Traditional Brass Bell Crafting with Yoshinori
  • Takaoka, Toyama, Japan
  • 15 hours over 3 days

Traditional Brass Bell Crafting with Yoshinori

Learn the 400-year-old craft of making Buddhist rin bells or the modern art of suzugami from one of ten remaining craftsmen in all of Japan. Explore the peaceful coastal town of Takaoka, Japan, with its rich craft heritage, stunning temples, and other-worldly seafood.
  • Snacks, Coffee, & Tea


One Guest
USD $3365
Additional guest(s) (max 4)
USD $2160

Meet the Artist

Yoshinori is a 4th generation master, and one of ten remaining craftsmen in entire Japan capable of making Buddhist Rin bells. As a craftsman, he is inspired by sadō (tea ceremony) and its minimalism. The tools and movements used in tea ceremony are based around what is necessary but maintains beauty and elegance in its design. He tries to apply the same principle to his own work.

Although bell-making is a practice steeped in tradition, he is constantly trying to modernize the craft by appropriating the skills used in bell-making to other mediums. You can see it in his modern suzugami plates and bowls where sheets of tin are hammered to become so malleable that they can be constantly reshaped. His pieces have been sought out by Nobu in Tokyo, Japan, and El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, among others. Not to miss, you'll also develop a keen sense of hearing making those bells!

VAWAA Includes:

  • Making Rin Buddhist bell and/or suzugami plates.
  • Hammering metal (brass, tin).
  • Smoothing and shaping the bell using various tools (grinder, hammer, etc.)
  • Learning how to create the three sounds of the Orin: "Kan," "Otsu," and "Mon".
  • Fine-tuning the sound of the bell (with assistance by Yoshinori and his practiced ear).
  • Visiting a metal manufacturer to do workshops.
  • Visiting a temple to meet a monk and use the bell.
  • Visiting another traditional craft studio (lacquerware).
  • Relaxing at a meditation class at a nearby temple.
  • Local sushi, seafood, sake and craft beer.
  • Your own handcrafted rin bell and/or suzugami plates.

Explore Takaoka, Toyama

Takaoka is a city on the coast of Japan's Honshu Island. Since the birth of Takaoka copperware 400 years ago, the city has provided Japan with 95% of all bells and statues used in Buddhist temples, especially those cast in bronze. The skills in casting and dyeing possessed by the craftsmen were so highly-valued that even during wartime, when other industries’ use of metal was restricted, Takaoka craftsmen were unaffected. The Great Buddha of Takaoka, one of three great Buddhas in Japan, exemplifies the skills from this city and continues to make it famous— a must stop.

Additional Details

Best times to visit Japan are spring, for the famous cherry blossom season, and fall, for the beautiful foliage. Additionally, the Takaoka Craft Ichiba-machi and exhibition are held annually in the city at the end of September. It's best to avoid the winter holidays and New Year's (Dec. 24 - Jan. 7) as many businesses close.

This VAWAA can host up to 5 guests. Guests do not need to practice Buddhism to learn the process of rin bell-making. 

Children and elderly people are welcome if they have enough stamina to hammer for seven hours per day. If this sounds too difficult, this VAWAA is available for a longer duration (up to 5 days) so you can shorten the hours per day and expand the number of days to 4-5 days. We can also discuss opportunities for collaboration or internships.

Yoshinori speaks Japanese and is not fluent in English. We'll provide an interpreter for English/Japanese, at no additional charge.
Yoshinori's Availability 3 days

Guest Reviews

  • Michael M., Australia

    Amazing experience. Yoshinori is an absolute master at his craft. He is a wonderful teacher and made me feel so welcome. His family, friends and staff were all so great. I had a fantastic time and learned a great deal. Highly recommended.

  • Terry T., United States

    We had a phenomenal learning experience with a true master artisan, one of only a few other master Keisu artisans in all of Japan. They accommodated our larger family group with grace and expertise. I am no artist, but transforming the three plain flat pieces of metal into our final product was magical and a life long memory. The passion and justified pride that Yoshinori holds for his craft, the Read more

  • Ronald Y., United States

    the brass bell crafting workshop was a wonderful and positive experience. you craft your bell with other craftsmen in the work area. this workshop does each steps in a traditional manner using basic hand tools eg.,hammer and anvil. my sense accomplishment grows as i created a bell from thick sheets of brass. the craftsmen are happy help you improve your bell and skill, in part because they know so Read more