Introduction to Japanese Calligraphy in Nagoya

(2 Reviews)
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2 hours
Min Age : 15+
Max People : 12
Your Experience at a Glance

Learn the art of Japanese Calligraphy “Shodo” from a black belt calligraphy master in the center of Nagoya.

*No knowledge of Japanese writing or calligraphy required

Experience Price

1 person 6000 yen/person
2 people 5000 yen/person
3-6 people 4000 yen/person
7-12 people 3000 yen/person

Experience Type

Private Experience

Meeting Location

Central Nagoya (location might differ)

End Location

Central Nagoya (same as meeting location)

Start Time and Duration

10:00 (2 hours)
14:30  (2 hours)

Languages Offered

English, Japanese

Language Proficiency

English: Conversational ★★☆☆☆
Japanese: Native ★★★★★

Price Includes

  • Calligraphy utensils, papers
  • Water, tea, and sweets

Price Excludes

  • Transport to and from the experience

Additional Information

  • Wear clothing that is okay to get dirty
  • Please let me know all participants full names at the time of booking to prepare your name in Kanji (Chinese characters)
  • This experience is not wheelchair accessible
What You'll Do

Calligraphy, or “Shodo” in Japanese, is the way of writing with natural black carbon ink and brush, and it was especially used in Asian countries that used Chinese characters.

Nowadays a brush is seldom used as a form of communication anymore but important writings in Japan will be done by a calligraphy master, such as the scrolls you can find at a tea room or temple, or the Goshuin stamps that can be collected at shrines and temples.

During this experience, you will get an introduction to the art of Shodo, which literally means the Way of Writing. Learn how to hold a brush, how to set it on paper, and how to draw it across to produce a skillfully painted Kanji character. It might be unfamiliar and difficult at first but you will be surprised at your progress during this lesson thanks to the instructions of your calligraphy teacher.

Finish the class by creating your masterpiece, all complete with your name in Japanese and a red name seal, for you to take home as a souvenir.

  • Learn about different writing methods and systems
  • Practice writing a Kanji character and feel your skills develop
  • Finish your own calligraphy masterpiece with signature and name seal
Your Experience Step by Step

Meetingat the Calligraphy studio or a rental space

Houko Sensei will welcome you to his studio or a rental space in central Nagoya.

Introduction to Calligraphy

Start your experience with a presentation about different writing systems, implements, and styles.

Calligraphy Tools and Workshop Explanation

Learn the names and uses of the calligraphy tools and gain an understanding of the workshop ahead.

Tea Break

Time for some tea and sweets, and a chance to ask questions about calligraphy and Japan.

Practice Writing

Write the same Kanji character repeatedly on paper to get a feel for the brush, strokes, and different techniques.

FinallyCreate your masterpiece

Write your calligraphy masterpiece on a cardboard card, add your name in Japanese, and your name seal. Finished! This will make a great souvenir to take home with you.

Where You'll Be
Meet Your Host

Houko Washiyama

I opened my calligraphy studio 4 years ago and have been teaching three foreign residents since then. They all got a black belt of Shodo. And I am very proud of their achievements.

I love to share Shodo with travelers from all over the world.

Officer of Kensin-shodo-kai (one of the biggest Syodo organizations)
Teaching license of Shodo
8-degree black belt (highest rank)

Kensin-shodo-kai exhibition Excellent (2022, 2021)
Yomiuri Shodo exhibition Selected (2021) ( one of the biggest exhibitions in Japan)
Kanazawa Shodo exhibition Gold (2021), Silver (2022) 

2 Reviews
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Racheli and Noa Marcus

Couple Traveller

We had an incredible , wonderful time with Mr. Washiyama and his lovely wife.
They both did their best to make sure that the experience is delightful and unforgettable.
Mr. Washiyama was very professional and well prepared.
We also enjoyed the warm hospitality.
We appreciate the fact that he spoke English well.
We will definitely recommend this class to others.

September 15, 2023

Kashmere Fitch

Solo Traveller

Thank you Nagoya Is Not Boring! I was struggling to find a bookable activity as a solo traveller since many places want a minimum of 2. NINB recommended the calligraphy experience and it was amazing! Sensei and his wife picked me up from the train station and took me to their studio. They were incredibly gracious and sensei was so patient with teaching me about the history and techniques of Japanese calligraphy. It was an excellent experience and I would highly recommend!

May 30, 2023

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