Learning Japanese music in a traditional setting is one of the most interesting and culturally enriching experiences to be had in Japan.

It is also expensive.

For example, an inexpensive beginner's shakuhachi, made from wood, and the necessary accessories can be purchased for around 20,000 yen. Lessons involve an entrance fee and monthly gessha tuition fees, usually 15,000 yen-25,000 yen per month, depending on the teacher. This might seem comparable with fees charged by the top teachers in the United States, but there are striking differences in style, etiquette and the behavior of the student vis a vis the teacher. Learning these points is as important as learning the music.