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Explore Tokyo Through Craft and Biking

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Tokyo is the first stop for many travelers, so there’s plenty of information on what to do in Japan’s energic metropolis. Instead of covering the basics, let’s look at lesser-known experiences to immerse yourself in Tokyo culture.

The Art of Ceramic Repair with Kintsugi

Kintsugi is not simply a process of restoring something to mint condition, but the art of breathing new life into pottery by treating wear and tear as a record of its history.

The Kintsugi method of decoration involves glueing damaged pieces of pottery back together with kokuso glue and layering black urushi (Japanese lacquer) on top. After drying well, the lacquered surface is polished flat, coated with e-urushi, and finished by sprinkling pure gold powder on top.It was created using Maki-e techniques, a traditional Japanese craft, and reflects wabi-sabi aesthetics, in which beauty is found in simplicity and imperfection.

Person adding black lacquer to a white ceramic cup, performing the Japanese art of kintsugi
Black urushi lacquer is applied to where the Maki-e design is.

Just looking at these masterfully crafted pieces is inspiring, but at Kintsugi Souke Tsukamoto, you can take the experience one step further. You can learn about the basic techniques used in Kintsugi and its philosophy from Showzi Tsukamoto, whose career spans 50 years and whose expertise is recognized around the world. You can choose from a 1 day Kintsugi workshop experience, or a 6 or 12 days Kintsugi master course.

Creating Maki-e. Pure gold powder is sprinkled on top.

At end of the workshop, Tsukamoto will treat you with Japanese tea ceremony(chanoyu), you can spend time chatting with Tsukamoto over a bowl of green tea to learn about his journey. In a world filled with plastic and fast fashion that feels like you never have time to stop, Showzi Tsukamoto’s workshop provides a refreshing reprieve.