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March to the Beat of Your Own Drum


Experience creating a real taiko drum


Travelers interested in traditional Japanese performances will be familiar with taiko, the handmade wooden drums that are present in many events, from festivals to theaters to religious ceremonies. What may be less well-known is the history of this instrument, its production and its decoration.


Located about 90 minutes west of Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train, Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture offers visitors a unique chance to learn not only about the history of taiko drums, going back some 15 centuries, but also how they are made and played. Host of festivals held in May and October where taiko play a key part in performances, Hamamatsu is also one of taiko’s few production centers left in Japan. What’s more, there is a special workshop in Hamamatsu where visitors can learn how to make these precious traditional instruments.



mocha-chai Inc has partnered with Ando Taiko Ten, a shop dating back to 1894, to offer you the rare opportunity to tour their taiko factory and try your hand at creating your own version of this instrument, which you can bring with you or send home as a souvenir of your experience.


Master craftsmen will patiently guide you through the entire process of finishing off a small taiko drum, with full interpretation to ensure nothing is lost in translation. As the whole process of creating a handmade wooden drum can take up to ten years, you will be adding the final touches to make it uniquely yours. After choosing which drum you wish to use, pull a leather cover tautly over the top, pinning it down with round, black pins. Then choose a colorful silk tassel or a decorative metal handle to give your instrument a signature flair. Give your drum a few taps to hear its rhythmic beat.



This one-of-a-kind experience is not to be missed by any music enthusiasts. Holding this precious handmade instrument, you may proudly march to your own beat with your very own taiko.


Access: From Tokyo Station, take the Shinkansen bullet train to Hamamatsu Station, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. After alighting the train, take a bus to Budokan Bus Stop, about 10 minutes. From there walk for about 10 minutes.


Ando Taiko Ten, Ltd.


静岡県浜松市中区西浅田 2-6-6


approx. 120 min. or more




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