Essential Japanese Culture Experience Project in Hiroshima [wa-cul-know] (Know-Japanese-Culture)

When you visit Hiroshima, what do you do there?

Naturally, you visit Miyajima, eat okonomiyaki, and see the Genbaku Dome (Atomic Bomb Dome)… And after that, then what?

Kimono experience in Hiroshima!

The Orizuru Tower, which had its pre-opening in July this year, is located on the east side of the Genbaku Dome. Upon reaching the 3rd floor, you can see…

…a kimono!?

That’s right. Today I will introduce wa-cul-know, the Japanese culture experience project that started simultaneously with the opening of the tower. Here, visitors can try on kimonos and experience Japanese traditional culture first-hand.

They have a variety of yukata.

These boys are teenage visitors from California. It must be a bit awkward trying on a yukata for the first time, but when asked how it was, they all gave it the thumbs up and said it was “good!”.

As the boys are putting on their yukata, the girls are also changing clothes, giggling and laughing. Here is everyone in their yukata!

Everyone looks great! The organizers of these events, Ms. Ritsuko Sawai (front row, far left) and her colleagues from Hiroshima Kimono Asobi are wearing warm, welcoming smiles.

“Earthy”!? The first taste of macha…. Earthy?!

Here starts the second half of the event.

Sado – The Japanese Tea Ceremony.

The staff swiftly hand the visitors their macha-sets.

Following the teacher’s thorough instructions, everyone carefully mimics her hand movements. Everyone is focusing hard.

The tea is ready. Let’s taste it!

They gently raise their cups to their lips and sip slowly. “How does the tea taste?”, they are asked. One person answers, “It tastes earthy.” However, they are surprised how well the bitterness of the tea matches the sweetness of the teacakes.

Yukata and a panoramic view of Hiroshima

After the tea ceremony is finished, the visitors head for the observation platform on the roof. This is also part of the event.

Below, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the city stretch out. “Learning to like a country through its culture is the first step towards peace,” Ms. Sawai says. The participants surely understand her words.

What do you think? Both foreign tourists and Japanese people alike can participate in wa-cul-know events. It’s slightly different to regular Hiroshima sightseeing and highly recommended.

wa-cul-know

Location: Orizuru Tower 3F, 1-2-1 Otemachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Times: (1) 9:30~12:00 (2) 12:30〜15:00 (3) 15:30〜18:00 ※ Kimono + Japanese culture experience – 150 min., Kimono experience only – 110 min. (Reservation required.)
Closed: Wednesdays
Contact: wa-cul-know@kimonoasobi.info
Reservations: Via the contact form on the website below
Limited offer: [Kimono + Japanese culture experience] Adults 7,000 yen. Students 6,000 yen. [Kimono experience only] Adults 5,600 yen. Students 4,500 yen. ※ Available 2016/7/15 – 9/22. (Price includes an entrance ticket to the observation platform.
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Regular Price: [Kimono + Japanese culture experience] Adults 10,000 yen. Students 9,000 yen. [Kimono experience only] Adults 8,000 yen. Students 7,000 yen. (Price includes an entrance ticket to the observation platform.)

URL: http://www.kimonoasobi.info/wa-cul-know/

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa

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Izumi Furukawa

Izumi Furukawa

Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!

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