Kyo-yuzen Workshops in Kyoto

ByJustin Hanus
Feb 18, 2021

Kyo-yuzen Workshops in Kyoto

Kyo-yuzen dates back to the Edo period when Miyazaki Yuzen (a fan painter from Kyoto) developed the dyeing technique to paint designs onto kimonos. Today, you can learn the technique yourself at one of the several Kyo-yuzen workshops in the city, all of which are run by expert artisans. Whether you choose a beginner or a traditional workshop, the results will be impressive. In some cases, the piece may need finishing before you can take it home, in which case the workshop will ship it to you later.


At Marumasu-Nishimuraya, you can learn Kyo-yuzen from Yoshio Nishimura, whose family started practicing the craft in 1905. There are two workshops on offer.

The introductory course lasts no more than 1.5 hours and allows you to dye a simple item like a handkerchief, pencil case, fan, or T-shirt. You’ll choose from more than 100 ready-made stencils and a rainbow of paint colors — although there are color suggestions to help you.

Alternatively, there is a genuine course, which allows you to dye a larger item, such as a tapestry, noren (a short curtain), or cotton furoshiki. This workshop lasts between five and seven hours.

Marumasu-Nishimuraya also offers some other traditional workshops you may like to try. These include the gift wrapping technique of furoshiki and making chopsticks with a dyed case.

Address: 446 Tsuboyacho, Ogawadorioikesagaru (map link)
Open hours: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day

Tomihiro Senko

Producing some of the highest quality Kyo-yuzen, Tomihiro Senko also runs workshops to teach more people about the tradition. Workshops last two hours and give you the chance to dye a pencil case, tumbler, or silk fukasa cloth (used for wrapping a gift). You’ll add dye (you can choose the colors and gradient) to a pattern already printed on the silk to create a unique result.

Address: 175-9 Fudocho, Nakagyo Ward (map link)

Shin-ichirou Minami

Craftsman Shin-ichirou Minami is one of the top Kyo-yuzen artists. He has been practicing for more than 40 years, during which time he has won many awards and appeared on TV, including in a program about his gallery in Kyoto. He has also held exhibitions in Paris and Shanghai.

Minami holds his workshop in one of Kyoto’s oldest traditional townhouses, which provides the perfect atmosphere to learn Kyo-yuzen. As well as learning about the art, you’ll make an item of your choice using any colors you like. There are various workshops to choose from, including ones lasting 1.5 hours, half a day, and all day, as well as a full course.

Address: 575 Kitanogomoncho, Kamigyo Ward (map link)
Open hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., closed Mondays

Even if you’re not much of an artist, trying out Kyo-yuzen for yourself is a great way to bring the art form alive. Plus, all of the workshops have a store attached where you can purchase pieces painted by professionals.

Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Justin Hanus editor