Age-Old Craft in Modern Life: The Kuramae Hands-on Tour
An original tour collaborated with NOHGA HOTEL and HOTEL NIWA TOKYO navigating you through the creative neighborhood of Kuramae. We invite you to experience the culture of Japanese craftsmanship and design in this area and how these traditions play in our modern life. Join us in this one-of-a-kind first-hand experience.
9:30am Meet at NOHGA HOTEL UENO 10:00am “Mogami Kogei” sashimono (Japanese traditional woodworking) visit 10:45am Make your own pure silver bookmark at “Nisshin Kikinzoku” silversmithing workshop 11:50am “Kakimori” or “Gunji Miso & Tsukemono Shop” for observation, food sampling, and shopping.
12:30pm Tour finish at the final destination.
Where we are visiting…
1. Mogami Kogei
Since 1912, Mogami Kogei has been continuing the craft of “Edo Sashimono” (traditional Edo-period woodworking) to create products that bring traditional Japanese craftsmanship and art into modern, everyday life.
Sashimono is the traditional Japanese woodworking technique in which, instead of nails, cogs and dimples called “hozo” are carved into wooden planks that fit together to create furniture and other household goods.
Further within sashimono is the practice of “Edo Sashimono”. In Edo Sashimono, both thin planks and slender dowels are used to create items that seem delicate in their appearance and weight but are remarkably strong due to their use of “hozo”. It is a truly beautiful art form to behold.
Participants will get a chance to shadow and observe the workings of the craft masters in the workshop. The rich smell of wood, the timeless craftsmanship, and the sound of the masters and apprentices shaving away is an environment that most people are not privileged to experience.
2. Nisshin Kikinzoku
Here, you will have the chance to learn about, hold, and use the tools of the Japanese silversmith to craft their own pure silver bookmarks.
“Nisshin Kikinzoku” is a Taito-ku fixture, with a rich history stretching across three generations. Infusing modern sensibilities into this traditional craft, they are creating an innovative approach to Japanese silversmithing. They regularly open their studio to those wishing to take classes on how to create everyday objects such as rings and spoons.
Come experience this timeless tradition and learn directly from the masters themselves. Take your handmade pure silver bookmark home with you as a memento.
The very popular and quirky stationery store in Kuramae.
Pens, pencils, custom inks, paper, and everything in between, line the walls of the store. You are welcome to pick up nearly anything and give it a sample write. The pen you find in the hotel room of NOHGA HOTEL had been designed with Kakimori and their colors are originally curated.
Kakimori’s popular, made-to-order notebook service would definitely be a great souvenir to bring back home. Rediscover the joy of writing and creation by hand!
4. Gunji Miso & Tsukemono Shop
Gunji Miso Tsukemono Shop was founded in 1957, and carries on the tradition of aging miso according to natural temperature fluctuations. They are also beloved by all in the community for their exceptional selection of homemade ‘tsukemono’ (Japanese pickles) made using fresh seasonal vegetables.
The storeowners are happy to chat up customers, giving recommendations of how to prepare their miso, and what dishes they work well in. Gain some knowledge about this traditional Japanese staple, while sampling some of the product itself. See if you can discern the different sweet, umami flavors of each!
Of their tsukemono, the daikon radish pickled in salted rice yeast is a top recommendation. With refreshing sweetness, and great texture from the radish skin, it is a lovely pair to a bowl of rice or cup of Japanese tea.
These same pickles and miso are used in one of the most popular meals at NOHGA HOTEL, the Japanese Breakfast. These are indispensable to any everyday meal, so take some time to find what sparks your interest!
After that, for anyone with the interest and appetite, we will be happy to guide you to Tempura Miyakoshi or Tempura Shimomura for lunch.
We are looking forward to welcome you all along with us on this unique tour!
Tour Schedule and Details
9:30am Meet at hotel: Taxi to Mogami Kogei 10:00am Mogami Kogei: ’sashimono’ observation
walk to Nisshin Kikinzoku 10:45am Nisshin Kikinzoku: Pure silver bookmark crafting 11:50am Kakimori or Gunji Miso & Tsukemono Shop Observation, food sampling, and shopping
12:30pm Tour finish at the final destination, Okazu yokocho (Torigoe 1-chome) .
*Please note that the tour price includes the observation and silversmithing experiences but does not include the cost of any purchases at other places.
Time and Date
【2019】 Dec 11 /Dec 18 /
【2020】Jan 15 / Jan 22 / Feb 5 / Feb 12/ Feb 26 / Mar 11/ Mar 18
Meet place: 1F Front Desk of NOHGA HOTEL UENO at 9:30am
Price: 9,000JPY per person
Max Capacity: 6 Participants *Minimum of 2 Participants Reservation: Go to our booking page!
Reservation Deadline: Until 12:00pm of the day before the tour
Cancellation Fee: 50% of original price if cancelled the day before the tour 100% of original price if cancelled day of the tour