Home
Vinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo Slider
Learn The Beautiful Art of Japanese Printmaking
Discover New Materials and Methods - Traditional and Contemporary
Extend Your Creative Potential
Study at Your Own Pace - Step by Step on Your Own Project
Develop Your Skills with Expert Tutition
Be Inspired by Masters of the Past and Teachers and Artists of the Present
Choose Courses that Suit Your Schedule
Connect with Japanese Art and Culture

Food and Eating

Eat truly authentic sushi and other Japanese dishes! One of the great attractions of Japan is the incredible food available. There are literally hundreds of restaurants and choices available! Prices range from several hundred yen obento from Convenience stores or supermarkets up to tens of thousands of yen (=$100's!!) at exclusive restaurants only available to existing customers. Your guide knows many great places to eat, and we can also explore and enjoy finding new ones!

 

Special Diets

True vegetarian food is limited, as dashi fish stock is extensively used in many recipes. If you are happy to eat fish, it is no problem. Specialist shojin ryori (Temple food) restaurants are available, and are generally expensive, however even the simplest restaurant has some traditional dish that is suitably vegetarian.

Gluten free used to be virtually unheard of, however some restaurants have become more aware of this. Although most dishes are rice based soy sauce with wheat content is extensively used, so avoiding wheat gluten is more difficult than you first imagine. It is possible to avoid foods containing wheat / gluten, although your food choices are limited.

Your guide has experience in asking for and finding meat-free and wheat / flour free options, and information is freely available on the internet.

If you have special diet needs, please contact us and we can discuss the possibilities with you. Please note the terms and conditions of the tour which outlines your and our responsibilities in regard to special diets on the tour.

 

Walking and Transportation

It is convenient and interesting to walk to various destinations in Kyoto. Along the way you can see many interesting sights and find small shops and temples that are worth a visit. Our tour is based around walking to many of our destinations, so a degree of mobility and fitness is required. Kyoto is mostly flat but walking in Higashiyama, most temples and Kurama requires some hills and stairs.

 

For farther destinations we will use local trains and subways - these are convenient and not nearly as crowded as the legendary Tokyo trains!

Hiring a bicycle and riding like a local is great fun if you are up to it. In Japan you are able to ride on footpaths (with consideration of pedestrians) and are not required to wear a helmet. Depending on the tour members wishes and weather, we may hire bicycles and ride alongside the Kamogawa River to sample the local lifestyle.

 

Health and Insurance

It is highly recommended that you purchase your own travel insurance. Minor health problems and medications for them are easily available at Drug Stores (Chemists). If you require more serious help for any reason, the Japanese health system is very expensive for foreign tourists.

 

Money

Bring adequate cash - Japanese Yen! Japan is still very much a cash society, although credit cards are increasingly accepted. You may be able to access funds from the ATM's available in convenience stores and banks, but despite what your local bank or Australian Post will tell you, it may be impossible or at the best difficult. I recommend exchanging money through Travelex before departing for the airport in Australia. Don't be like my friends who I met at Kansai airport. They had no money for days until we could find an ATM that worked for them, including no money to get to Kyoto from the airport!

 

Passport and Visa

Of course, you will need a valid passport to leave Australia and enter Japan. Tourists from Australia* are given a 90 day visitors visa automatically on entry to Japan - there is no need to apply before hand. (*applies to Australian Citizens - other country's citizens please check)

 

Telephone & Internet

You can use your mobile phone, however check your provider's international roaming rates - these can be very expensive!

Local mobile phones are available for hire at the airport, but are a little expensive. A travel sim is now available to buy at the airport, which comes with a pre-loaded amount of calls, text and data. Your accommodation provides free internet access, and there is a growing number of free internet access points in Cafes etc.

 

Electricity

All power in Japan is 110 volts and is supplied through the Japanese style twin plug power points. An adapter is readily available and check if your charger / device will work on 110 volts.

 

 

 

What is Mokuhanga?

bijin-traditional-web

Detail of traditional print "Haru Nano Higashi Genji" by Kunichika Toyohara

 

Mokuhanga is the traditional water based printing technique, originating in China and perfected in Japan.

A print is created through design, carving blocks for each colour, then printing each colour successively until the print edition is completed.

 

Mokuhanga is the Japanese word for wood block print. The Japanese characters 木版画 are 木 wood, 版 block and 画 picture.

 

In Japan its meaning is the print itself, but in general contemporary use it means both the print and the technique. Mokuhanga is growing in popularity worldwide as learning becomes more accessible to people outside of Japan.

 
 

 

Kunisada Printmaking tripty

 

 

 

Mokuhanga is chemical free, non-toxic, environmentally friendly, uses relatively simple hand tools and equipment and requires little space to produce beautiful work. The natural beauty of the materials - wood, pigment and hand-made paper are all retained and enhance each other. A great choice for Artists or any creative person!

 

no-poisons no-press

 

 

 

Kyoto Mokuhanga Tour

kyoto torii

 Find out more about this exciting, small-scale and unique tour

Download Tour 1 (September) Brochure (PDF)

Download Tour 2 (October) Brochure (PDF)

Students Login Here

Looking for the Kyoto School?

Are you looking for Richard Steiner's Kyoto International Mokuhanga School?

Find it here:Kyoto School Website

 

site-pic

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you running classes at later dates?

Yes! Our aim is to make Mokuhanga popular and accessible in Australia, so we would like to run as many courses as we can. This means repeating workshops and weekly courses. If you can't make an already scheduled weekend or weekly time, keep in touch by email, or keep watch on the website for upcoming courses as they are announced.

Do I have to make a Japanese style print?

No - you can make any style of image you prefer! Although the technique is "Traditional Japanese", your image can be anything you like, from realistic to abstract, single colour to multi colour..

 

The technique and medium lends itself to certain kinds of images - simplified imagery with clear blocks of colour is easiest to achieve for the beginner and fine lines and complicated combinations is better for the more experienced mokuhanga artist.

 

For your first print we will stress the importance of starting simply, as it is easy to become frustrated with a complicated piece in the beginning as you are just coming to terms with carving and printing.

 

 

I have some lino tools, are they OK to use?

Yes and er... no, it depends on the quality of the tools. You can carve with any tools that are sharp enough, and the Shina plywood we supply is relatively soft and easy to carve. With the cheapest tools it is not possible to get a sharp edge and you will soon become frustrated with these. It is better to use tools of higher quality - you will get better results, carving will be easier and more enjoyable, and you will progress quicker.

 

By all means bring the tools you have to a course and we can look at them and give our opinion. In course you can trial the student sets we sell and see if they are suitable for you.

 

 

My hands are not strong, can I carve the wood?

Some older people with weak hands or people with physical problems (such as RSI) find the intensive carving work difficult. If you are not used to using your hands, a weekend workshop can leave your hands tired / sore from holding and pushing the chisels.

 

If you think it is a problem you will need more time and less pressure to complete the carving and a weekly workshop might be more suited for you. The Shina plywood is relatively soft and with care you can carve a simple project. In the workshop we also have some time to assist your carving.

 

In the end it is your decision if you would like to try.

Will it take long to become good at Mokuhanga?

How long... well it depends how much you practice like every kind of skill. You could do one course to get the basics and then practice on your own, continuing to make your own mokuhanga, or you could do several courses and move on to more advanced levels. In reality it will take some time to fully grasp the fundamentals, become competent and consistent. Also you may have an existing skill set that you can apply - printmaking skills, art skills with other media, woodworking skills..

 

So, sorry there is no easy answer.

 

If you have never printed before it is realistic to aim for a simple, finished print from one course, but you will then need further practice or courses to develop the skills you need to make multi-colour prints with quality printing and registration and few or no errors.