My Private Koto Class at a Teak House at the gardens of Tokyo National Museum  |  Tokyo, Japan | This is how I spent my afternoon at a Teak House at the lovely gardens of Tokyo National Museum, taking a private class of Koto with this two lovely – and very patient – ladies. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. You may see all my photos and videos from my recent trip to Japan at my Instagram @carlosmeliablog

Upon arrival, walking by the gardens of Tokyo National Museum, I was greeted and welcomed by my two teachers for the afternoon. Shoes went off and in I went into the Teak House to my training session.

The koto is the national instrument of Japan. The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument derived from the Chinese zheng. 13 silk strings and movable bridges. The body of the instrument is made of paulownia wood.

The koto is played by plucking the strings with the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand, which are fitted with ivory plectrums called tsume.

Sakura Sakura” is what they were playing over and over. a traditional Japanese folk song depicting spring, the season of cherry blossoms. A very sweet and southing melody, dating from the Edo Period.  It is often sung in international settings as a song representative of Japan,

After listening my lovely teachers play the koto for an hour the traditional “Sakura Sakura” it was my time to jump in and try my musical skills. I must say I was impressed I was able to pick it up so fast and play along my teachers.

Special THANKS to both my teachers, specially for their patience, and to my dear friend and colleague Mari Nozu at Luxury Travel Japan, for coordinating such lovely and intimate afternoon in such beautiful location. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator –

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