Immerse Yourself in a World of Handmade Paper, the Art of Gift Wrapping and the Traditional Crafts in One of the Most Scenic Locations in Japan
We’ll meet on the beautiful 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 16 - 19 (4 days) (Wednesday through Saturday)
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 history of making the act of wrapping gifts into the art form. I’ll be guiding you through the workshop to teach you traditional techniques 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. You’ll be learning the significance and story behind the art of gift wrapping.
Learn Japan's master craftsmanship to make fine washi papers
Learning more about the handmade papers will help you gain more knowledge about the art of gift wrapping as well as expanding your design possibilities.
You’ll be visiting a paper mill to take a guided tour to learn the process of Washi paper making and experience Kamisuki, the traditional Japanese papermaking.
Experience “Kamisuki” the papermaking
You’ll be visiting inside the factory, learning 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 experience kamisuki, Washi papermaking and bring your own paper back home.
Mizuhiki - traditional art form to represent purity, dignity and respect in Japanese gift-giving culture
Mizuhiki’s history goes back to over 1400 years; first made from hemp strings and used to tie long hair together. From the ancient time, people put their hearts and feelings into the Mizuhiki designs as they tied the strips into beautiful sculptural pieces. In addition to the traditional designs and colors, there are many fun and creative ideas introduced by the new generation of Mizuhiki artists. Today, Mizuhiki art is not only popular for gift-giving but also for creating hair and fashion accessories and other display art pieces.
Meet the artisan and learn to create Mizuhiki art
Create traditional Mizuhiki designs; learn proper ways to shape Mizuhiki cords into different shapes! You’ll be provided materials and guided step-by-step to make beautiful Mizuhiki ornaments to compliment your gift wrapping.
Indigo Dyeing Workshop
Learn traditional Japanese indigo dyeing and make your own Furoshiki wrapping fabric
You’ll learn the traditional Japanese indigo dyeing method using natural dye from the high-quality indigo plants in Tokushima, Shikoku. At the end of the workshop, you’ll complete making Furoshiki which you’ll be using to learn Furoshiki wrapping techniques later on.
You’re not only learning wrapping techniques but also learning to create wrapping materials :)
You’ll bring your own designed Indigo dyed Furoshiki back home and continue practicing the fabric wrapping method or using it for wrapping items or gift.
Furoshiki Eco-friendly Fabric
Learn another traditional gift wrapping method, Furoshiki
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.
Gilding Washi Workshop
Europe meets asia - the unique Washi paper was created by two passionate creators
Gilding Washi is created by applying the oxidized metal leaf (gold/silver/copper/aluminium) onto Washi paper. The combined leaf colors create beautiful surface, changing its colors as the light reflects on the different spots of the paper.
Gilding Washi Workshop
You’ll learn to create your own Gilding Washi art. This unique technique is not only popular for wrapping gifts but also for wallpapers, display art, room lamps, and fashion accessories such as wallets and passport cases.
“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!
Department Style Wrapping
Department style gift wrapping
A few years ago, I introduced a Naname tsutsumi, also called department style gift wrapping, and it became one of the most popular videos. Something many Japanese are used to seeing every time they purchase items from the department stores or gift shops was fascinating for people outside Japan. This time, you’re not just watching a video but actually learning the techniques from the Japanese experts!
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? There are must-know techniques and tricks to wrap a box fast and impeccable, and you’ll learn them step-by-step, directly from the experts.
Museum of Paper (Shikoku Chuo City)
You can learn everything about papers here, from the history, their usages, how they’re made, etc.
Paper and Stationery Shopping
We can not 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.
Kimono and the Tea Ceremony
You’re visiting Japan to learn art and culture, which means you can’t go home without experiencing two are the most famous traditional Japanese culture - Kimono and Tea Ceremony!
Try fresh fish and seafood dishes from Seto Inland Sea and other local delicacies like specialty oranges and Jyakoten. There are many restaurants for you to enjoy tasty Japanese dishes!
You’ll have some free time to visit city’s iconic places. (you’re also welcome to stay longer to see more of the city) We’ll provide visitor information and the map for you to easily access to those places.
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 almost 20 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
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
Bus trip to other town/city
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.