Sundays, public holidays & irregular closings on Saturdays
Kyoto round fans, elegant touch of freshness
Kyoto round fans, called Kyo-uchiwa or miyako-uchiwa, enjoy great popularity for their fine and elegant appearance. With sophisticated designs incorporating different craft techniques like openwork or woodblock printing to enhance decorative elements, Kyo-uchiwa tends to add a fresh touch of colour to any interior. The ribs and handles of Kyoto round fans are made separately in a style called sashie : about 100 bamboo ribs are arranged radially by hand, and the handle is attached at the end of the process. Every year, Shiomi Dansen carries out the production of more than 200 varieties of fans with traditional designs and handles of all kinds.
The last standing spinning top maker
In Momoyama period (1568-1600), imperial court ladies used to wind bright-colored kimono fabric strips around a bamboo rod to make a “tatami room spinning top”, the ancestor of modern Kyo-koma, or Kyoto spinning top. The craft of spinning top making has long flourished, but now Jakkyu remains the only place in Kyoto to carry on this unique tradition. No edged tools are involved in Kyo-koma shaping process: flat cotton strips dyed in vivid colors are rolled around a bamboo rod using only fingers. Even today, elegant Kyoto spinning tops are popular for their beautiful smooth rotation.
Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays (inquire in advance)
The beauty of Nishiki created through orchestrated effort of numerous craftsmen
Since ancient times, Nishiki-ori, Kyoto silk brocades woven with gold, silver and multi-colored threads, have been valued for their luxurious appearance. KOHO Nishiki Textile Studio undertakes the restoration of precious ancient textiles and conducts a thorough research about the traditional weaving techniques, from the silk cocoons processing to the tools and weaving equipment. Nishiki textiles are created through the combined skills of numerous craftsmen, involving not less than 70 various processes. The works of the textile artist Koho Tatsumura are characterized by a stunning luminous three-dimensional effect and are called “The Weaving of Light” overseas.
Nishijin Tsuzure-ori: delicate painting-like brocade weaving
Have you ever heard of Kyoto nail-scratching tapestry weaving technique? Artisan sharpens his fingernails into a saw-tooth shape and uses them like a comb to create a relief brocade pattern. This technique is very advanced and time consuming — even the most skillful and experienced craftsman spends the whole day to weave only a few centimeters of textile. Don’t miss the unique opportunity to learn from the master craftsman Kikuo Hirano about Tsuzure-ori weaving and get some insights into the art of color arrangement.
The ultimate protector of Kyoto-style umbrella tradition
Established more than 100 years ago, Hiyoshiya is actually the only producer of Kyo-wagasa, traditional Kyoto-style umbrella, which plays an important role in various cultural events such as outdoor tea ceremonies, Noh and Kabuki stage performances, as well as solid and rustic umbrella for general use. Kyo-wagasa, made from carefully selected bamboo and washi (Japanese paper), is held in high esteem in Japan and overseas. Recently, Hiyoshiya has also been actively designing and producing new lifestyle products, such as lighting equipment, using traditional umbrella-making methods and techniques.
The appeal of bright-coloured Cochin ware
In Hiyoshi, Kyoto area famous for the distinguished ceramics production, Koshun-gama has been producing impressive vibrant-coloured Cochin ware for three generations. A wide variety of items—everything from tea utensils to casual tableware—is created here using icchin, or tube lining decorating technique. The edges of patterns are defined with the relief lines made by squeezing soft clay through a nozzle. After applying a colored glaze, the low-temperature firing takes place, bringing out the distinctive Cochin ware colours. All the processes are performed by the same artisan, who is willing to create new order-made items.
The warm simplicity of Raku ware pottery
Rakunyu-gama is a kiln mastering the traditional techniques of Raku-yaki, highly prized pottery used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Its activities are centered around the production of matcha tea bowls, as well as various flower vases, incense containers and plates. As Raku ware is moulded by hand without the use of a potter’s wheel, its charm lies in a warm and rustic appearance. Developed as a part of Kyoto culture, its technique and texture differ from those of the typical Kyoto ware. Along with the creation of Raku-yaki, characterized by low-temperature firing, Rakunyu-gama is also striving to create light-colored ceramics.
The inherited techniques of Kyoto-style pottery
Shunzan-gama is a third-generation pottery maker located in Sennyu-ji temple area which has long been abundant in kilns. The studio has inherited the distinguishing style of Ogata Kenzan (1663-1743), a potter active in the middle of the Edo period. The works of Shunzan-gama are well known for their characteristic flower designs completely covering the surface which still preserves the tenderness of soft clay. The studio creates the earthenware adapted to the modern lifestyle, mastering the colorful painting and openwork carving techniques of Kyoto-style pottery cultivated through its 100-year-old history.
The oldest traditional sake brewery in central Kyoto
Established about 280 years ago, this oldest and full of history sake maker in central Kyoto continues to protect the tradition of sake brewing. Close to Kamogawa river and surrounded by mountains, the brewery is located in a rich natural environment highly favorable to the creation of numerous aromatic brands of sake. Kyoto underground water and locally grown rice are used as ingredients for brewing premium sake best suited for exquisite Kyoto cuisine. While preserving traditional techniques, the brewery progressively introduces modern technology, such as use of solar panels or temperature control equipment.
Mondays,Sundays,Public holidays, New Year's holidays, Obon holidays
Karakami paper that adorns Shinto shrines, Buddist temples and tearooms
Simply put, Kyo-karakami is a type of woodblock print which uses printing blocks hand-carved on magnolia wood with traditional patterns passed down from ancient times. It is produced by a traditional method where coloring materials called kira (mica) and gofun (white pigment) are added to its surface, and the design is copied with the palm of the hand by overlaying it onto washi paper or torinoko (lustrous and smooth paper) one sheet at a time. To this day, Maruni continues to use printing blocks from the Tempo Era (1830-1844) and protects the patterns, coloring materials, tools, and traditions of old.