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Shodo calligraphy in Toyko

  • Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Last updated: 30 July, 2023

First brought to Japan from China in the 5h century, shodo, ‘the way of writing’, is one of Japan’s oldest art forms.

A spiritual or meditative practice as much as an aesthetic pursuit, it was commonly practised by nobles and samurai, and today every school kid in the land will dip bamboo brush into sumi ink to learn the basics.

From calligraphic scrolls in temples and on ryokan inn walls, to the annual public calligraphy demonstration broadcast on TV when Japan announces its kanji (Japanese character) of the year – shodo is a traditional that remains very much alive and kicking in modern Japan.

With workshops available in English, it’s something travellers can learn for themselves, and get an authentic experience of traditional Japan.


Price from: £70
Minimum age: 7
Age suitable: 7+
Frequency: annually
When: March, May and Sept
Duration: 2 hours

Who to go with: organised tours


Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Tokyo

Japanese calligraphy is the essence of traditional Japanese culture. Why not try your hand at this art? “Shodo,” or Japanese calligraphy, is artistically written words that are written in a style that is both artistic and emotionally driven. The art of calligraphy was handed down from China during the 6th and 7th centuries, at which time the Japanese learned how to make brushes, ink, and paper. Soon after its introduction, it became an indispensable skill for educated nobles and samurai, the leaders of Japan. Over time, the appreciation spread to the general public. Now, it can be found not only as works of art but also in things such as New Year's cards and other special occasion writings. This art form is now a part of Japanese culture.

Price ¥14,000

Min age 7

Rating 5 / 5 [21 ratings]

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