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Experience & Try ''Japan'' in Kyoto
Educational, fun & unforgettable cultural programs

© Entoku-in Temple

As the capital of Japan for over 1,200 years, Kyoto has cultivated a number of cultures and art forms. Here are some places KVG suggests for you to enjoy Kyoto's culture even more. Experience ''Japan'' by interacting with your own senses and make your time in Kyoto even more unforgettable!

Buddhist Temple Experience ''Kotohajime'' at Entoku-in Temple
Entoku-in Temple, founded in 1605, is a tranquil place, even if it is located in the most popular Higashiyama sightseeing area. This spring, Entoku-in Temple opens its doors even wider and welcomes more people to experience the essence of Japanese Buddhism. ''Kotohajime'' is a program created to offer a variety of hands-on Buddhist experiences in a truly authentic temple complex.

© Entoku-in Temple

The chief priest states, ''There is a Buddhist saying, 'It is necessary to get rid of dust accumulated on our heart occasionally by working diligently.' Throughout time, people, not only Buddhist monks but also samurai lords and important historical figures, often tried Buddhist trainings in order to achieve a peaceful mind. Experiencing Buddhist trainings will help you to realize the importance of having a tranquil mind.''

© Entoku-in Temple

Buddhist Temple Experience ''Kotohajime'' at Entoku-in Temple
Date & Time: Mar. 3 to May 7, 10:00-22:00 (gate closed at 21:30); Admission: 500 yen -Zazen meditation
-Talk with a Buddhist monk (Tuesday & Thursday from 14:00; Japanese only)
-Tea ceremony (500 yen; 10:30-16:00)
-Watching gravel maintenance and design in the garden (Saturday from 14:00)
-Inspecting Buddhist Statues
-Shakyo Buddhist sutra copying
-Shabutsu Buddhist image copying
-Listening to Buddhist sutra chanting

*Visitors are welcome to join the program above within the opening hours. No reservation required. Program participation fee is included in the admission to the temple (tea ceremony: 500 yen).
Tel: 075-525-0101


Japanese Taiko lesson at TAIKO-LAB
At TAIKO-LAB, anyone is welcome to experience and enjoy a hands-on taiko lesson. It doesn't matter if you are a pure beginner of taiko, holding the sticks in your hand for the first time in your life. After the one-hour lesson, you will be fascinated with the beat of taiko! A number of international tourists from around the world have joined the TAIKO-LAB's lessons and had great fun!

Thrilled to feel the beat of taiko throughout my body © TAIKO-LAB

One-Hour Taiko Japanese Drum Class at TAIKO-LAB
Stretching & instruction>>>Learn how to hold the sticks and assume the proper posture and position >>>Practice how to beat the drum along with simple rhythm>>>Try other rhythms and play one taiko piece together >>>Complete the piece and fulfill your taiko class!

Easy to learn rhythms! © TAIKO-LAB

Lesson schedule: Monday: 15:30, Tuesday: 16:00, Wednesday: 14:00, 15:30, 17:00, Thursday: 16:00, 17:30, Friday: 14:00, 15:30, 17:00; Lesson fee: 5,000 yen/person Tel: 0120-923-915

Make a lesson booking online!

Kimono & Yukata Rental Service at Kimono-ya Natty
The Japanese kimono is perhaps one of the most exquisite national dresses in the world and it will be a real treat if one takes an opportunity to try it on. There are many places in Kyoto where international tourists can enjoy wearing this beautiful traditional costume of Japan. One recommended place is Kimono-ya Natty where the experienced staff will dress you in kimono perfectly and even set your hair beautifully.

© Kimono-ya Natty

Kimono/Yukata Rental
Standard: 3,500 yen, Premium: 4,500 yen, For couples: 6,000 yen (for two people) *Kimono and all other accessories must be returned to the store by 19:00 (an overdue fee will be applicable if you return the items after 19:00)

© Kimono-ya Natty

Traditional Japanese Culture Experience
Participants can try making traditional crafts: sensu folding fan (2,000 yen), furoshiki wrapping cloth (2,500 yen), origami paper folding (2,000 yen), Dressing up in kimono (3,000 yen)
*Visit their website for timetables for the Japanese cultural experiences. Reservation not necessary.

Tel: 075-351-1505; Open: 9:30-19:00; Closed: Tues.

Make a lesson booking online!

Traditional Swordplay & Performance at SAMURAI KEMBU Theatre
Samurai Kembu is the traditional performing art with a Japanese sword ''katana'' and a Japanese fan. The word ''kembu'' means literally ''sword dance.'' During the feudal times, samurai danced with their swords and fans to give themselves courage or to achieve mental concentration.


Samurai Kembu Show
Traditional Kembu uses Japanese short poems, which were mostly written by samurai before major events in their life. In feudal times, samurai were said to perform Kembu to give themselves courage or to achieve mental concentration. Wearing samurai clothes while holding a sword and fan, the samurai spirit is expressed through this traditional performing art.

Schedule: Daytime show: Mon., Wed., Fri. only: 13:15-14:15; Evening show: Mon. to Sat.: 17:15- 18:15; Including photo session after the show; Doors open 15 min. before the show time; Fee: 3,000 yen/person (children under 11: 2,000 yen)

Samurai Kembu Lesson
In their one-hour lesson, participants can learn about and practice some aspects of the etiquette of samurai classes as well as practice basic Kembu techniques, including how to use the Japanese sword. The 2-hour full lesson provides the opportunity to learn a variety of moves with the sword as well as experiencing how to use the folding fan, if one wishes.


Schedule: Mon. to Sat.: Morning session: from 11:15; Afternoon session: 14:15 (one-hour lesson only); Evening session: from 18:15; Choose one-hour or two-hour lesson; Lesson fee: Two-hour lesson with costume: 9,000 yen, Two-hour lesson without costume: 6,000 yen, One-hour lesson with costume: 7,000 yen, Onehour lesson without costume: 4,000 yen; 1,000 yen discount for children under 11.

Tel: 075-751-2033

Program details & online booking