna, Teresa & Robert

Smitha(UK)★★★★★

Memorable

Very welcoming and encouraging. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon and you soon learn to appreciate the art. Fab time.

Jana Gladman(Switzerland)★★★★★

Wonderful Experience!

We had an excellent time! Our representative Emiko and Master Eikaku went above and beyond to make sure we understood the process and techniques. They were also very kind and encouraging which was a very nice confidence booster. We are so happy we were able to take this class and we're excited to display our work. If life brings us back to Japan, we would definitely do this again!

Jnaneshwar Das(USA)★★★★★

Contemplative experience, calming and focusing

This was the last activity I did through a two week stay in Japan, and I couldn't have hoped for a better experience to leave Japan with! Michiko San (our interpreter) got in touch with me well in advance, and met me at Umeyashiki station, and we went straight to Matsumura San's studio. Over the course of the next 90 minutes or so, Matsumura San patiently showed me the ways of Japanese calligraphy -- how to hold the brush, how to relax the body, how to move the brush. We went through a sequence of strokes and symbols, before culminating our experience with a symbol of my choice (I picked Bu from Bushido).
Michiko San was wonderful with interpreting for us, and to be honest, the language barrier between Matsumura San and I made the experience even more fun, and almost poetic, since I could sense his excitement when speaking in Japanese. Overall, I suppose I was a good student, since he seemed very happy :)

I left with a feeling of calm, and focused energy, and I am so glad I signed up for this experience!

ALINE PIETRASIK(France)★★★★★

Learning and Sharing

A very beautiful experience for the whole family! I truly recommend it.
Michiko and Master Matsumura were kind and lovely guides. Thank you for this moment of sharing.

CHRISTOPHE PIETRASIK(France)★★★★★

Super experience !!!

A first experience with Japanese calligraphy and a wonderful and a very enriching moment. Welcoming and more than adorable people. Our teacher Eikaku Matsumura, a master in calligraphy with numerous works, guided us in his art.
We left enchanted by this activity, which I recommend during your stay in Japan.


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