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I'm professional Koto player,based in Kyoto.I'm waiting for you!
We have traditional wooden house in Nijo area,and our family have been lived in Kyoto over 100years,so we can tell you customs and dailylife in Kyoto!
Hope to see you soon.

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16 Reviews for Harumi

  • vincent vincent

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto L'accueil et la leçon étaient génial, Harumi est vraiment adorable, patiente et enseigne parfaitement son instrument. Le koto est un tres bel instrument qui mérite d'être essayé voir plus si affinité ! je recommande absolument ! encore merci pour ce bon moment :)

  • Dory Dory

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto Our koto lesson with Mrs Harumi Shimazaki was a very precious and moving
    experience. Please please also read what Dory my wife has written (in
    French) about this same lesson, in which she adds quite a number other
    very touching details which I have not mentioned here.

    It was very helpful to have coordination via email (we were glad to have
    our rented mobile WiFi device) with the Voyagin office to fix the time and place of
    our lesson.

    To be on the safe side we had arrived much earlier than the scheduled
    time. A kind neighbour helped us find the exact location of the dwelling
    of Mrs Shimazaki and told her that we had arrived.

    Harumi graciously proposed to give us the lesson immediately. But we
    felt we should not disrupt her schedule, so we went off and returned for
    our lesson at the appointed time. Also present were Harumi's mother and

    Of course in the short time available we could only take the very first
    steps towards producing some of the very beautiful sounds of the koto.
    Nevertheless we could gain some initial familiarities with the various
    subtleties of different kinds of plucking and touching of the strings
    which can produce a range of different and touching effects.
    I suppose it was of some help that we have some limited familiarity
    with western music, being (very) amateur players of the violin and
    piano, respectively.
    Harumi chose to teach us to play a simple version of the celebrated
    Japanese melody "Sakura" (Cherry blossom). This included reading the
    notes of this melody from a page in which they were written, using
    traditional Japanese musical notation, some elements of which we
    could just begin to understand. She was very patient and
    attentive, and also during some parts of the lesson she gave us
    free rein to improvise and explore for ourselves, and thus experience some
    small part of the wide range of sounds and effects that the koto can

    Another particularly beautiful and moving part of the lesson occurred
    when Harumi sometimes joined by her mother on the second koto, played
    a number of pieces for us, with, as we felt, great skill and devotion.

    As a touching souvenir of this remarkable lesson we were given the
    above mentioned pages which we had used when beginning to
    play "Sakura".

    Throughout the lesson Harumi and her mother and daughter, all made us feel
    very welcome indeed in their home. We found ourselves also speaking with
    them of other things, beyond the subject of our lesson. We hope we did
    not abuse their hospitality by staying too long. They certainly did not
    show any kind of impatience with us.

    It must be quite difficult to make the translation between Japanese
    musical notation and European musical notation, but maybe somewhere,
    sometime a friendly website can be set up to do this, if it does not
    exist already. Then people like us can be invited to visit that website
    before and/or after our lesson.

    En consultant l’internet pour préparer notre premier voyage de découverte du Japon, j’ai eu la chance de trouver un site qui proposait une leçon de koto, cet instrument si fin et si délicat, qui nous fait rêver à des voyages lointains et exotiques. Sans avoir trop d’espoirs sur notre capacité à assimiler en une leçon la technique nécessaire pour jouer un air japonais, j’étais très curieuse de voir et de toucher cet instrument. Dès notre arrivée au Japon, j’attendais impatiemment notre rencontre avec Mme Harumi Shimazaki à Kyoto.
    Nous avons été reçus si gentiment par Harumi, sa maman et sa fille dans sa maison. Trois générations de femmes sensibles, gentilles et fines, toutes trois musiciennes.
    Nous avons fait connaissance autour d’une tasse de thé que Harumi avait gentiment préparé pour nous, puis nous sommes allés vers une salle où se trouvaient deux kotos, celui de Harumi et celui de sa mère. Michael, mon mari, était élève d’Harumi et moi de sa maman. Harumi nous a expliqué comment porter des petits onglets d’ivoire sur nos doigts, puis nous avons commencé à gratter et pincer les treize longues cordes de nos kotos, selon les indications écrites dans des petits cahiers joliment recouverts de papiers colorés. Michael s’est montré bon élève et il était possible de reconnaitre Sakura, la jolie chanson de printemps japonaise. Moi j’ai buté longuement sur un accord, mais mon professeur a été si patiente que j’ai fini par comprendre comment appuyer sur la corde avec la main gauche et gratter deux autres cordes avec la droite !
    Michael a alors essayé d’improviser sur l’instrument. Puis Harumi accompagnée de sa mère nous a joué quelques airs de musique classique ancienne japonaise et Sakura, comme elle seule peut le jouer. Partant de cet air si simple, elle a interprété des variations qu’elle a écrites avec une grande virtuosité et une grande sensibilité, nous faisant découvrir des sonorités inconnues, frêles parfois, imposantes et profondes d’autres fois. La quintessence des merveilleuses chansons célébrant le printemps et le passage du temps. J’ai alors ressenti à nouveau combien la musique pouvait nous rapprocher, Harumi, sa mère et sa fille, d’une part et Michael et moi, de l’autre. Tous héritiers de cultures très anciennes et très riches, et qui partageons des grandes difficultés dans nos vies, nos cœurs s’attendrissent en entendant le chant du printemps éphémère. Et ce moment de partage ne s’effacera pas dans nos mémoires.

  • Clarisha Clarisha

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto When visiting another country, experiencing its culture is undeniably a must-do. Besides donning on kimomos and drinking Japanese green tea, trying Japan's traditional musical instrument, the Koto, is an experience one cannot miss!! Harumi is a great teacher who will teach you how to play the Koto- from the posture to adopt when playing, to its basic techniques, and I even got to play a duet of Japan's most famous song, "Sakura", with Harumi!! You absolutely do not need a musical background to take this Koto lesson and I do not regret missing a visit to Nijo castle with my family to visit the Soushunan. If you need some inspiration to take this Koto lesson, read this manga called "Kono oto tomare"!! If I were to visit Japan again, I would definitely come back.

  • john john

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto Such a priveledge to have this experience from a master musician- highlight of my trip. Hope to come back next time. Highly recommended to any passionate musician.

  • Cory Cory

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto

    Take a Koto Lesson at a Traditional House in Kyoto I've had an interest in traditional Japanese music for a long time, so when I found out I could have the opportunity to have a private koto lesson in Kyoto, I had to take it. And I am so glad that I did. Harumi was a great teacher and explained the basics of koto very well. We played 3 songs together and Harumi served tea and snacks during the lesson.
    If you're a musician like I am, you'll especially appreciate the subtleties that make traditional Japanese music different from Western style and how playing koto well is very different from playing guitar well. Not to mention, playing koto is extremely enjoyable and relaxing - Harumi makes sure you get the most out of the experience. I cannot recommend this experience enough, and I hope to continue learning how to play once I've returned to the States. Domo arigatou gozaimashta, Harumi!

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