Try a classic Japanese cultural activity, hosted by friendly locals of Akashi in Setouchi, on the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. Here you can learn origami, play the koto, or dress up in a kimono, in a less touristic town.
• Kimono are only available for women 150 cm or taller; please tell us your height and hip measurements at the time of booking
Akashi in Hyogo Prefecture is a fishing town centered around the remains of Akashi Castle, originally built to defend nearby Osaka. With easy rail access from Kobe and Himeji too, this quieter town is a great place to enjoy Japanese culture away from the crowds. Here you’ll be hosted by an English- or Mandarin-speaking local eager to share their culture with you. Choose from three activities, and enjoy some time in Akashi getting to know the real Japan. The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument that you might have little chance to play elsewhere. You’ll learn how they’ve evolved, hear a demo, and learn one or two tunes to play yourself. If you choose kimono, you’ll pick one out and get dressed by your host. Kimono are hard to put on by yourself, so why not meet a local who’s ready to lend a hand? You’ll learn their history, the etiquette of kimono fitting, and how to move in one. You can also drink tea and take some photos together. As for origami, the paper-folding art is popular worldwide, and you can do it anywhere. Learn some skills and patterns here to make beautiful gifts and impress your friends. You’ll learn how origami has evolved and blended with Japanese aesthetics. After, you can stay and enjoy the other quiet pleasures of Akashi, or jump on the Shinkansen and speed to your next destination. The area’s relaxed atmosphere makes it a great place to explore at your own speed, taking in everything a traditional Japanese port has to offer.