Biwa lute masterclass

Biwa lute masterclass

from 260.00

$260 USD Per Person

Please make your booking at least 24 hours in advance.

Number of Participants:

Dive into musical storytelling with the Biwa, the instrument of the gods


  • Location: Bunkyo, Tokyo

  • Private Experience

  • No prior experience necessary!

  • 1.5 hour total

  • 2 people max

  • Offered in Japanese, with friendly Deeper Japan guide interpreting in English
    (French/German/Spanish interpretation may be available upon request)

Spellbinding sounds

The chosen instrument of Benten, the goddess of music, eloquence, poetry, and education, the biwa is essential to traditional Japanese music.  Used as an accompaniment to oral storytelling, it was one of Japan's most popular instruments. However, with the Westernization of the Meiji period (1868-1912), the biwa was almost completely neglected. Thanks to efforts from Japanese musicians to protect traditional Japanese music post-war, the biwa was revived. The beauty of the Biwa is not merely its tone, or its shape, but its ability to create visual scenes through its sounds. In ancient Japan, there was something called “katarimono ongaku”, or spoken music, the practice of accompanying oral storytelling with the music of the Biwa. Through encountering the Biwa, people can learn not just about the instrument itself, but the stories and words that have been passed down through generations in Japan.

What you’ll do

Enjoy a Live performance by Nobuko, learn about the history of the biwa, and learn how to play! 

About the Master

The biwa is not Nobuko Kawashima’s first love. In fact, she used to be an actress passionate about Western musical theatre. As time went on though, Nobuko realized there was a gap in her understanding of the music of her native country, a problem she wanted to remedy. After meeting a biwa teacher, she was drawn to the biwa, and is now an internationally-recognized biwa musician, sharing the mystery of this traditional instrument in performances in Japan and abroad. 
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Who can attend

Children must be 7+


Session 1 (11:00 - 12:30)
Session 2 (14:00 - 15:30)


30 minutes from Tokyo Station.

Cancellation Policy 

Please make your booking at least 24 hours in advance.

  • See cancellation policy here.

* A detailed itinerary will be emailed to you once your booking has been confirmed.