Handmade Japanese HANKO SEAL workshop

Workshop Program



Hanko can be made with katakana, kanji, hiragana. 


Learn about culture

We will explain the history of the seal, Japanese culture etc. You can learn Japanese culture.


Choose the material

The material is more than 30 kinds of natural stone, horn, tree, acrylic 4 materials. In addition, we have more than 100 kinds of traditional handicraft cases made by Yamanashi craftsmen.


Engraving the seal

We engrave the seal at our shop. It takes about 30-180minutes per one.

During sculpture, you can tour the city of Kamakura. From our shop you can go to Hachimangu Shrine, Kamakura Great Buddha, Zeniarai Benten, Yuigahama beach by foot from about 10 minutes to 30 minutes.


Special Japanese culture Stamp a seal

Great experience!

Great experience! It was husband and I’s 7th anniversary and the modern gift is stationary. We decided that getting a Hanko name stamp while in Japan would fit the bill perfectly. We showed up at the quaint shop and were graciously greeted by the owner. He then gave us a brief overview of Hanko and his shop and we greatly enjoyed the history. We got to pick what type of material and size of the stamp we wanted, which were of a higher quality that what was included in the experience, but they graciously provided a discount. While they were making the stamp, we had a chance to explore Kamakura and enjoy the sites and ate a delicious lunch. Once we returned to the shop a few hours later, everything was ready! The best part was seeing your name translated into Katakana and then morphed onto the stamp. So cool. Overall this was a historically interesting, fun, and beautiful time. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a unique and lovely experience.

Welcoming and Exciting

I was born in Japan but moved when I was young and I am half but I get a lot of upsetting comments or not so welcoming adventures when I try to learn more about my culture. I loved that it wasn't just making the hanko but also the history of it and the fact that I was included by asking questions and interacting with me rather then just speaking at me. I absolutely in love with my hanko, I got the formal one and I would definitely come back and get another.

Your Hanko is You!

You think you know who you are from your experiences and modes of identity but how do you demonstrate your authenticity and authority? How do you indicate the proof of your identity to open a bank account? In America, you use a signature as proof of your identity.

The first evidence of writing in Japan is a Hanko dating from AD 57 and in 1870, Hanko came into general use throughout Japanese society when receiving parcel delivery, circulation notices and any daily life situation. There is a place to stamp a seal instead of writing your signature on application forms for all sorts of things. You indicate authority to have what you want by using your individual seal.

As you enter the store, you are overwhelmed by the thousands of designs and boxes for your Hanko, which also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Hanko Master will introduce you to how your name can be miniaturized and cut into the face of the stamp. He will schedule the cutting of your Hanko so you can start using it within hours. Our introduction to and design of our Hanko identity was unique for us and a special experience.

Hanko Making in Kamakura

I had never heard of hanko or their use till I took this workshop. We met in the small hanko store where the proprietor explained the use and design of hanko, The store was lined with hanko and their cases and photos of famous people signed with their hanko stamp and a picture of the owner's grandfather in his hanko shop. The proprietor explained the uses and the designs. The hanko is used to sign all important documents and is registered with the government. I had seen the small red circle on many things but never realized it was essentially a signature. He used the meaning of our names to find the appropriate kanjis and then let us pick out design elements like font and placement. The hanko stick is made of many different materials and designs. The diameter is only about 10mm. Women's are smaller than men's. He carved the design into the end and gave us each the hanko, a case with a red inkpad, a velvet bag and a card explaining the origin of the design.

Fun & informative (and cool hanko!)

We spent about 15 minutes in the morning learning about the history of hanko name seals from the proprietor of Kamakura Hanko, who is a third-generation seal maker. Then we picked out japanese characters to represent our names. There were a lot of options for name meanings and sounds, and font choices. Then we picked a hanko material and case, and came back in the afternoon to pick up the finished seal.


“The Magic of the Japanese Hanko Seal”

The Japanese Hanko seal plays several roles. It is a formal and official “pictorial” identification and serves the same role that the signature does in the West. It is itself a work of art, from the design of the hand-carved image of the “stamp,” to the body of the seal which can be made of wood, stone, semi-precious stone, or even acrylic. Finally, the Japanese Hanko is a representative of self. When I put my Hanko seal on a piece of artwork or correspondence, it as though the seal stands for my heart and spirit. In this world where identity now exists principally in digital form, whether through the chips on our credit cards or government assigned identification numbers, the Hanko seal is a unique and beautiful form of identification, one with which we can leave our name artfully and with pride. 
From the very first exchange of emails when I first began to correspond with Mitsuhiro Tsukino, the owner of Kamakura Hanko, about making two Hanko seals for my daughter, he was a joy to work with. He promptly sent drawings of five different carving design styles, and was very helpful in choosing a material for the seals themselves. Our visit to his shop in August was a joy. His self-taught English is impressive, and his warmth immediate and sincere. Tsukino-san is a gifted carver, and a kind and honest man with whom doing business is a pleasure. He is generous in the time he spends with each customer, and offers valuable advice without pressure. Now that I’ve met him, I would not hesitate to do business with him exclusively by email and shipping, though I will try to visit his shop on future visits to Japan. After placing our orders, my wife and I toured sights in beautiful Kamakura for a few hours before returning to his shop to pick them up. The Hanko seals were ready and beautifully packaged. 

from L.A.


We found KAMAKURAHANKO to be very professional and easy to deal with. Although I didn't buy anything, my friend did and I was extremely impressed with KAMAKURAHANKO's thoroughness and knowledge. I highly recommend him if you are in the market for a stamp. 5 stars isn't enough for this great shop!

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from USA


We were able to experience the wonders of Japanese culture.

The Hanko seal makes an exciting gift. Both those Tsukino-san carved were happily received by their new owners. 
Those outside Japan who come to know the Hanko seal will come to love it for the powerful tool and symbol that it is.

Thanks so much we love our stamp. You were so helpful.

I'm glad to be able to learn the Japanese culture. I was glad to come to Kamakura. It was a good souvenir of Japan.

It got the name of the great Japanese characters.I think that it is trying to stamp on post cards and letters.

Price List




Workshop time : total 30minutes

We engrave the HANKO SEAL at our shop. It takes about 30-180minutes per one.

Workshop reservation

Design Your Own Hanko Name Seal HANKO in Kamakura!

Would you like to know how to write your name in Japanese? We can show you several ways to write your name in Japanese and make an original seal as a unique souvenir of your trip. Seals are used in place of signatures on important documents. In Japan, the hanko seal is considered to be a part of one’s identity. After you design your hanko seal, we will engrave your name. Your original seal will be ready anytime in the afternoon of the experience!

(What to Expect)
1. Learn the history and culture of the Japanese hanko name seal.

2. Design: Choose the type of hanko you would like to make (Hiragana, Katakana, or Kanji) and choose a font. We will help you write your name in Japanese using characters which describe your personality.

3. Material: We will carve your names on acrylic. You can choose the color you like. (Gemstones, horn, and wood available at extra cost)

4. Choose the color of the case.

5. Choose a pickup time (you can pick up anytime in the afternoon on the day of the experience.)



(Important Information)
Departure Point
Kamakura seal shop Souvenir shop, 5-6 Onarimachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0012, Japan
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Japanese Seal
Seal Carrying Case
Material Fee
Engraving Fee (Up to 3 letters)
Original Pouch for Your Hanko
Shipping - only if you request shipping instead of picking it up.
Material Fee - If you choose horn, wood or gemstone
Case Fee - If you choose a different case than our standard one.
Engraving Fee (If you choose more than 3 letters)
Additional Info
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Wheelchair accessible
Stroller accessible
Near public transportation
Infants must sit on laps
Transportation is wheelchair accessible
Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
Most travelers can participate
This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

from manager

Welcome to Kamakura.Kamakura has a lot of shrine and temple.Please enjoy the Kamakura tourism.


〒248-0012 鎌倉市御成町 5-6
営業時間:10:30-18:00 (火・水曜定休日、不定休)