Opportunity to meet the people that make Kyoto such a special place.
From weavers to maiko and ceramicists,
see the more intimate, more hidden side of the city.
What’s worth seeing:
Gold-leaf artisan, Mr Noguchi's atelier and private house
Enjoy wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets
Party the traditional, Kyoto way at Gion-Hatanaka
Admire Kiyomizu ceramics at store Rakushien
What is it?
Kyoto is known as a city of great cultural importance and a richly vibrant artisanal community. This itinerary will take you on a journey through some of the area's most iconic destinations, and offer the opportunity to meet the people that make Kyoto such a special place. From weavers to maiko and ceramicists, see the more intimate, more hidden side of the city.
Meet your guide in the lobby of your ryokan, then head off to Watabun Orinasu house to learn about Nishijin-ori woven textiles which have long been widely used in the production of kimono and obi sashes. You'll meet and speak with craftspeople who will offer insight into the Nishijin-ori weaving world. Next, it's off to chat with craftspeople at Mr and Mrs Nagakusa's embroidery atelier, where you'll learn about the history of kimono embroidering and learn about Mr Nagakusa's exhibitions in Paris and work for Hermes Paris.
Today also includes a visit to Mr Noguchi, a gold-leaf artisan's atelier and private house. In this traditional Kyoto house with its beautiful and cosy garden, we can have a look at how one of the preparatory stages – making gold thread for the Nishijin-ori textiles – is done. Mr Noguchi is a 4th generation gold leaf master. The stunningly well-preserved wooden house and garden were built in 1889. After, you'll enjoy a break the traditional Japanese way, with tea and wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets).
If time allows, you can also pop by the iconic food market, Nishiki market, and drop by Aritsugu, which has a name-engraving service for this shop's knives. You'll check-in to your elegantly traditional ryokan (there are a few options).
For dinner, it's off to Gion-Hatanaka for some Kyoto cuisine accompanied by beautiful maiko and their extraordinary skills where you'll enjoy a night of entertainment with drinking games.
Time to check-out and head over to Kiyomizu ceramics shop Rakushien before visiting Kaikado, a Japanese tea caddy maker that was established in 1875. Later you’ll visit Ando Doll Shop, a traditional Hina doll maker. March 3rd is Hinamatsuri, the Girls' Festival, and in Japan, dolls like the ones you'll see here wearing traditional kimonos are displayed to pray for the happiness of girls. The final stop is Seikado, Japan's oldest pewter shop, established in 1838.