the itami museum of arts and crafts combines a museum, teaching facility, gallery spaces, and even a little shop. all in a compound of buildings that include traditional japanese shophouses-some of which are open just to walk through and see, and some are used as the shop space, where teachers and students at the craft school have work for sale.
i dont know very much about the city of itami itself, (it's not included in my japan lonely planet) but wikipedia tells us that it was the only city in japan built within a castle (which was since torn down). from my architectural preservation friends, i know that itami also is an example of townscape preservation, which means that historic areas were preserved instead of just isolated buildings. and from my firsthand experience, there are good maps/signage including clear pedestrian access through the city.
the craft center offers a stunning array of craft classes: jewelry-making, spinning and dyeing, feltmaking, etc. mac itami is an excellent place to find out about all sorts of crafts and crafty things happening throughout the region, with flyers and information about current events and exhibits, and a helpful (japanese only) staff knowlegeable about a variety of crafts. this is where i found out about my favorite yarn store in kyoto, kin no hitsuji. HOWEVER, if you don't speak japanese or feel comfortable taking a class in japanese, i would not suggest you try to take a class here. i would recommend visiting the museum and the shop with handmade crafts, and picking up some flyers for current exhibits in the kansai area.