Our tour in October 2016 was again fantastic...


We had great weather most days - a little cooler this year, and sometimes cloudy, but still very mild and enjoyable. This year we included a day trip to Echizen Washi village, which was most enjoyable! As our numbers suddenly were less than planned, we were able to extend the planned two day workshop with Richard Steiner into four days. This allowed participants to engage in a deeper project and learn more. 


 Tuesday 4th

Arrival in Kyoto..

We had an enjoyable dinner together in downtown Kyoto, Kaitenzushi (sushi train) as well as an orientation to Kyoto city and our accommodation.

Wednesday 5th

Beginning of mokuhanga workshop with Richard Steiner.

In the morning there was time to take in an exciting print exhibition featuring Japanese and Canadian printmakers.

 Richard Steiner Workshop

 Kyoto Print Exhibition

Thursday 6th 

Walking to Kamogawa (river) and enjoying the beautiful morning on Sanjo Ohashi. Nearby is an amazing old family business selling brushes of all sizes and purposes. Afterwards, off to Richard's amazing studio.


Sanjo ohashiDSC0122704


Friday 7th

In the morning before going to Richard's studio we looked at several interesting places and shops in Kyoto, including a great shop to buy washi.

After yet another delicious dinner we visited Kyoto Station, enjoying the fabulous architechture.





Saturday 8th

Morning visit to Kyoto's best art supply shops, then the final day of workshop with Richard. That evening we all ate Okonokiyaki together.. oishii!! (delicious)




Sunday 9th

We visited Kawai Kanjiro's house / museum, the Kyoto Ceramics Centre, walked up the hill for agreat view across southern Kyoto and caught the sunset at Fushimi Inari Taisha (Shinto shrine) while enjoying a variety of snacks from the food stalls..





Monday 10th

Starting at Kamo gawa (river) we walked through some historic precincts, visited Ukiyo-e shops, past incredible wooden temple gates to Kiyomizu-dera. There we joined the throngs to view the scenery from the hillside Buddhist temple. Did I mention we chanced to see real Maiko san?




Tuesday 11th

Shopping in downtown Kyoto, including a great brush shop. Nishiki market street has the most amazing variety!




Wednesday 12th

The exciting day trip to Echizen washi village had at last arrived. Setting off earlier than usual, we caught an express train past Lake Biwa to Fukui prefecture. At Echizen we were able to see the paper making process, visit artisans studios and buy great Kozo washi direct from the makers. Along the way we had the local specialty for lunch - Oroshi Soba! Oishii!!!!





Thursday 13th

We were priveliged to visit the home studio of master craftsman Shoichi Kitamura. Afterwards, a change of plan and we amazed ourselves with the incredible wooden temple at Higashi Honganji, near to Kyoto Station.



Friday 14th

The wonderful toiur was over and each of us made our way to our next destinations, either the airport to return to Australia, or other parts of Japan.






What is Mokuhanga?


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




Terry McKenna Mokuhanga

This is a short video showing teacher Terry McKenna making one of his mokuhanga...

You can find more about Terry's work on his dedicated website at www.egaku.com.au

Kyoto Mokuhanga & Tokyo Ukiyo-e Tours

kyoto torii

 Find out more about these exciting, small-scale and unique tours

Tokyo & Nagano Brochure (PDF)

Kyoto Mokuhanga Brochure (PDF)

Students Login Here

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.