By Lee Tan
Kyoto is known as one of Japan's cultural hubs, and one of the best ways to connect with the culture is to get hands on. One place that you can do this is at the Kyoto Handicraft Center, where you have the ability to create various Japanese crafts yourself.
The craft experiences you can have here include options like creating your own woodblock print, painting a traditional sensu, or folding fan, and even creating your own incense blend. When I visited, I decided to go down the route of painting a clay bell. There are a whole host of examples in the center of the table if you're unsure of where to start, but you're only limited by your imagination! My husband is a fan of all things Studio Ghibli, so he decided to paint his clay bell like Totoro. All the materials you need to create your masterpiece are provided.
At the venue, you'll also find a restaurant and plenty of handicrafts for sale. There's everything from beautiful pottery to ironware, lacquerware and more. It's a convenient spot to pick up a range of traditional souvenirs to remind you of your time in Kyoto.
The Kyoto Handicraft Center website is available in English, and you're also able to book your handicraft of choice online before you attend. There are plenty of English speaking staff on hand too, so don't let a limited knowledge of Japanese deter you from trying out some of these wonderful hands-on experiences.
The Kyoto Handicraft Center is located in the Okazaki area of the city.
If you're visiting via train, head to the Jingu Marutamachi Station on the Keihan Main Line. From there, the venue is approximately ten minutes on foot.
If you're traveling via the bus network, take bus number 206 from Kyoto Station for approximately 30 minutes. Alight at Kumano-Jinja-Mae. From there, the handicraft center is only three minutes away on foot.
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