Japanese Harp "KOTO" Workshop

1 hour experience of Japanese musical instrument "Koto" by our Funky Koto Player

    Can guide up to 0 people.

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    Have you ever heard about the "Koto"?? It is a Japanese traditional stringed instrument, also known as “Japanese Harp” :)

    We usually use the musical score to play the Koto, so even foreigners can easily read the score and play songs! The workshop will be held in a traditional Japanese tatami room but you don't have to sit on the floor. We will prepare chairs for you to sit and play the instrument comfortably :)

    Our Koto player will teach you the history of Koto and also, how to play it. She used to play Koto when she was 7 years old and has recently started playing it again as the Master of Koto.

    The history of Koto began in the Nara Era. About 1300 years ago, Koto was introduced from China. there are two styles of playing the Koto.

    The two of the main schools (ryu) of koto playing are Ikuta and Yamada.

    The Ikuta playing style was founded by Ikuta Kengyo (1666-1716) by merging koto and shamisen musical traditions and had an original following in Kyoto.

    The Yamada school was developed by Yamada Kengyoo (1757-1817), a student of the Ikuta school, in the late eighteenth century and developed as an incorporation of the shamisen styles of Edo.

    Ikuta-school plectrums have square tip ends and are played diagonally on the pointed edge. Yamada-school plectrums are pointed at the tip and are played perpendicular to the strings.

    The guide has played Koto in Yamada-Style for more than 10 years and recently changed to Ikuta-Style after lecturing “Easy Koto Kanon” in this tour. After experiencing both the schools, she feels that Ikuta-Style has more flexibility, and it seems that many people are performing without being restricted to various genres and categories.

    An original Koto is about 180cm long, but the Kanon Koto is 120cm and weighs about 3.5kg, so it is easy to carry.

    The traditional Koto has 13 strings, but the Kanon Koto has 17 strings, so it has a wider sound. And since we use Doremi tuning and musical score, the strings of the “DO and SO”are colored, you can easily try the Koto.

    You can play not only nursery rhymes and classical songs, but also various genres such as anison, western music, pop, jazz etc.

    It is considered as a rare opportunity to learn, play Koto even for people in Japan. Don't miss out on our special workshop by GuruGuru Guide!

    Lastly, we would like to inform you our original 5 measures against COVID-19.

    1. Try to wash our hands frequently

    2. Let the guides wear a mask during the plan

    3. Dish out the food on small plates in a restaurant

    4. Keep suitable social distance (e.g. sitting at the counter seats, talking side by side)

    5. Avoid going to crowded places as much as possible

    For more travel & safety tips in Japan, please visit the link below.

    <JNTO official website>


    4 reasons to book this tour

    Basic information

    • Transportation

      By foot

    • Total number of participants


    • Location


    • Time

      1 hour

    • creatives
    • music


    Instructor tuition fee

    Musical instrument fee

    Points to consider

    ・We would recommend you to cut your nail, in case they are long. Long nails tend to crack or might come off while playing Koto.

    What to prepare

    Before the workshop keep in mind to clip the nails of your right hand. Especially, the thumb's, the index finger's and the middle finger's.

    Cancellation policy

    ・Cancellations made within14 daysprior to the tour will incur charges.

    ・If you feel uneasy or suspected to be infected due to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (n-Covid19), you can cancel it for no charge. Please notify us on


    Meetup at Horikiri Shoubuen Station

    The guide will take you to a Japanese Tatami room for playing Koto.

    Self introduction time! (10 minutes)

    Also, the guide will tell you all about Koto's history and its characteristics.

    Pick the Koto nail/pick and adjust it to your finger's size (5 minutes)

    Don't forget to clip your nails before the workshop!

    Learn the position of C, D & E chords and check the sound (10 minutes)

    The guide will help you with your first Koto experience!

    Let’s play a song together!(30 minutes)

    At first, you will practice the song that you choose by yourself (of course, the guide will teach you how to play it!) and after that we will play it together.

    Take photos and chat about your Koto experience (5 minutes)

    The guide will give you some feedback, too!

    Go back to the station and bye bye!

    Thank you for joining us! Hope to see you again!

    Meeting place for this plan

    Keisei Line Horikiri Shoubuen Station

    You know everything about this plan!