Craft & Journey

Uji, Kyoto Prefecture

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Craft & Journey

Uji, Kyoto Prefecture

Uji, Kyoto Prefecture


Here and Now. Sounds of Zen.

In Uji, Kyoto, where the culture of Zen was born, Nanjo Kobo has been making Buddhist instruments for “Narimono altars” since around 1830. Here metal scraps and finished molds are processed and reused. Such circular manufacturing has always been the norm. Care is taken at every stage in the process of bell making to ensure the creation of a clear, unwavering and harmonious sound – from material composition, use of traditional techniques, mould-making and hand finishing.

Their commitment to sound has touched the hearts of many people as a means of preparing their minds for meditation, yoga, and relaxation beyond the realm of Buddhist “Narimono altars”. We invite you to enjoy the present moment of Zen as we tour the workshop and the temple in the land of Kyoto. 


The Orin is a Buddhist instrument used to express gratitude to ancestors in accordance with the teachings of Buddhism, widely followed in Japan. The tour will offer you an in-depth experience of Zen culture and the Uji area of Kyoto by taking you to see the Orin manufacturing process and experience monastic life in a Japanese Zen temple.

Journey Story01.
Nanjo Kobo Ltd. / Kazuya Nanjo

This seventh generation studio was established circa. 1830 and specializes in making acoustic instruments (bells) for Buddhist “Narimono Altars”.They have a strong commitment to sound that has been passed down through generations. They have been seeking the unique combination of the material called “Sahari” and pursuing a clear and harmonious, unwavering sound. In 2019, they launched the brand “LinNe” to bring the sound of the Orin closer to people. They have been delivering products to countries worldwide that can be used freely in everyday life, both as Buddhist and non-Buddhist altars.


Temple Accommodation at Koshoji-Temple

A Zen temple, founded in 1603, where you can experience the life of a monk for two days and one night. Those who come for teaching and guidance are taught the rudiments of Buddhism and are treated with the utmost kindness and respect.


Founded in 1661 by the Chinese Zen monk, Ingen Ryuki. This Zen temple retains a strong Chinese character.

Uji River

The Uji River flourished as a transportation hub, and an ancient capital existed in this area. Legend has it, in 1590, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the Shogun who unified Japan, used the water of the Uji River to hold a tea ceremony. Today, an event is still held once a year to celebrate the nationally famous brand of Uji tea.


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