Nowadays, there's so many "experiences" you can try out when you visit a city thanks to Airbnb Experience and other new travel websites, but don't you find that they all tend to be quite expensive and also often time-consuming?
So here's a couple of ideas for quick workshops you can try out in Tokyo for under ¥5,000 (approx. $45 USD)! We've chosen workshops that are in unique locations, so you can also walk around after and enjoy some sight-seeing :)
1. Ozu Washi ~washi paper making-
Location: Nihonbashi (traditional shopping district)
Availble Mon-Sat, book online in English here.
We actually went to try this one out! We first got taken upstairs to watch a video about the process in which washi paper in made (with English subtitles), and then went into the paper-making room where the staff kindly taught us step by step how to make it. It's so much more difficult than it looks but don't worry, he will give you a hand after 3 tries :P They also have a stationary shop with beautiful letter sets and note pads so its the prefect place to get souvenirs!
2. Ameshin -traditional candy craft making-
Location: Asakusa (near the Sensoji temple)
Available everyday except Thursdays, booking site only available in Japanese so contact them via their English website.
3. Ganso Sample Shouhinya -Food sample making-
Price: ¥2,160/person (¥2,300 from April 2018)
Location: Kappabashi (known for their wholesale market)
Available everyday, booking site in Japanese so contact them via their English site.
4. Edo Kirikokan -Edo Kiriko glass making-
Location: Kinshicho (near the Sky Tree)
Available Monday-Saturday, booking site in Japanese so contact them via e-mail on the website.
Kaoru has tried this one before and she mentions- A good friend from Taiwan was visiting Tokyo and we both loved crafty things and coincidentally saw this on the short TV program and signed-up via phone. The place is easy to find and since you get to practice carving you get to re-think about the designs after checking all the professional craftwork displayed around the shop. Time to time I see the intricate glass carvings and still amazed by the craftmanship!
5. Takagiya Roho -Japanese confectionary making-
Location: Shibamata (downtown area known as the setting of the famous Japanese movie series that ran for more than 20 years called "Otoko wa Tsurai yo")
Available everyday, booking site in English- there are so many other workshops you can participate in on this site!
P.S. BUAISO -Indigo dying-
There's actually one more workshop we've been eyeing for a while but haven't had the chance to try out yet by BUAISO, a Japanese Indigo farming/dying/clothing company.
This aizome indigo dying class is at their farm in Tokushima (which is farther than Osaka, around 1.5 hours by airplane from Tokyo) so I wouldn't exactly call it a "quick" experience, but I can already tell by the photos and hearing from those who have participated that it's well worth it! Did I mention it's only 5,000 yen for this authentic experience? They don't seem to have any coming up yet but let's hope they'll do it again next summer!!
Please do share with us your experience if you ever get the chance to try it :)