The Tokyo Sakura Tram (Toden Arakawa Line) is the only Toden streetcar left in central Tokyo, running from Minowabashi to Waseda stations, and is used by approximately 48,000 commuters every day. To promote the charm of the line, Toei Transportation and Airbnb, Inc. have collaborated to offer Japanese arts and crafts experience programs.
This collaboration resulted in a project called Toden Life Tourism, which aims to share “life along the tracks” to foreign tourists. Among the experience hosts participating in the program are Kinji Kato, an Arakawa Ward registered holder of Intangible Cultural Properties, who has worked to promote the shamisen – a Japanese traditional instrument with a history of more than 400 years, along with husband and wife Shigeo and Yoshie Takenaka, fellow Arakawa Ward registered holders of Intangible Cultural Properties, who have been hand-crafting ishoningyo (traditional costume dolls) for more than 50 years.
Toden Life Tourism offers five types of experience programs: a shamisen performance experience, card case making from materials used in doll-making, hand drawing on a bag using Yuzen dyeing techniques, doll house accessory crafting and shingenbukuro (drawstring bag) making.
Toden Life Tourism Program Experience Hosts (as of Jan. 17)
Activity: Doll house accessory production
See the doll house parts production process and make a miniature food.
Price: 2,000 yen
Address: 5-13-2 Nishiogu, Arakawa-ku
2. Shamisen Katoh
Activity: Shamisen performance experience
See the shamisen manufacturing process and maintenance. View and experience a performance in the 2F live performance space. Each participant will receive a shamisen plectrum key holder.
Price: 2,000 yen
Address: 6-26-4 Higashiogu, Arakawa-ku
3. Takenaka Hina Ningyo Workshop
Activity: Card case production
See the Hina Ningyo manufacturing process. Use gold brocade (used in doll making) and make a cardcase.
Price: 1,000 yen
Address: 1-21-7 Machiya, Arakawa-ku
4. Bag Studio Vidulus
Activity: Make a shingenbukuro (cloth purse), used as an accessory since ancient Japan.
Price: 6,000 yen
Address: 3-8-20 Machiya, Arakawa-ku
5. Hand-drawn Yuzen dyeing with Itsuko Kasahara
Activity: Hand-drawn Yuzen dyeing
Do some hand-drawn Yuzen dyeing on a handkerchief or tote bag.
Price: Handkerchief - 2,200 yen; and tote bag - 3,300 yen
Address: 3-61-4-1203 Arakawa, Arakawa-ku
To learn more about Toden Life Tourism, visit: https://www.airbnb.jp/toden-life-tourism