Calligraphy Shodo in Kyoto and Tokyo

Calligraphy Shodo in Kyoto and Tokyo


Calligraphy Shodo in Kyoto and Tokyo

Japanese calligraphy in Kyoto

Like most cultural activities, Japanese Calligraphy or Shodo is an art form that has been developed over hundreds of years. Shodo directly translates to "the way of writing" and is the traditional way of writing characters using an ink dipped brush. The Japanese alphabet, or kanji, is made of Chinese characters when travellers shared Chinese writing. Historians believe this was linked to the spread of Buddhism to Japan. After Japan developed their own characters, called hiragana, Shodo developed into its own art form as pieces of poetry, philosophy and other abstract concepts became more fashionable to paint and display.


review1 review-h5

Awesome calligraphy lesson :)

Spent a couple of hours at the wonderful Maikoya learning the Japanese art of calligraphyand learning about its history. Would recommend the experience to people looking to learn some of the culture personally and want some of your own calligraphy to take home as a reminder of your vacation.

review2 review-h5

Calligraphy Lesson - Great Experience!!

We did a calligraphy lesson today and it was one of our greatest experiences on our journey around Japan. Our sensei was very patient and explained us a lot about the art. We really enjoyed our lesson in which we could write our names and some sentences that are important for us. We can really recommend it!!

review3 review-h5

Calligraphy class

Brilliant class, absolutely recommend to anyone of any age/ level. Kaho was a fantastic teacher, very patient and so friendly! Highlight of our Japanese holiday!

review4 review-h5

Great calligraphy experience!!

Had an awesome experience in a calligraphy class. The teacher was brilliant and very patient and taught us how to paint various Japanese symbols. The environment and room was well set up and a very relaxing experience

Professional instructor

Japanese calligraphy  instructor

Under the expert guidance of shodo instructors, you will have a go at creating your own Japanese calligraphy artwork to take home as a memento of your experience. You will be encouraged to use traditional Shodo utensils and techniques that have been developed over hundreds of years. This includes using genuine ink stones and calligraphy brushes made out of bamboo. All classes will be in English and will last around 90 minutes in a traditionally decorated room. You will have the choice of completing calligraphy art based on traditional Shodo hangings or writing your name in Japanese characters. Either way, you will learn the cultural roots, symbolism and the subtle beauty in this pastime with step by step instructions. Anyone can complete a shodo masterpiece in this workshop!

Unique Calligraphy Experience in Japan

Japanese room

The Japanese Shodo Calligraphy Workshop provides an enjoyable introduction to the art of Japanese calligraphy. Japanese Calligraphy is called Shodo, which means "the way of writing" and is the traditional way of writing characters using an ink dipped brush. This art form is believed to be a form of meditation as you engage in written relaxation to master mental balance. This workshop is popular for this very reason. It is run by a professional master in Japanese calligraphy who will teach you the different symbols or 'kanji'. Have you ever written your name in Japanese before? You will after completing this workshop!

With the guidance of a kind calligraphy instructor, you will learn the history of kanji from China and the history of hiragana and katakana which are made from kanji. It is also important to know how to hold the brush and the posture when writing. You will practice handwriting on a calligraphy paper with a brush. You can practice a lot at will.

After practicing the foundation of vertical and horizontal lines like 一, 川 (one, river), next you will challenge your favorite kanji character. Positive feelings such as 愛(love), 福(fortune) and 幸(happiness) are popular.

Finally, from the origin and pronunciation of the name, you will get to know the kanji of your name and finish your work. Please enjoy your writing freely. Commemorative photo shooting calligraphy can be done in a traditional Japanese style room! ※ The staff will assist you to shoot a few photos with your camera.

We practice Shodo on tatami mats, but there are zabutons (cushions) for Seiza sitting so please relax even if you are not good at sitting straight on the tatami.

Japanese Shodo Calligraphy Workshops are held at the Experiences section of the KYOTO MAIKOYA. At the end of the workshop, you can continue with a range of other activities and workshops at KYOTO MAIKOYA to create a Japanese cultural experience you won't ever forget.

What can you expect in this Japanese Shodo Calligraphy Workshop?

  • A range of traditional shodo utensils will be provided for you to try
  • A friendly tutor will teach the correct posture and painting techniques
  • They will also explain Japanese character imagery and historic influences
  • You can have a go at Japanese characters and the correct order of art strokes
  • Guidance on how to write your name using Japanese characters
  • You can take the artwork you produce as a memento of your workshop
  • Held in a traditionally styled room with beautiful historic decor
  • Opportunities for taking photographs will be highlighted throughout.

We pride ourselves on providing authentic Japanese cultural experiences to tourists and residents alike. Learning about a country through cultural workshops and activities will give you a better understanding of our intricate history, valued social principals and holistic way of life. By learning about Japan and its people, you will be immersed in different perspectives and approaches that are unique to this country. KYOTO MAIKOYA offers you opportunities to understand this culture through local instructors and guides. There is no better way to learn about a new place from the viewpoints of those who grew up and live in this amazing country. What better way to spend an afternoon than learning a traditional, beautiful new art form with a knowledgeable tutor in a picturesque setting? You wouldn't find friendlier people to help you experience Japan in all its splendour.

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