Five Activities in Tokyo to Learn About Japanese Culture
Last updated: 11 September 2017
Tokyo is a place where you can come into contact with a variety of fascinating things, including traditional Japanese culture, subculture, and the latest fashion. Besides just sightseeing and shopping, you can discover new aspects of Japan's allure by having various experiences.
Tour the Urban Area on a Rickshaw!
Take a tour of the popular Asakusa area with Tokyo Skytree(R) and Kaminarimon. A shafu (rickshaw puller) who knows the local area inside out will take photos and guide you through the area. They can take you to places not many people know about, that you would not find by regular sightseeing. It is also recommended for foreign tourists because there are many shafu who can speak English. You can choose from several courses depending on your purpose and how much time you have. They vary from a 1km short ride around Kaminarimon (12 to 13 minutes), to full-blown chartered courses.
Ebisuya Asakusa Rickshawえびす屋 浅草店
- Address East Building 3F, 1-20-4 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0032
How About Strolling the Streets of Asakusa While Wearing a Kimono?
Sakura Photo Studio, located 2 minutes' walk from Kaminarimon, has a collection of more than 200 kimono, varying from summer yukata to vivid furisode (long-sleeved kimono). They have everything needed for wearing kimono, so you can come empty-handed to enjoy the experience. Makeup, a walking guide, and a photo session in the studio or outside on location are additional options. Some of the staff speak English. Customers with reservations are given priority.
Sakura Photo Studioサクラフォトスタジオ
- Address Suzuki Building 4F, 1-12-12 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0034
Learning the Japanese Spirit Through Tea Ceremony
The tea ceremony is a complete work of art which is related to various fields including flower arrangement, calligraphy, Japanese sweets, and architecture. At Chayu Kurabu (meaning "tea friends club") Koomon, in addition to a tea ceremony experience, an experience of making matcha (powdered green tea) yourself is also available. Because they can provide the service in English and prepare chairs for those who are not used to sitting in seiza position (on the floor with feet folded under you), it is popular with foreign tourists. You can combine it with a kimono experience as well. Reservations required.
The Koomon, Tokyo茶友倶楽部 空門
- Address The second floor of buyoo building, 3-8-16, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0027
Nihombashi Station （Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Tozai Line / Toei Asakusa Line）
2 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 03-5202-5737
A Casual-Style Experience in Making Traditional Japanese Paper
Washi (Japanese traditional paper) is rated highly all over the world for its distinctive texture and durability. Ozu Washi in Nihonbashi is a washi seller that was established in 1653. In a corner of the shop with various papers on display is the Handmade Washi Experience Studio where you can experience making paper. You can learn the process of making paper in about an hour. There is no minimum number of people for the experience, but reservations take priority. You can keep the paper you make!
- Address 3-6-2, Nihonbashihoncho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-0023
Shin-Nihombashi Station （JR Sobu Main Line (Rapid)）
3 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 03-3662-1184
Experience the Art of Making Plastic Food Replicas
Colorful plastic samples are displayed at Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya. On the second floor of the Kappabashi Showroom, you can experience making food replicas using wax. Based on a program designed by artisans, the staff will teach you the traditional techniques. You will make two kinds of plastic tempura and a head of lettuce in approximately one hour. A reservation by phone is required. Please note that the instruction is available only in Japanese.
Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya元祖食品サンプル屋 合羽橋店（見学）
- Address 3-7-6, Nishiasakusa, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 111-0035
Tawaramachi Station （Tokyo Metro Ginza Line）
12 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 0120-17-1839
TOKYO GLASS ART INSTITUTE東京ガラス工芸研究所
- Address 1-26-13, Higashirokugo, Ota-ku, Tokyo, 144-0046
Zoshiki Station （Keikyu Main Line）
5 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 03-6715-8670
SENGOKU PHOTO STUDIO SAMURAI戦国フォトスタジオSAMURAI
- Address Yoyogi ocean building, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 3-35-10-3F, 151-0053
Shinjuku Station （JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Chuo Main Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line / Toei Shinjuku Line / Toei Oedo Line / Keio Line / Keio New Line / Odakyu Odawara Line）
12 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 03-6847-2653
Spots showcased in the article
- Ebisuya Asakusa Rickshaw
- えびす屋 浅草店
- Sakura Photo Studio
- The Koomon, Tokyo
- 茶友倶楽部 空門
- Ozu Washi
- Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya
- 元祖食品サンプル屋 合羽橋店（見学）
- TOKYO GLASS ART INSTITUTE
- SENGOKU PHOTO STUDIO SAMURAI
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*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.