Trying Ikebana for the first time

If you are interested in joining workshops with a‘feeling of Japan”, I recommend you take an Ikebana lesson. There course is also offered in English.


Here we go!

This time, I visited the Ichiyo School of Ikebana. They often participate abroad in exhibitions and demonstrations for Ikebana.


Ichiyo-style Ikebana uses plants and other materials, and utilizes the space as a part of the work.

Mr. Yamada and I took the lesson as beginners. I was a little bit excited, and nervous at the same time, because this was my first Ikebana experience. By the way, you don’t need to bring anything special for the lesson.



Mr. Naohiro Kasuya, Iemoto-designate of Ichiyo School of Ikebana, taught the workshop. He used to live abroad, so he can also give you the lesson in English.

You’ll be learning the basic knowledge and basic form of ikebana.
The style is important to know, so that you can create your own Ikebana as you like.

●The difference between flower arranging and Ikebana.

In flower arranging, you can express your feelings and seasonal concepts, as well as give them as gifts. With that being said, you can also transport the arrangement from the place where you created it. However, Ikebana considers the “space” as a part of its work, so you can’t give the flowers to someone or move, only the work.

Flower arrangement
Flower arrangement

The biggest difference is that Ikebana can’t be separated from it’s space, because it also considers it as part of the work.

Tokonoma alcove
Tokonoma alcove

With this philosophy in mind, I tried to make the Ikebana with consideration to the space.

●Things you need


A bowl:A bowl about 30cm in diameter.
A kenzan:A Needle holder where you put the flowers on.
Scissors:They’re very sharp, so be careful.
A water pot:To soak the kenzan.
A bowl of water:You cut the plant in this bowl.

(※These are included in the lesson)

●First of all, decide where to put the kenzan.

With keeping the style in mind, you’ll need to decide where to put the kenzan needle.
When you want to show water more, you should put it towards the back of the bowl. Kenzan will usually be put in the back when making summer Ikebana. If you put the kenzan closer to you, it won’t show much water, so it’s suitable for winter themed work.


●Look at the “face” of the branch
When you set the first branch, that will be the prop for the work and you’ll need to look at every angle of it by rotating it. When you choose the angle that looks good, we call it “looking at the face of the flower, branch, or leaf”.

●Cut the branch
After deciding the length and the direction of the branches, cut them with the scissors.

According to the lecture, the order for adding flowers is; first the branch, then the flowers, then extra branches.


Mr. Yamada was praised by the teacher, and he became more motivated.


I checked the balance of my flowers, but I felt something was missing.
I added another flower and a branch.


The technique is, inserting the flower straight up by holding the kenzan tight.
If you don’t, the branch will break in the middle.

●After experiencing Ikebana….

Mr. Yamada said, “I was about to put in too many flowers, but Mr. Kasuya advised me on how to beautifully proportion it.” “I am beginner, but I think I made a good one.”
It was hard to think in terms of 3 dimensions when considering the space. You may not be able to see it from the picture, but it actually inclines a little bit, creating artistic space.

What he said about the space was interesting and impressive. After knowing the philosophy of the traditional culture, it became even even more fun.


Me:The expression of “looking at the face of flowers”was an interesting concept to me.
In fact, I realized that each flower, branch, and leaf has its own feature, and shows a different face when I rotate them. I had difficulty cutting the branch, because I didn’t know how to use the special scissors. I’ll make another one for New Years Eve, and show it to my family. Thank you Mr. Kasuya!

If you want to join the workshop, please schedule a time from the link below.
Price:2000 yen (including all materials and flowers)

Visit the exhibition!

Mr.Kasuya’s works

There are also many kinds and sizes of exhibitions for Ikebana in Tokyo, with the larger exhibitions presenting more than 400 pieces. If you’d like to see these flowers, why not visit?

●Exhibitions in 2016

◇55th  Ikebana Kyokai Association Exhibition
Place:Shinjuku Takashimaya(5−24−2 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo)
Date:Wed, 2nd March to Sun, Mon, 7th March
Shinjuku Takashimaya HP:

◇Ikebana x Hyakudan-kaidan 2016
Place:Meguro Gajoen(1-8-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro, Tokyo)
Date:Tue, 15th March to Sun, 15th May
Meguro Gajoen HP:
*There will be Ichoyo Ikebana’s works too!

◇49th Japan Ikebana Art Association Exhibition
Place:Osaka Takashimaya(5-1-5 Nanba, Chuo, Osaka)
Date:Wed, 11th May~Mon, 16th May
Osaka Takashimaya HP:


4-17-5 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo164-0001

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Kanako Yoshida

Kanako Yoshida


I was born in Wakayama Prefecture, where my family manages a temple, and used to work part time as a Japanese Miko. I love touring temples and shrines wearing my ‘yukata’ (summer kimono) and will introduce relaxing temples and shrines, as well as good restaurants!


Address 4-17-5 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo164-0001
Hours 10:30-21:00
Access 5 min walk from JR Sobu Line “Nakano”station. 10 min walk from JR Sobu Line “Koenji”station.
Phone 03-3388-0141