Kyoto Classes


 Classes are conducted outdoors, and in line with current government recommendations masks are optional outdoors unless talking at close range. (Subject to change according to updated conditions and guidelines. Those with symptoms such as cough or fever will not be able to participate.)

You can also check out the online options for this course.

Celebrating 5+ years of sketchbook watercolor classes in Kyoto, Japan!

You can book directly by emailing me, or you can book through AirBnB (Fushimi class only)

Cost is 8,700 yen per person (approximately $63 US )

I can also offer private, custom-tailored half or full day classes: please email me for more information!

The Art of Travel Sketchbooking in Kyoto

Does your camera remember your trips better than you do? Slow down and go analogue with travel sketchbooking. We’ll spend a relaxing afternoon learning how to capture Kyoto’s charm and beauty with a sketchbook and compact watercolor kit.

Not only will I show you how to paint what we see during the experience, I’ll give you tips, tricks, and ideas for continuing to use your new compact watercolor sketching kit for the rest of your stay in Japan, and for your next adventures as well.

I’ll guide you through neighborhoods, temples, shrines, and riverside parks in search of inspiration, and of course: relaxation.

Small, Private Classes

Standard classes are 3 hours in length (for groups of 2 or more at 8,700 yen per person) and include professional artist instruction by me personally as well as all supplies, including an ultra-compact watercolor sketchbook kit (paints, water brush, and sketchbook)  that’s yours to keep.

Private 2-hour one-on-one classes are also available at the 8,700 rate, or for 3 hours for a supplementary 2,000 yen charge.

These classes are available in many different areas of Kyoto and can be customized to your interests. These are my recommended areas, but feel free to contact me for other itineraries.

NOTE: Classes booked through AirBnB are NOT private, however they are small (5 people maximum.)



Canals, sake breweries, and sacred shrines

We’ll get our start in the southern Fushimi area. Peppered with sake breweries and laced with old canals that used to be the arteries of commerce in days gone by, it’s the perfect setting to try out your new watercolor kit and learn some basics.

NOTE: 2-hour (one-on-one classes) meet directly at Fushimi Inari Shrine and do not include the brewery district.

After that, we’ll stroll through a retro shopping arcade and hop a train to the nearby Fushimi Inari shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates that wind up a forested mountain slope.

Gion and Higashiyama

Narrow streets, grand riverside views, and classic Kyoto sophistication

This area of Kyoto is packed with travelers from all over the world, and for good reason: it’s stunning! But fear not: there are countless escapes from the busy main attractions to be found, such as the serene willow-lined Shiragawa river and tiny alleyways. Sites will be customized based on the season and group.

Locals relax on the banks of the Kamogawa river, where one can see the not-so-distant mountains and enjoy scenic seasonal views (cherry blossoms in the spring, lush green leaves in the summer, autumn leaves, and the occasional dusting of snow in the winter.)

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The Philosopher’s Path

Temples, teahouses, and history

Lined with trees and teahouses catering to weary travelers, this pleasant walk through Kyoto’s eastern side is brimming with opportunities to capture its beauty with your sketchbook. Exact sites will be customized based on the season and group.

See famous temples, an old city aqueduct,  and charming views of everyday life in Kyoto.

The Confluence

Shrines, gardens, and peace where two rivers meet

Fewer tourists choose to go to this area just a few train stations away from the busy heart of the city. Those who go are rewarded with the best views of Kyoto’s famous river, the Kamogawa, as well as the opportunity to take in Kyoto’s Botanical Gardens and two of its oldest shrines. Exact sites will be customized based on the season and group.