• Shona McCarthy

The Making of Kasa: Traditional Japanese Umbrellas

When I was in the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum last year, one of the things I saw was a very old traditional umbrella shop. If you have a look at the Instagram post I made below, you can scroll across and see that it actually contained displays. These showed how traditional Japanese umbrellas were made!

I think someone very enterprising could possibly view those little dioramas and figure out for themselves how to make an umbrella from scratch. But then I thought, are there classes a person could take in Japan where they can learn how to make umbrellas? Learning How To Make Kasa (Umbrella) I found there are options throughout Japan if you want to learn about making umbrellas. Here they are: Kyoto

(A screen capture from where this activity can be booked. Here is a direct link. 22/6/2020.) In Kyoto a group of five to eight people can make mini traditional umbrellas for 3240 yen per group. The group size doesn't change the price, so if you can gather eight friends and split the cost, it is much better value. If you wait till Covid-19 restrictions have completely passed, you will be able to do the same class with at least one friend here if you can't gather five people. Prices TBC once booking reopens.


(Screen capture from AirBNB, where this class can be booked for 9000 yen per person. 22/6/2020.) While this class is less traditional, you still get to learn how to make a very robust umbrella from scratch. The location is a shop which has been selling umbrellas for over 100 years. So, you are getting a special historical experience!

(Image from 22/6/2020.) So now, you have the chance to learn how to make your own umbrella in Japan! And you'll be able to take it home with you as your own souvenir!

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