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Tuesday, 15th September 2015
In General Japan News,

Department store to offer English tours to promote kogei crafts

A department store in Tokyo is to offer guided tours in English to visitors in a bid to raise the profile of kogei crafts.

The Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Main Store will be welcoming English speaking guests on September 19th and 20th with tours held at 1.30pm and 3pm reports the Japan Times.

It is in conjunction with 62nd Japan Traditional Kogei Exhibition, which is being hosted on the site from tomorrow (September 16th) until the 28th.

The idea of the event is to highlight the beauty and skill that goes into traditional Japanese crafts known as kogei.

They can range from items made from bamboo or ceramic to silk fabric and lacquer designs carried out with perfect precision.

Some of Japan's kogei masters have been recognised by the country's government as living national treasures.

A selection of work from these honoured representatives will be on display alongside pieces by amateurs.

The Japan Kogei Association has been organising the exhibition every year since 1954 and carefully looks at all the pieces submitted before deciding what to display.

Visitors can expect to see around 600 items, which have been classified into seven categories: ceramics, textiles, urushi (lacquerware), metalwork, woodwork, which includes bamboo, dolls and other works.

The Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Main Store was the first shop of its kind to be opened in Japan.

It is located in the commercial district of Nihonbashi, which translates as Japan Bridge - a local landmark nearby.

The English language tours will have a maximum of 15 people per group, so prior booking is recommended.

Tokyo Metro’s Mitsukoshimae Station is just below the department store, making travel to the site easy and convenient.

Related news stories:
English zones to be introduced across Japan (29th August 2014)
Japanese employees offered financial incentive to learn English (15th January 2013)
Plans for tourist Wi-Fi unveiled (17th June 2014)