Immerse Yourself in a World of Handmade Paper and the Art of Gift Wrapping in One of the Most Scenic Locations in Japan
We’ll meet on the beautiful Japanese island of Shikoku, surrounded by Seto Inland Sea, offering an abundance of art, tradition and nature. Here, you can experience a virtual travel in time as you experience both ancient Japanese traditions and modern culture.
Date: October 18 - 21 (4 days)
Where we meet: Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan
Workshops and Activities
Gift Wrapping Workshop
Experience the art of gift wrapping in a half-day onsite workshop with Shiho Masuda
Welcome to the magic of Japanese pleating and origami art! Between the folds, there is a thousand-year year history of making the act of wrapping gifts into the art form. I’ll be guiding you through the workshop to teach you traditional along with the inspiration of modern ideas. You’ll be using finest quality of Japanese Washi papers to create beautiful folding designs.
Tsutsumi, which means “wrapping” in Japanese is a significant part of gift-giving in Japan. As the Japanese character tsutsumi represents a mother’s womb carrying a precious baby inside, “wrapping” is considered as a sacred act, not only to wrap the precious gift but also the giver’s heart.
I see the art of gift wrapping like the life of Sakura, cherry blossom - they bloom briefly for a short and glorious time, yet leave us with a long-lasting and precious memory.
Learn Japan's master craftsmanship to make fine washi papers
There are several paper mills and factories in Ehime prefecture, and each area has its own history of papermaking and unique style.
One of the oldest paper mills, Ozu Washi’s history goes back to Heian-period (794-1185). During the Edo-period (1603-1868), production of Washi paper drastically grew as the demand increased by the public (origami as a form of recreation became popular around this time as well). The Ozu Washi established its brand as one of the finest quality papers in Japan for versatile use including Japanese calligraphy, shoji screen paper, kite paper, and wrapping paper.
You’ll learn more about papermaking process and its history all while enjoying onsite workshops for making your own handmade paper and for creating paper crafts.
Meet the artisan and learn papermaking and its history
You’ll be visiting the factory, and learn how fine quality Japanese Washi papers are made. It’ll be inspiring to see the step-by-step process and how much attention is paid through making a sheet of Washi paper. You’ll also be provided information to bring back the knowledge home.
Experience “Kamisuki” the papermaking
What’s next after visiting the sites, meeting the artisan, learning papermaking…? Of course, actually doing it! This completes your papermaking experience, and you’ll understand it a whole lot more. You can take your handmade papers back home too!
“Watoji-Hon” - Japanese Style Bookbinding Workshop with Washi Papers
Watoji-Hon means exactly what it is: Wa= Japanese style, toji=binding, Hon=book. The original style was invented over thousand years ago in Heian period using Washi paper and yarn. Since then different ways to bind a book have been created. You’ll be creating your own Watoji-Hon, the only one in the world!
Washi Paper + Handmade Paper Shopping
You’ll be visiting stores who sell high quality beautiful Japanese Washi papers. The styles as well as pricing vary depending on the materials and how it’s made; it will be an amazing shopping experience if you love handmade papers.
Furoshiki Eco-friendly Fabric
Furoshiki art is one of the most versatile and eco-friendly ways to use fabric. In Japan, it’s popular to use as eco-friendly grocery bag, carrying bento boxes, wrapping wedding gifts, or even as a fashion item. Learning the art of Furoshiki will not only give you new creative inspirations but also new ways to live eco-consciously.
Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Workshop
Furoshiki is typically a square fabric with its length slightly larger than the width. By creative tying techniques, it transforms into an amazing piece of art. In the workshop, you’ll learn to wrap various items creatively as well as how to create fashionable bags.
Find your own Furoshiki eco-friendly fabric
You’ll have plenty of chances to shop and find your own Furoshiki material. Furoshiki comes with various sizes, motifs, colors, and textures, and it’s fun to find the ones match to your personality and style.
Mizuhiki - traditional Japanese gift wrapping material
Mizuhiki’s history goes back to over 1300 years; first made from hemp strings and used to tie long hair together. During the Heian period (794-1185), Mizuhiki paper cord was invented and today people use it for monetary gift envelopes, hair accessories, ornamentation for seasonal gifts, etc. From the ancient time, people put their hearts and feelings into the Mizuhiki designs as they tied the strips into beautiful sculptural pieces. The art of Mizuhiki is historically and naturally connected to the art of gift wrapping.
Meet the Mizuhiki artisan and learn more about this ancient Japanese art form
Learn the history of Mizuhiki and the meaning behind tying paper cords into a beautiful art form.
Mizuhiki Art Workshop
Create Mizuhiki designs along with the artisan! You’ll be provided materials and guided step-by-step to make a beautiful Mizuhiki ornament to compliment your gift wrapping.
Department Style Wrapping
Department style gift wrapping
A few years ago, I introduced a simple video that demonstrated a department clerk wrapping boxes incredibly fast…and a little did I know that the video would go viral. Something many Japanese are used to seeing every time they purchase items from the department stores was fascinating for people outside Japan. This time, you’re not just watching a video but seeing the real actions! Not only that, you’ll actually be learning the techniques from the staff member of the department store to complete this experience.
Explore depachika & watch the real action
Japanese depachika (a designated space of a department store) is one of the places worthwhile to visit. Home to all kinds of cuisines, you can find amazing selections of Japanese foods, sweets and other delicacies. There are many unique and tasty souvenirs as well. And the highlight? We get to watch the wrapping action!
Department store gift wrapping workshop
Have you been curious about how to wrap a box in the department style with a piece of tape only? Or you’ve been trying to gift wrap in this style but no success? You can learn the techniques directly from the masters who have been wrapping hundreds and thousands of boxes this way for customers.
Other Craft Workshops & Fun Activities
Other craft workshops (more creative inspirations!)
As I promised, you’ll fully immerse yourself in a world of Japanese paper, gift wrapping and crafts. You’ll also have additional experiences in learning other types of traditional craft projects including Japanese calligraphy on Washi paper and Japanese indigo dyeing workshop. You’ll also have a chance to shop stationery and paper goods for more inspiration!
Iyogasuri - traditional Japanese indigo dyeing workshop + learn weaving fabric
Iyogasuri was a popular fashion style at the end of Edo period. It’s a kimono with geometric patterns made from the thread dyed with the natural organic indigo dye.
Recycle paper workshop
Do you have many scrap papers from previous gift wrapping and other paper craft projects, and wonder how you can recycle them? Then you’ll love this workshop! You’ll learn creative ways to give scrap papers a new life!
Stationery and paper goods shopping
We can’t complete this trip without visiting shops specializing in unique and creative stationery and paper goods! Even just being surrounded by them, you’ll find creative inspirations and new ideas.
Japanese calligraphy on Washi paper
One of the most popular ways to use Washi paper is for writing Japanese calligraphy. It’s like a form of stress relief, as you’ll feel peaceful as you concentrate on making each and every stroke.
Where is Ehime?
Where is Ehime?
Located in the south of Japan in the island of Shikoku (the smallest of the four main islands of Japan), Ehime offers a variety of traditional arts and crafts, beautiful nature spots, and tasty seafood dishes from the Seto Inland Sea.
You’ll be staying in Dogo, a traditionally historic area of Ehime. Dogo onsen is one of the oldest hot-springs in Japan whose history goes back more than 3000 years! Have you seen “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki? Dogo onsen was one of the major hot-springs Director Miyazaki and his team drew inspirations from.
Your accommodation is in walking distance to Haikara-dori, a covered street lined with various souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants and convenient stores. The city tram station is also just a 5-minute walk if you’d like to visit other areas of the city.
You'‘ll be provided specially designed yukata (casual form of kimono, the traditional Japanese clothing) to stroll the area to fully experience the culture. An amazing breakfast buffet with both traditional and fusion style Japanese dishes will be included. All the dishes are made with fresh ingredients delivered directly to the ryokan every morning from local farmers in the area.
Who is organizing this tour experience and why she’s doing so?
Shiho Masuda, a founder of Shiho Masuda gift wrapping online school, has been a professional gift wrapping artist/instructor for over 15 years. She’s been passionately sharing her ideas and techniques and transforming people’s gift-giving into amazing experiences through the art of gift wrapping.
While being a college student in New York City, she was enchanted with the world of handmade papers and the art of gift wrapping. She provided her custom gift wrapping services to individuals, corporations and celebrities in New York before starting to teach her gift wrapping method and techniques to others.
When YouTube emerged, she dreamed of sharing her ideas to a larger audience from all over the world and decided to create her own tutorial videos for the international audience. Since then, she’s introduced over 200 tutorial videos, conducted workshops both domestically and internationally including in the U.S., Thailand, India, Japan, Australia, and China. She also started an online gift wrapping school to provide lessons for those who want to learn more about the art of gift wrapping, and currently over 2000 students are attending her online school.
A few years ago, she decided to create her own Japan trip where she’d engaged with a smaller group of her students and provide a total experience in the art of papermaking, gift wrapping and other traditional arts and crafts while giving them more hands-on trainings at her onsite workshops.
Many paper products originated in her hometown area of Ehime. She went back to Ehime and visited with several paper mills and factories and learned more about them. Ehime is the #1 area in Japan to produce paper goods and there are many paper mills including ones that have more than 1,000 years history of papermaking, and is well-known for the production of Mizuhiki paper cord, a traditional Japanese gift wrapping material. The more she learned and experienced about traditional art and culture, the more she wanted to share this experience with others who are also interested in learning cultural experiences and art forms.
She with the famous scientist Albert Einstein, that the only source of knowledge is experience, and hope you’ll join her on these amazing experiences to open new doors in your life.
What you gain from this experience?
Philosophy - Learn the concept behind the art of gift wrapping.
Inspiration - How you can get inspiration for your designs?
Perfect measurements - Follow Shiho’s golden rules to perfectly measure your paper.
Impeccable presentation - is created by paying attention to each and every step.
Amazing pleats - Knowing how to properly create pleating designs to give your wrapping immediate results.
Amazing bows - Get ribbon techniques under your belt. Do you have difficulties making perfect bows?
Price for the Tour Ticket
One Time Payment: $1,895 USD
4 Payment Plan: $499 USD x 4
* All tickets sales are final, however, if you won’t be able to join for personal reasons or circumstances, you can attend our next trip in 2020.
What is included in your ticket?
The art of gift wrapping workshop with Shiho Masuda
Tour a paper mill and learn about papermaking
Kamisuki, a Japanese papermaking workshop
Furoshiki, a square fabric workshop (learn Furoshiki + wrapping techniques)
Department store tour
Department store style gift wrapping workshop
Tour a Mizuhiki factory and learn about Mizuhiki with artisans
Mizuhiki paper cord workshop
Iyogasuri, special fabric dyeing workshop
Recycled paper craft workshop
“Watoji-Hon” - Japanese style bookbinding workshop with washi papers
Shopping tour to Japanese paper goods and wrapping materials
Japanese calligraphy on washi paper workshop
Hotel accomodation for 4 nights with Japanese breakfast buffet
All the transportation between the hotel to each workshop and tour locations
Closing night party (yes, an amazing dinner reservation is included!)
Printed and digital materials of workshop contents
Private Facebook group
Tourism information about the area
Flights to/from Matsuyama Airport (MYJ) and transportation between the airport and hotel are not included. For question about the domestic flight to Matsuyama Airport and transportation to the hotel, please email us: email@example.com
You’ll have free time in the evening to explore the area/city and enjoy different cuisines.
Once your reservation is confirmed, you’ll be given more detailed information on our meeting place and accommodation. You’ll continue receiving more information about the trip leading to the travel date. Also, please join the private Facebook group for the Japan workshop tour to continue learning more about the trip.
As the travel time gets closer, you’ll get personal emails from me for the things you’ll need to prepare and expect.