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 TEXTILES  ARTS and CRAFTS 
 JAPAN

Japan

November 27 - December 10, 2024

 2023 Photo Journal - this way

In Japan, Nature held her breath. All longing was put to sleep in the stillness, and all was distilled into a clean simplicity. The smell of woodsmoke, the drift of incense; a procession of monks in black-and-gold robes, one of them giggling in a voice yet unbroken; a touch of spring in the air, a sense of gathering rain.”-- Pico Iyer

Japan: a unique culture steeped in history, moving at the speed of a bullet train. 

Through centuries of isolation, Japan’s claim to unique arts and crafts was handed down from generation to generation. In Japan, textiles, pottery and ceramics, lacquerware, metalworking, doll-making, woodworking and papermaking are in a class of their own.
 

Whether you're marvelling at the geisha's fluid grace, pausing to inhale a perfectly brewed cup of sencha, or thrumming to the pulsating rhythm of Ginza, Japan has the power to captivate the most jaded traveller. On this 14-day tour timed to take in the Fall season, we will explore the best of Japan's culture, textiles, arts, crafts, and cuisine.

Highlights

  • Tap into the spirit of artisans with intimate studio visits and workshops

  • Hands on workshops in Kimono stencil dyeing, Yuzen, Indigo Shibori, and traditional Tea Ceremony

  • Master artisans' talks/demos on traditional textiles: Aizome, Yuzen, Tsuzure-ori, Indigo Shibori, Nishinjin-ori. Also, Ushikubi tsumugi sericulture

  • Multiple textile and arts museum visits such as Ichiku Kubota Museum, dolls museum, and Little Indigo Museum

  • Textile/arts and crafts museums and the best of formal Japanese gardens 

  • Folk crafts, pottery, lacquerware, and woodwork

  • Explore antique flea markets, and Omicho (Kanazawa), Nippori, and Nishiki (Kyoto) markets

  • Take in an ancient temple ceremony and Buddhist cuisine

  • Home-visit and share meals with local families in rural Kitakuwada

  • Onsen accommodations in Kanazawa, Yamanaka, and Kyoto

  • Commune with nature in Mt Takao, soak in a Yamanaka Onsen, amidst fall foliage*

  • Whizz off in Shinkansen (bullet train) and hop on public transportation like locals

  • Local shopping at Nippori textile street, Tokyo Antiques Market, Harajuku, and Arashiyama

  • Away from buzzing cities: Lake Kawaguchiko and Kakusenkei Gorge

  • Best of formal Japanese gardens and monk-led visit to a Bonsai Garden Museum

*A natural phenomenon whose timing cannot be guaranteed
 

Optional extension: Amami Island 4 nights/5 days 

***SMALL GROUP as always***

Cost - write us 

Includes

Fully escorted by experienced local guide, will accompany throughout
Accompanied by E.Y.H.O. Tour Manager
5 nights in 3-3.5* western style hotel
1 night in traditional Japanese ryokan with onsen (natural hot springs)
7 nights in updated ryokan accommodations with onsen
All transportation costs in public transport, high-speed trains, and private coach on 4 days
Shared airport arrival transfer (between 6am-8.30pm)
4 hands on workshops including materials, 7 studio visits, demos, and talks
Miyama family cooking experience 
All entrance fees to museums, galleries, and studios 
Meals: all breakfasts, 2 lunches (Day 4, 12), 3 dinners (Day1, Day 9, Day 13) 
Luggage transfers x 2

 

Excludes

International flight, departure transfer, tipping for guide, and beverages at meals unless specified, insurance, early and late check in/out

What to expect
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Contrasts 

From the natural to human-made, ancient to contemporary, urban to rural, folk arts to high fashion, deceivingly simple to mind-boggling complexity . . . we will experience the many facets of this fascinating society that has evolved uniquely through centuries of isolation 

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Textiles, textiles, textiles!

Through intimate studio visits and talks by master artisans, get your fix of time-honoured textile techniques of resist dyeing, dyeing with natural pigments, hand painting, brocade weaving, stencilling, "nail-weaving", and hand-spinning. As well as exciting modern textiles that embody the interplay of old practices and new technologies. 

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Folk and contemporary arts & crafts

Celebrate Japan's arts and crafts culture -- from mingei , the unsung heroes of everyday craftspeople to world renowned installations in select museums. Multiple textile and arts museum visits such as Ichiku Kubota Museum, dolls museum, and Little Indigo Museum as well as Bonsai Garden Museum

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Hands-on workshops

For the deeper appreciation that comes from working on a technique with your own hands, we will take in carefully-chosen hands-on workshops in Kimono stencil dyeing, Yuzen, Indigo Shibori, and traditional Tea Ceremony

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Fall season

If you're going all the way to Japan, time it for one of its most beautiful natural phenomena: Autumn. Thanks to the abundance of deciduous trees all over Japan, fall transforms the landscape with dizzying palettes of red, yellow, and brown.

Note: Impossible to guarantee but tour is well timed to coincide with several fall spots. 

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Local Markets

Specialised textile markets, antiques shopping, traditional shops for notions and remnants, contemporary fabrics . . . these stops will delight the "crafty" ones! Since many places stay open until late, we will endeavour to visit them later in the evening after the day's sightseeing so you can browse at your leisure. 

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Cultural double hit

Kyoto, as the storehouse of Japan's traditional culture, is a given. Outstanding pottery, kimono, doll-making, lacquerware, woodblock printing, and more. We also visit oft-overlooked Kanazawa, with its best preserved Edo architecture, spectacular Kenroku-en Gardens, and regional crafts of gold leaf, porcelain, delicate embroidery, and colourful washi umbrellas.

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Traditional ryokans

Our accommodations include charming ryokans (traditional inns) for a taste of classical Japanese life. Tatami matted floors, shoji sliding doors, onsen (hot springs and baths), zen-inducing surroundings, and tea ceremonies remind us that no matter how modern Japan may appear, at its beating heart is tradition.  

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Culinary Beats 

A given on every E.Y.H.O. tour since we are huge foodies! Explore famous food markets, brimming with regional abundance. Entire districts given over to the pursuit of the inner gourmand. Buddhist cuisine at shrines. Meals with local families and tiny eateries for connecting over the food of an exacting culture. Get ready for culinary immersion!

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Natural world, human interpretation 

Explore tucked away rural beauty spots, gorges and waterfalls, and mountainsides bathed in fall colours. We will also take in exquisitely landscaped formal gardens, celebrated bamboo groves, and Shinto shrines, including a farming experience with local families in Kitakuwada..

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Intimate studio visits 

Learn about traditional textiles such as Aizome, Yuzen, Tsuzure-ori, Indigo Shibori, Nishinjin-ori. Also, Ushikubi tsumugi sericulture. We cannot hope to accomplish everything that Japan offers by way of textile arts, but we will deliver a wide sweep.

what our travellers say

Image by Svetlana Gumerova

Sherie Y., San Fransisco

“My fourth trip to Japan and everything is better than before. Exceptional and authentic workshops, and stellar selections for itinerary, accommodations and guides. My friends that have traveled with me before are going to be so jealous when they see my photos! ” 

Image by Nicki Eliza Schinow

Mary P., California

I came away from this trip to Japan with a greater knowledge of Japanese culture, history and beauty.

I am grateful for the vision to achieve such a comprehensive trip, and particularly to you who made all the arrangements. 

Thank you!

Image by Ash Edmonds

Ruthellen H., Calif.

The content has been amazing. Yesterday’s home visits were a wonderful experience for all three of the groups. Visiting that area was a highlight of the trip for all. 
This has been a great experience for everyone. Thanks so much for all the planning!

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