Any Japanese restaurant will feature a shop window full of plastic food, perfect for any traveller who cannot read Japanese to get an idea of what is served there. Tokiotours offer fun and interesting workshops for anyone who feels like getting their creative juices flowing!
Why buy a ready-made souvenir when you can design (and make) your very own?
With these workshops, you will get the chance to fabricate various typically Japanese products, such as wind chimes (‘fūrin’) or plastic food samples (found in the shop window of almost any Japanese restaurant). Apart from the chance of having a unique, personalized souvenir, these workshops are just a lot of fun to do!
Most of the workshops take around an hour, so you will have plenty of time to discover the rest of Tokyo when you’re finished. Also a good alternative on a rainy day! One of our guides will drop you off at the location, or stay with you during the workshop to translate (depending on the workshop). Of course, you get to take your personal souvenir home right away!
Right now we offer the following workshops:
Paint your own ‘fūrin’ (wind chime)
Make your own faux food
Keep an eye on this website, we’re always looking to add new exciting workshops.
‘Fūrin’ (wind chime)
Fūrin (pronounced with a long ‘u’, otherwise we’d be offering a workshop in adultery (which we don’t) means ‘wind chime’ or ‘wind bell’ in Japanese. It’s a glass sphere with an opening underneath, where a string attached to a card of thin paper comes out. The idea behind this is that the paper card picks up even the weakest of gushes of wind, making the bell sound. Therefore, the sound of the bell means ‘wind!’ to Japanese ears, providing a sense of coolness in during the hot and humid summers.
During the workshop you can either blow your own glass fūrin, or select a ready-made one (all hand made by the owner). Then, when you have decided on the design you can start painting. Even people who are not that used to getting creative often needn’t worry, the shop is loaded with examples. It may sound simple, but you have to paint on the inside of the sphere since otherwise the paint won’t last. But, an advantage of the water-based paint: in case you mess up your design, you can just wipe it off and try again. Why not give it a try yourself?
Price: 2500 yen per person for painting your own wind chime (minimum number of participants is 2).
Duration: All workshops take about 1 hour
Faux food workshop**
One of the things a lot of visitors are surprised about when they first come to Japan is the plastic plates of food in virtually any restaurant shop window. Sushi, ramen, pancakes, desserts, glasses of beer and wine, name it and it has its own plastic version. Perfect for those who don’t know what it says on the menu. However, the practice of showing faux food samples was originally not to please tourists. It was just to make clear what the restaurant serves in a quick and visual manner, probably the best way to an appetite in a casual passer-by. Invented as early as the 1940’s, the first food was made out of wax. These plated however, tended to melt when temperatures rose in summer, turning into a foul looking plate of doubtful colours. Nowadays, both wax and plastic are used to make the samples last longer.
In this workshop, you can select your own favourite food you want to make: tempura, ramen noodles, Chinese noodles, Japanese curry with rice, a miniature bento lunch box, cakes or sundaes. The workshop takes about one hour, leaving you with plenty of time to discover the rest of Tokyo, or to enjoy a nice, edible version of what you’ve just made yourself.
Prices: 3000 – 4500 yen (depending on what dish you would like to create) (Minimum number of participants is 2)
Duration: All workshops take about 1 hour
What We Will Do for You
We will make the reservations (depending on availability) for you and drop you off at the workshop. If you have any questions, we will help you to get settled and then it is up to you to enjoy yourself and let your creativity flow.
We will not attend the full workshop.
** Especially the faux food workshop is very popular, so you are advised to book at least 6 weeks in advance to avoid disappointment.