Tucked away in the quiet neighbourhood of Inari-cho, 3 minutes from Ueno and Asakusa stations by subway is a photo studio called Studio Wasabi.
The studio itself is very stylish, and when you first enter, the space is superbly decorated in a traditional Japanese fashion. There is a modest elevated tatami in the back of the reception area, which is used for both their cultural classes and photo shoots. Finally, there is a spacious, fully equipped professional photography studio in the back, where most portraits are taken.
Studio Wasabi just opened this year in May. Last week, I had the awesome chance to experience a professional photo shoot at the studio, as well as learning some Japanese traditional arts and crafts (such as origami and Japanese calligraphy)!
Studio Wasabi boasts a great range, with over 50 costumes to choose from.
There are three types of costumes:
- Cosplay (costume play) – from funky maid costumes to characters from anime and video games
- Yukata – a casual summer kimono with vibrant, colourful patterns
- Oiran – a really unique costume, this is what the high ranked courtesans of Japan used to wear!
I have never worn yukata, dressed up as an oiran, or even cosplayed before in my life, so looking at all these choices I couldn’t decide. After a bit of thought, I chose to cosplay and dress up as a ninja from the famous anime Naruto! Putting on the costume, I felt really nervous about how I’d end up looking. I was definitely embarrassed…
It turns out I don’t look too shabby as a ninja from Naruto! The costume was surprisingly comfortable too.
We moved to the photography studio behind the reception. Using professional lighting and a clean, white backdrop the whole photo shoot felt like the real deal. I watched Le in her oiran costume and Reean in cosplay posing for the camera and I was extremely impressed and… you could say… emotionally moved and blinded by how professional and beautiful everything looked.
Le and her oiran costume
I was in sheer awe and completely speechless by how elegant and perfect they were. You don’t need worry about having no idea how to pose for the camera. The photographer and assistant will help you with the positions and make you look truly in character!
When it was my turn to shine, I had the hardest time to maintain a straight face. I was so embarrassed but I actually enjoyed the whole experience.
Reean in her cosplay!
There is an abundant selection of props and accessories to choose from to enhance your photos, to give it that unique flair. Though I was dressed as a ninja, I was given a katana (sword) to wield during the shoot.
After the shoot, we completed an origami accessory workshop on the tatami mat. You can make hair pins, earrings and key chains.
There is also a Japanese calligraphy workshop at the studio, so you can try writing Japanese characters.
All in all, I realised that getting into character for the shoot was possibly the funnest part of the experience. There’s a lot of laughing going on and I think it is a really suited for family and friends who want to experience another side of Japanese culture.
The prices of each photo shoot package won’t break your pocket either! I was pleasantly surprised to see how reasonably priced the photo shoots are, especially paired with how great the experience and photos turned out to be.
For those who don’t fancy professional photo shoots, you can rent a yukata for the day there too. The location of Studio Wasabi may be quieter than the rest of Tokyo, but surrounding areas like Asakusa and Ueno are easily accessible.
Studio Wasabi is just 3 minutes from Ueno Station, 3 minutes from Asakusa Station by Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and a 1 minute walk from the Inari-cho station. The studio itself is really easy to spot when you exit Inari-cho station.
Why not spice up your Tokyo trip by getting into character and a professional photo shoot?
Check out Studio Wasabi’s information below:
Opening Hours: 10:00~20:00
Address: Exceed Building 5F, 6-2-3, Higashi-Ueno, Taito ward, Tokyo
Click here to make a reservation through our hisgo website!
↓For a limited time only, we have a special September offer for photo shoots at Studio Wasabi! 50% off!!! Click here or the image below ↓
Receive 50% off Photo shoots at Studio Wasabi!!! Offer ends September 30, 2016