By Franki Webb
As you walk down the streets of Tokyo, you may come to notice that most of the fashionable girls have their nails perfectly done. That makes sense because many Japanese women (especially young girls) go to nail salons to have their fingers and toes look pretty, cool, fun, and kawaii (cute). It may be easier to go visit salons to get fashionable nails for yourself, but there is another interesting way to style up your nails. You can visit a nail art school that provides courses in English and Chinese for those interested in studying how to do Japanese nail art.
Le Vernis Nail School was founded by Ms. Michiyo Kitagawa, who has won first place in a prestigious nail competition and is well-known in Japan. The schools with the bilingual courses are located in 2 different areas, Shinbashi and Ikebukuro. I visited the one in Ikebukuro (AKA Kitagawa Nail Academy), where Ms. Kitagawa actually teaches the step-by-step process and techniques you should know in order to perform nail art. Ms. Kitagawa is very friendly, kind, and passionate towards all students, and I, as a one-day-experience-student, fell in love with her serious and ambitious, but humorous personality.
As long as you have love towards nail art, basically anyone is welcome at Le Vernis Nail School. The bilingual courses at Le Vernis consist of students of various nationalities, and the atmosphere of the class is pretty interesting. English is the first language for most of the time in the bilingual courses. You don’t have to be shy to join the course if you’re not a female – men have come to the school to gain skills for fancy nails in the past as well.
Japanese nail art is extremely detailed, often using little ornaments on the nails and giving special attention to small and delicate designs. In fact, many professional nail artists all over the world try to learn Japanese art skills. Le Vernis Nail School, whether you are a professional or not, teaches you from the extremely important basics to the spectacular techniques for the actual ‘art’ part. If you are only staying in Tokyo for a short term, you can take the UV Gel Nail One-Day Lesson. On the other hand, if you are going to be in Tokyo for more than several months, you will be able to take the preparation course for the JNEC (Japan Nailist Examination Center) exam and improve your skills. There are always many wonderful options for you at Le Vernis.
“Nail art is my enemy,” said Ms. Kitagawa, when I asked her what nail art meant to her. Although she is an accomplished professional in the field, she is never satisfied with her work. To her, nail art is something that she will always put full effort into but will never master, since her goal gets higher every time. This is your chance to learn the fabulous art from such a wonderful instructor (and of course, all the other instructors). Why miss out when you know you will be able to have a fantastic experience, make new friends of different nationalities, and get your original, desired nails done on your own?
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