8 atelier visits that inspired us in 2023


Dear Reader,

We wish you a very happy and prosperous 2024!

Today, we’re looking back at the amazing atelier visits we’ve done last year. Feel free to check out the posts you might have missed and plan your own experiences for the next time you’re in Kyoto. Enjoy!

1) Jakkyu, Kyoto spinning top maker

We visited spinning top maker Jakkyu to craft our own 7-coloured spinning top and to interview the last-standing Kyo-koma artisan Yoshiyuki Nakamura for some insights into the disappearing Kyoto spinning top culture.

Book your visit + experience here: JAKKYU

2) Koshun-gama, Kochi ware maker

Koshun-gama is the perfect place to explore the techniques of Kochi ware in Kyoto and to create your own unique pieces of ceramics. We thank Shinichi Takashima, the owner of the studio, for his kind guidance throughout the experience.

Book your visit + experience here: KOSHUN-GAMA

3) Yokoyama Bamboo Products & Co.

If you wish to learn more about Kyoto bamboo production and crafts, book your visit to Yokoyama Bamboo Products & Co. Its executive director Yuki Yokoyama will show you the company’s impressive bamboo storage, and you’ll have an opportunity to participate in a bamboo basket weaving workshop. End your visit by perusing beautiful bamboo crafts at TAKENOKO shop.

Book your visit + experience here: Yokoyama Bamboo Products & Co.

4) Soushi Tsuzure-en textile studio

Discover the secrets of tsumegaki hon-tsuzure-ori weaving and let a third-generation artisan and the owner of the studio Kikuo Hirano assist you at experiencing tsuzure-ori weaving first-hand.

Book your visit + experience here: SOUSHI TSUZURE-EN

5) Hiyoshiya, Kyoto-style umbrella maker

If you’re curious about the state of Kyoto-style umbrella production, a studio visit to Hiyoshiya is for you. Katsuhiro Onodera, one of Hiyoshiya’s skilful artisans, will tell you how the company adapts traditional craftsmanship skills to modern lifestyle and will guide you through your mini wagasa (Japanese umbrella) making experience.

Book your visit + experience here: HIYOSHIYA

6) Soryu-gama, celadon ware studio

For an immersive local ceramics experience, pop into this studio where celadon ware is infused with elements of folk craftsmanship, learn about the studio’s fascinating background story from Madoka Wakunami, shop their beautiful and timeless products and have fun crafting your own ceramic jewellery.

Book your visit + experience here: Soryugama

7) Maki Shinto Ritual Articles Store

Visiting Maki Shinto Ritual Articles Store is a unique way to enter the fascinating world of Shinto woodworking. Keitaro Maki, a fourth generation artisan, would be happy to answer your questions about the traditional techniques and the significance of high-quality materials.

Book your visit here: Maki Shinto Ritual Articles Store

8) Nishikawa Paper Industry

Sneak into the backstage of local paper goods production company following the lead of the company’s director, Saori Nishikawa, and customise your own goshuincho stamp book.

Book your visit + experience here: NISHIKAWA PAPER INDUSTRY

Words & images by Anastasiya Bulkavets (