【 CONTENTS 】

The Toei Oedo line runs in and around Tokyo! Learn about and enjoy Japanese traditional crafts!

The Toei Oedo line is one of the many subway lines that run deep in Tokyo’s underground. It has 34 stations and runs throughout Tokyo’s 23 districts, much like the Yamanote line. There are notable places where you can experience Japanese traditions. Today I would like to introduce Japan’s traditional crafts square of Aoyama at Aoyama 1-chome station, the National Noh theatre near Kokuritsu-Kyōgijō Station, and the Tokyo Printing Museum near Iidabashi station.

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Get a feeling for the manual work that has been passed down over 100 years by craftsmen, at the Japan traditional crafts square of Aoyama

The Japan traditional crafts square of Aoyama is located near Aoyama 1-chome station and many works made using traditional Japanese techniques are exhibited and sold here.
You can find lacquer ware, Japanese dressmaking embroideries, iron works, and many sizes of ceramics. They hold 5 to 6 workshop events every month. At these events, craftsmen who practice traditional techniques and professionals come from all over Japan to teach, so you can casually learn Japanese traditional techniques from them.
Currently there are 219 different kinds of traditional crafts in Japan and materials and quality have changed according to each generation. Enjoy craftsmen’s high-precision techniques whose change doesn’t depend on time and environment.

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Is it the Japanese version of Opera? The National Noh Theatre

One could say that Noh is the Japanese version of Opera. This National Noh Theatre is a 20 min walk from Kokuritsu-Kyōgijō Station. It has about 300㎡ of space with stages, seating, stage settings, restaurants, an exhibition room, a library, and training rooms. The National Noh Theatre holds many types of stages each week. In the exhibition room, facts about Noh and Noh related materials are exhibited. The history of Noh is very long and some schools have programs dating back over 800 year ago that have been passed down from generation to generation. Currently, Kanze style, Hosho style, Komparu style, Kongo style and Kita style are the 5 major types of schools. Noh’s performances use stories from world famous Japanese literature like, “The Tale of the Genji” and “The Tale of the Heike”. I definitely recommend going to see them if you are a big fan of Japanese culture.

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It’s not only about Japan. You can learn the history of printing in Asia at the Tokyo Toppan Printing Museum.

One might think of Ukiyoe when taking about printing in Japan.
The exhibition for the history of printing centered in and around Asia is held at this museum.
There is an exhibition that shows the procedure for wood blocking, where you can actually make a mini calendar and experience letterpress in the exhibition room.
In the corner areas of the museum, there are videos and actual materials to show the transition of printing from non-paper media such as “Hyakumanto” or hieroglyph to letterpress such as Ukiyoe and ink.

【Detailed information】
Location1: Japan traditional crafts square Aoyama
Opening hours: 11:00~19:00
Admission:Free
Access: Aoyama-itchome 5 minutes walk from the station
official website: http://kougeihin.jp/home.shtml

Location2: National Noh Theatre
Opening hours: 10:00~17:00
Admission:Free
Access: 5 minutes walk from the National Stadium Station
Official website: http://kougeihin.jp/home.shtml

Location3: Printing Museum
Opening hours: 10:00~18:00
Admission:Adult300yen student200yen Middleschool student&High schoole students 100yen
Access: Iidabashi a 13-minute walk from the station
Official website: http://kougeihin.jp/home.shtml

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AUTHOR

miki iwai

miki iwai

Writer

I love Japanese traditional culture and travelling all over Japan. I also like to see Noh performances, doing calligraphy, and reading/making Japanese poems called “Tanka.” Through writing, I’d like to introduce a unique culture that only exists in Japan.