Dream House Koshu Japanese Art

Welcome to Koshu Dream House, a Japanese Art and Culture Center based in Mitou-cho, Yamaguchi Prefecture, a small town embraced by the gentle mountains.

Dream House was founded in 1992 by Koshu (Akemi Lucas) as a school for calligraphy and english language. It was not only a school for learning, but also a home filled with the smiling faces of over 250 students and their families.

In 2001, Koshu moved to the UK to introduce Japanese Art to people internationally, closing Dream House and parting ways with her students. Now, after 23 years, Dream House has reopened its doors, serving as a hub to learn about the rich cultural heritage of Japan and connect people from all over the world through the beauty of Japanese art and culture.


From the autumn of 2024, Dream House will be hosting 7-day residential courses focusing on traditional Japanese calligraphy and sumi painting.

Open to both beginners and advanced artists, we invite you to delve into these ancient and mindful art forms while immersed in the calm of rural Japan.


Schedule 2024

  • Course 1: 7-day course from Sunday 27th October to Sunday 3rd November
  • Course 2: 7-day course from Sunday 10th November to Sunday 17th November
  • Course 3: 7-day course from Sunday 24th November to Sunday 1st December

Maximum capacity for each course: 12 students

Please email directly for 2025 residential course dates.

Group bookings: 3-day (or longer) residential courses can be arranged for groups of more than 10 people.

7-day course

An intensive and unique 7-day course led by Koshu and her team, open to beginners and advanced painters alike. The classes will be individually tailored to your level of practice and will cover everything from foundational skills to the more advanced techniques. By the end of the week, you will be able to create your own artwork, own seal and prepare the final artwork with urauchi paper.

Special price for 2024 courses: £1,800 per person (usually £2,400)

Programme Inclusions:

  • Full board accommodation for 7 nights, including three daily meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Twice-daily classes including Calligraphy, Sumi-painting, Tenkoku (seal carving) and Urauchi (putting backing paper) lessons (2 - 3 hours per class)
  • One lecture on the brief history of Calligraphy and Sumi Painting
  • Three sightseeing excursions (e.g., Akiyoshidai and cave, Yamaguchi city and Sesshu gardens, and tea at Tenmangu shrine)
  • Morning zazen at the local temple
  • Two-way transfers from Shin-Yamaguchi Station or Ube airport
  • Certificate issued at the end of the course
  • Farewell party
  • Optional activities at additional cost: Suzuri (Inkstone) workshop, sumi (Ink stick) workshop, kimono workshop, Japanese cooking class, visit to the local hot-spring, karaoke, Japanese taiko drums, nature walk etc.

* Check in: by 4:00pm on Sunday / Check out: after 2:00pm on following Sunday

Contact us if you are interested in joining an introductory 3-day course (£950 per person).


Facilities: Waiting room, workshop space, shower rooms and toilet.


  • 地 (Earth) a shared bedroom with western style beds (3 person capacity)
  • 水 (Water) a shared bedroom with western style beds (2 person capacity)
  • 火 (Fire) a shared bedroom with western style beds (2 person capacity)
  • 風 (Wind) a shared tatami room with futon (2 person capacity)
  • 空 (Sky) a shared tatami room with futon (3 person capacity)
  • 月 (Moon) a communal lounge area
  • Toilet

Amenities: Wifi, air conditioning, washing machine, towels, shampoo & conditioner, hair driers.

Places to visit

Yamaguchi, often called the 'Kyoto of the West' was featured in the New York Times '52 Places to Go in 2024'.

Hofu Tenmangu: A shinto shrine in Hofu, Yamaguchi. It is the very first Tenmangu in Japan and one of the main shrines dedicated to Tenjin, the deified form of Sugawara no Michizane (a shogun from the Heian Period known for his poetry, revered in Shintoism as the god of learning).

When visiting the Chashitsu (Tea room) in Hofu Tenmangu, you can enjoy the beautiful view of Japanese garden while enjoying some Japanese tea.

The Sesshu Garden in Yamaguchi city: Sesshu was a zen buddhist monk and Japan's most influential master of Sumi painting. You can visit the beautiful Sesshu garden to learn more about his life and paintings.

The Unkokuan in Yamaguchi City: You can also visit the art studio of Sesshu, stepping into the Sumi-e world in Japan.

Saikotei in Yamaguchi-city: Saito Kobei, who was a cook for Lord Mori, openind a restaurant on a corner of the Yasaka shrine in around 1877. It was visited by Kido Takayoshi, Sato Eisaku and other politicians, making it a place of historical significance. You can see many calligraphy artworks here.

The Akiyoshi dai Quasi-National Park in Mine city, the largest karst plateau in Japan.

The Akiyoshi do cave (Shuhou-dou): This spacious cave is up to 100 meters wide and has 8.79 kilometres of passages, making it one of the longest in Japan and in Asia.

The Ganjo temple in Mito to experience You can visit this Buddhism temple for Zazen meditation.


Agnieszka from Poland : Sumi-e, to me, is like a journey into peace of mind. It began with the Domestika course by Koshu, Akemi Lucas, and led me to her Dream House in Japan. I participated in the ink-stone and ink-stick making workshops that she organised, and took individual lessons with her. Unforgettable experience! Charming Mito is close to the natural wonders of the Akiyoshidai plateau with breathtaking limestone caves. Akemi is an amazing teacher – very kind, extremely motivating, and delicate at the same time. I admire the gracefulness of her painting style, which I think is as close to perfection as can be.

Yulia and Sebastian from France: Dream House is a perfect place for art lovers. A little house far from noise and traffic, in the middle of beautiful Japanese countryside. I'll always remember painting with the sound of running brook in the background. The accommodations are very comfortable and have everything you need. As for the contents of the course, Koshu is a very skilful artist and a talented teacher. Even if you're a beginner, you'll enjoy the process, like my husband did! We'd love to come back again one day and explore beautiful Yamaguchi more.

Eduardo and Tristan from UK: We stayed at the Dream House, taking workshops with Master Calligrapher Koshu-sensei, benefitting from her experience and teachings with practical methods of Japanese calligraphy and ink painting, but also history, culture, and philosophy, which helped us improve our skills and understanding. Very comfortable guest house, in Mito, Yamaguchi. Beautiful town with great scenic countryside, mountains, rice fields, Zen temple meditation practice and friendly community, making this the perfect place to learn and focus. Highly recommend to anyone interested in immersing themselves in Japanese art and culture. Great enriching opportunity.

Mami from UK: I have been a calligraphy student of Koshu-sensei in England for over 8 years. After hearing that she was organising Akama Inkstone workshops at Dream House in 2023, I was eager to join this unique opportunity and arranged a family trip to Japan so I could attend the workshop. It was absolutely worth attending and I am delighted to now have my own Akama inkstone. I wish I could have stayed longer to learn and experience more of Japanese culture and sightseeing in Yamaguchi.

We look forward to welcoming you to Dream House this Autumn!

Enquire here: koshudreamhouse@gmail.com

5342-2 Oda, Mito-cho, Mine-city, Yamaguchi prefecture, 754-0211, JAPAN