Experience Japanese culture in English

With the current situation, we all feel like a change and trying something new. For those of you who are currently living in Japan and were not able to go home in over a year or even two, J SELECT has thought about you. You have been living in Japan for a little while now and have most likely learned things about Japanese culture, but currently you might be in need of entertainment.
How about signing up for a Japanese culture experience with an English speaking instructor? This could be a sweet escape from being home for too long and you could develop a new skill at the same time. Here is our selection of three fun Japanese culture experiences you can use to get away from the humdrum and stimulate your creativity!

◆Ohara School of Ikebana – (Flower arrangement)
◆Brush and Ink – (Japanese Calligraphy)
◆Chazen – (Tea ceremony)

Ohara School of Ikebana – (Flower arrangement)

The history of ikebana flower arrangement dates back to the time when ikenobo was established in the Muromachi Period (1392–1573), but the Ohara School of Ikebana was established in the Meiji Period (1603–1868), just over 100 years ago. However, among more than 400 ikebana schools, the Ohara School has become so large that it is known as one of the three major ikebana schools. Currently, there are many branches overseas, and they are working to spread ikebana all over the world.

Beginner’s School

The Ohara School of Ikebana Beginner’s School is directly managed by Ohara headquarters, and is directed by Hiroki Ohara, the fifth headmaster, and the instructors in charge of the lessons are experienced in the program. The school opened in Aoyama in 2002 and, since then, more than 3,000 people have enrolled.

You can enjoy trial lessons on your way home from work or in your spare time. They also offer a very reasonable First Time Ikebana Set for the special introductory rate shown below.

  • Trial lesson: ¥2,000 (includes floral material fee)
  • First Time Ikebana Set (①~⑤): ¥36,000*

① Admission fee
② Introductory course fee(Including certificate fee, 8 units (lessons))
③ Hanagata card set
④ Flower material fee for 8 lessons
⑤ Scissors

*Cash or credit card.

Schedule for English class

  • Monday evening (Every Monday): 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Wednesday evening (Every Wednesday): 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Sunday morning (twice a month): 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

In addition, for your convenience, you can reschedule a lesson even if the lesson cancellation deadline has passed and you can come anytime during the opening hours.

Courses available after introductory course

Course fees (tax included):

  • Beginner’s course (16 units): ¥33,536 (includes certificate fee)
  • Intermediate course (16 units): ¥33,536 (includes certificate fee)
  • Assistant teacher’s 1st term course (16 units): ¥50,288 (includes certificate fee)
  • Assistant teacher’s 2nd term course (16 units): ¥33,536
    (¥41,900 certificate fee, ¥2,000 admission fee for headquarters and ¥5,000 annual membership fee are required separately)
  • Instructors course (48 units): ¥100,608 (¥57,620 certificate fee is required separately)
  • 4th master course (48 units): ¥100,608 (¥73,330 certificate fee is required separately)

Ohara looks forward to welcoming you to their school.







Ohara School of Ikebana

For reservations/inquiries, please email bschool@ohararyu.or.jp

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Brush and Ink – (Japanese Calligraphy)

What’s Japanese calligraphy?

Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) is the art of drawing characters with a brush and India ink to express spiritual depth and beauty. With a brush soaked in India ink one can freely control, unlike with a pen, the thickness and the shading of the characters. That is how calligraphers are able to express their spirits and ideas. Almost all Japanese people have shodo experience because shodo is included in the elementary school curriculum from the third grade.

Joining this workshop at Brush and Ink you will not only entertain yourself, learn about Japanese culture, but also contribute to the education of underprivileged kids in Vietnam through the NPO Lesa that Mr. Tenshin has been managing for over 12 years (more information at the bottom).

Why experience calligraphy with Tenshin at Brush and Ink?

Tenshin is a master of Japanese calligraphy with 47 years of experience. He holds the highest rank of Shihan and has taught foreign visitors for over a decade. He is also the founder and the CEO of the educational organization called NPO-LESA. Tenshin given Shodo experiences to more than 800 foreign visitors over the last three years. He is very popular among foreign visitors coming to Japan. Because he teaches not only fundamental Japanese calligraphy but also interesting cross-culture dos and don’ts with enjoyable pair work and exercises. His role-playing style is very popular on social media in many countries. Tenshin recommends taking his workshop as soon as you arrive in Japan. This is because learning Japanese culture firsthand will more than double the enjoyment during your stay.

All the guests will gather together to learn the art of shodo. You can study the most popular Japanese characters using fude (brush) and sumi (India ink), While also studying Japanese cultural do’s and don’ts. Many participants could say that it was the most impressive and memorable experience of their trip.

Tenshin’s workshop  is located in central Tokyo near Tokyo Tower, and is just one minute from Kamiyacho Station on the Hibiya subway line. You will be given directions the day before your workshop.

A shodo trial writing set and a basic shodo description will be provided during the workshop. You can just bring yourself with a smile.

Please call us at 03-6914-3371 for reserve the shodo workshop.

*Participants should be older than 12.
*The maximum number of students per class is four.
*The workshop time is 2.5 hours from 2 pm.

For the past 12 years NPO-LESA has been providing study materials, warm clothes, school scholarships and health checks to 500 children in Vietnam who suffer from AIDS or are living in very difficult circumstances. This is a 100% charity workshop and all fees will be used as donations for underprivileged Vietnamese children. Your attending fee will go directly to NPO Language Education and Support Association (LESA) to provide a range of materials and opportunities to children in Vietnam. For more information, please check the Vietnam Project report site below;






Brush and Ink
Calligraphy Website
NPO Website
03-6914-3371 or 090-3147-5647
Email: info@npo-lesa.org

Chazen – (tea ceremony)

Tokyo is home to many traditions and cultures, long passed down over generations. The Japanese tea ceremony, in which a host prepares and offers tea according to strict etiquette and motions, is an integral part of Japan’s traditional culture. It embodies Japanese people’s long-held devotion to hospitality, with every aspect of the experience tailored to the particular guest and season, from the teaware and utensils,to the decorations adorning the space, and even the accompanying confections. Attend a tea ceremony with Chazen to experience the essence of Japanese traditional culture with all five senses. The lessons and ceremonies can be experienced in full formal style in a traditional tea room. Chazen provides exceptional tea ceremonies experiences for about 30,000 guests from around 30 countries every year. 

Why choose Chazen for your tea ceremony?

  • Chazen has shops conveniently located in the famous luxury Ginza shopping area and the ultra-popular Japanese sightseeing Asakusa area.
  • They perform authentic, genuine tea ceremonies in casual settings.
  • Their tea rooms are authentic “chashitsu” tea rooms with a purifying “tsukubai” washbasin and a classically small “nijiriguchi” entrance.
  • Hospitality is provided by experienced, skilled and knowledgeable tea ceremony practitioners.
  • They specialize in meeting foreign customer needs and offer multilingual service (English, Japanese and Mandarin).
  • They enjoy a superb reputation among government offices and ambassadors worldwide and possess a history of fine-tuned service for famous foreign guests.
  • They have garnered high praise for their tea ceremony sessions, as evidenced by their numerous awards

Price (tax included) ¥4,500 per person ※2 people or more

Hourly from 10: 00-17: 00 (Final session is 17:00)

Open all year round

Two locations:

  • ASAKUSA Chazen – BENKYODO Bldg. 5F, 1-4-7, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo JAPAN
  • GINZA Chazen – APOLLO Bldg. 5F, 4-12-17, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo JAPAN

Use the reservation form below to apply for the desired date.


Don’t miss making Japanese sweets at the Matcha Cafe Chazen!

Where you can enjoy making seasonal Japanese sweets and matcha. After making sweets and matcha, you can take a photo in front of the tea room with the seasonal decorations.

It’s the first experience-based cafe in Asakusa! You can enjoy making seasonal Japanese sweets devised by Japanese sweets chefs. Chazen staff will teach you how to make Japanese sweets and matcha. You can choose your favorite sweets, tea bowl and plate. Please enjoy the taste of Japanese sweets and matcha. Beginners and kids are welcome!

 ◎How to enjoy Matcha Cafe Chazen:

  1. Choose and make Japanese Sweets
  2. Choose your favorite bowl and plate
  3. Make matcha
  4. Take a photo in front of the tea room
  5. Enjoy Japanese sweets and matcha

Please feel free to come by yourself or with friends and family. ¥1,500 per person (tax included)

Cafe business hours: Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 11: 00-16: 00 (Final session 15:00) Reservations required.






Official website