A must do for all music enthusiasts! Swing by Soushunan – a 110 year old traditional wooden townhouse and book in for a lesson with Harumi Shimazaki to learn the Koto – a traditional Japanese string instrument.
Harumi is a professional player of Koto and an awesome teacher! The lesson started with a brief history of the instrument, how it’s made and where you see it being performed in regular life. I emailed my song choice ahead of time and Harumi had the notes prepared to start our lesson. Harumi is patient, kind and a really curious teacher – asking me lots about my music history and background and getting to know me throughout the lesson.
We played the popular song Sakura Sakura, and it was a blast getting a chance to play a few rounds of duets with her as she improved on top of what i had learnt during our jam. Playing the Koto is peaceful and relaxing, and it was a great way to start my day.
After the lesson Harumi will play a song of her choice for you – and it is amazing to see a master Koto player in full flow.
Cannot recommend this any more, so please check it out next time you’re in Kyoto! Thank you Harumi for an amazing lesson and introducing to Japanese traditional music.
Exacgt address is “288-2 Higashishimmeicho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8162, Kyoto Prefecture” and its a really short 20 minute bike rike from Kyoto Gion area.
japanese koto lesson What I liked Most
Learning my song choice and watching her performance at the end of my lesson!
japanese koto lesson How did you get there?
Biked over from my place in Kyoto. Takes about 20-25mins from the main Gion area
japanese koto lesson Pro Tips
Pick a song that you like and she will teach you!
Bring a camera to record or take pictures. I had my GoPro and audio device setup for the whole lesson
Very responsive over email to book a time for your lesson
japanese koto lesson Cost Details
6000 YEN (approx $50 USD) for the first lesson. Cheaper if you decide to go back a second or third time. Cash only