Tag Archives: Crafts

Cherry chopsticks & Bamboo cups in Akihabara (Chiyoda, Tokyo)

You can buy elegant Japanese chopsticks made from cherry trees and very light cups made from bamboo at Kukan-kobo Takuya, high-quality shop specialized in wooden products near Akihabara station (Chiyoda ward, Tokyo). Wouldn’t they make great souvenirs or gifts from your travel in Japan?

Shopping photo 1: Reddish chopsticks made using the bark of a cherry tree.
Japanese chopsticks made from a cherry tree, sold in Akihabara (Chiyoda, Tokyo) in May 2014.

Shopping photo 2: Extremely light cups made from bamboo.
Bamboo cups sold in Akihabara (Chiyoda, Tokyo) in May 2014.

Our team found this cosy shop with great smells of wood on Sunday while exploring Akihabara area to prepare tomorrow’s personalized tour. We’d be glad to take you there too if you wish 🙂

Note: All the labels are written in Japanese language.

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Kukan-kobo Takuya = 空間工房卓屋.
  • Bamboo = 竹 (Take), Cherry tree = 桜の木 (Sakura-no-ki).
  • Akihabara = 秋葉原, Chiyoda ward = 千代田区 (Chiyoda-ku), Tokyo = 東京.

New tour “Insight Into Japanese Arts in Tokyo”

Travel Stand Japan just launched the Yes in Japan unique tour “Insight Into Japanese Arts in Tokyo” (reference T14B). We strongly recommend you this new 1-day private tour in English or French for up to 8 persons if you are interested in Japanese culture, fine arts, traditional crafts, or even martial arts!

Japanese arts in Tokyo: nature, kimono, washi umbrellas...

Admire and learn about samurai swords, kimono dresses, traditional handmade washi paper and origami, paintings and carvings on walls and ceilings, hundreds of Buddhist statues (real masterpieces), Shinto lanterns lit up at night, and the interior of a gorgeous wedding centre with its garden and waterfalls… This is a well-timed, touching and unforgettable artistic experience in Japan 🙂

Samurai sword in Tokyo.

Calendar for May and June 2014: Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with departures from your hotel in Tokyo. We recommend you to make a reservation at least two business days before your chosen date. Please follow the link below to get up-to-date information and book this tour online.

Shinto lanterns at night in Tokyo.

Make your holidays in Japan unforgettable!

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Art of paper folding = 折り紙 (Origami), Japanese paper = 和紙 (Washi).
  • Kimono = 着物, Samurai = 侍.
  • Tokyo = 東京.

New tour in Tokyo: “Shopkeepers x Japanese Culture”

Travel Stand Japan just launched a Yes in Japan unique tour in Tokyo for Spring 2014: “Shopkeepers x Japanese Culture” (reference W14A). We strongly recommend you this walking tour if you love the “Made in Japan” traditional and ancient creations, want shopping ideas, and wish to meet/interact with Japanese people during your holidays in Japan.

Mamebon book in Jimbocho (Tokyo, Japan).

Explore Japanese life and culture by visiting shops in Jimbocho. Look, listen, touch and get answers to your questions about traditional and everyday life objects. You will typically discover Wagashi cakes, Washi paper, Mamebon books, Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, ancient maps, fun family card games… Our guide will lead you from little shop to little shop, introducing you to the shopkeepers and to their products, and will translate your questions (English to Japanese) and the shopkeepers’ answers (Japanese to English). Feel free to buy sweets, souvenirs and gifts for your children and friends!

Wagashi cake in Tokyo (Japan).

Current calendar for March 2014: Monday 17, Wednesday 19, Monday 24, Wednesday 26, Friday 28, and Monday 31 with departures at 13:00 near Jimbocho station and Sakura Hotel Jimbocho (between the Imperial Palace, Akihabara, Tokyo Dome and Yasukuni shrine). Follow the link below to get up-to-date information and book online.

Discover a deep Tokyo and get a unique grasp of Japan thanks to Japanese people themselves!

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Jimbocho = 神保町, Jimbocho station = 神保町駅 (Jimbocho-eki), Tokyo = 東京.
  • Sakura Hotel Jimbocho = サクラホテル神保町 (Sakula-hotelu-jimbocho).

Meet great Japanese artisans: sculptor of miniature gods and Buddhas…

Have you ever met and discussed with a Japanese artisan? Reputed for high-quality gorgeous products (traditional or modern), artisans in Japan typically live in quiet districts or in the countryside and rarely speak English so foreign tourists have few opportunities to know them…

We had the chance to meet Kanesaka-sensei, a sculptor of marvellous miniature gods and Buddhas, at an event promoting the Fukushima prefecture held at Tokyo International Forum on 23 December 2013. This kind joyful artist was moving and impressive, and we will gladly meet him again in his city (Aizu)! Our photos show you Kanesaka-sensei with our team member Sébastien, Shinto and Buddhist miniature statues, a nut containing the 7 Gods of Fortune, and another containing the gods Ebisu and Daikoku.

Japanese artisan Kanesaka-sensei with Sébastien.

Shinto and Buddhist miniature statues.

To fully appreciate the statues, you should turn the nuts in your hands while admiring with a magnifier… Art lovers and fans of Japan would certainly enjoy the experience and wish to bring back a (personalized?) handmade gift or souvenir!

Miniature statue: nut containing the 7 Gods of Fortune.

Miniature statue: nut containing Ebisu and Daikoku.

Because Japanese artisans are dedicated and skilled, we recommend you to meet one at his/her workshop or shop during your stay in Japan if you wish to discover Japanese crafts and meet Japanese people. Plan ahead to get an appointment, hire a knowledgeable interpreter and maybe find an illustrated book in English to bring back home afterwards. If you end up far from Tokyo or Kyoto, take the opportunity to savour regional food, discover a little-known area, and send local postcards to your friends and family 🙂 What kind of great artisan would you like to meet on holidays in Japan? Why?

Special thanks to Kanesaka-sensei for his explanations and for allowing us to use his photo.

USEFUL LINKS

 

USEFUL JAPANESE
  • Artisan = 職人 (shokunin), Miniature sculpture = 微細彫刻 (Bisai-chokoku).
  • Daikoku = 大黒 = 大黒天 (Daikoku-ten), Ebisu = 恵比寿.
  • 7 Gods of Fortune = 七福神 (Shichi-fukujin).