Textiles and Traditional Arts of Japan
October 20-30, 2024
Small Group Journey
Tokyo > Ibaragi > Nagano > Kanazawa > Kyoto > Tokyo
Explore Japan next autumn for an unforgettable travel experience highlighting Japan’s art, culture, and food. So much of what makes Japan unique is its deep history of fine arts, crafts, textiles, and food. On this 11-day tour, we touch every aspect of life in Japan by visiting large and small cities alike. Personally guided by Koshiki Yonemura, co-founder of Tanpopo Journeys and a guide from 2019 Textile Tour with Textile Center. Our journey starts in Tokyo, a thriving modern metropolis, and from there we will quickly move on to rural Japan where we will learn about the importance of cultural preservation, silk kimono, regional dye, and traditional weaving practices. Kyoto, Kanazawa, and Nagano are all enriched with artisan studios, meticulous Japanese gardens, eye-catching fiber arts, and fine pottery.
Enjoying the autumn colors, visiting markets, savoring the delicious local cuisine, and listening to stories of textile artists are all part of this spiritual journey. So let’s travel together with five senses to see and feel how textiles are woven into the culture and everyday lives of the people of Japan.
oct. 20-30, 2024
$5850 per person, double occupancy
$6250 per person, single occupancy
hotels, local transportation
workshops & demonstrations
guide & interpreter
transportation to/from hotel on the first/last day of tour
what’s not included:
travel or medical insurance
flight to/from Japan
personal spending including:
shopping, alcohol, laundry, some meals
- Welcome Dinner
- Antique Flea Market (Optional)
- Take a tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market and have fresh sushi for lunch
- Visit the kimono remake studio and participate in the workshop
- Visit Tsutaya Design Studio
- Experience Zen Culture at the historic Zenkoji Temple in Nagano
- Visit the 300 year old Koiwai Weaving Studio in Ueda
- Tea Ceremony at Kenrokuen, a 17th century garden in Kanazawa
- Mizuhiki Workshop
- SAORI Weaving Workshop (Optional)
- Kutani Pottery Studio Visit
- Gold Leaf Application Workshop
- Kanazawa Craft Museum Visit
- Kyoto Shibori Museum & Workshop
- Noh Performance and Backstage Visit
- Take a Roketsu Dye Workshop (traditional dye using wax)
- Fabric Shopping in Textile Town
- Farewell Dinner
Ideal trip for:
Solo Traveler , Female Traveler , Friends , Couples
Day 1-2 > Welcome Dinner, Tokyo Antique Flea Market & Tsukiji Market
Welcome to Tokyo, the energetic capital of Japan. With a population of over 9 million people, it’s Japan’s largest city with all the amenities. After arriving at our hotel, we’ll take a quick break and then gather as a group for a welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant in Ginza.
Day 3-5 >Kimono remake, temple visit, weaving workshop
We will visit rural Japan to meet textile artists and immerse ourselves in the culture of Zen. In Ibaragi, we will learn how to upcycle the traditional silk kimono, and in Ueda, we will learn the history of local weaving and dye from three-generation weavers. Then, enjoy the experience of staying at a zen temple, feasting vegetarian temple cuisine, and attending the morning chanting.
Day 6-7> Kanazawa, Tea Ceremony & Fiber Arts
We are going to spend two days in Kanazawa, one of the best-preserved Edo period (1603-1868) cities in the country for workshops and hands-on activities of gold leaf and Mizuhiki art. Tea ceremony and garden visits are also included in Kanazawa.
Day 8-9 > Kyoto, Noh Performance, Shibori & Roketsu Workshop
Welcome to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, and home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
We will visit the local Noh theater. Noh is the oldest surviving theater still in practice in Japan. Its theatrical art form involving music, dance, and drama originated in the 14th century and has kept its content the same for the last 600 years. We will have a rare opportunity to visit backstage to learn about the costume, masks, and props used in the play.
Shibori workshop, museum visit, and roketsu workshop are all part of the Kyoto visit.
Day 10-11 > Asakusa & Farewell Dinner
Back in Tokyo, we’ll have for a day of shopping and sightseeing at Asakusa and Nippori textile town followed by farewell dinner as a group. Transportation to the airport is included for those who are leaving Japan on the last day of the tour.
Hi, my name is Koshiki, and I am your textile tour guide. As a Japan specialist and a travel advisor, I have 20+ years of hospitality experience. I lead numerous special interest tours to Japan, including textile, food, arts and culture, and sports event such as Nagano Winter Olympic. My role as a guide is to help and assist you through your journey to Japan and present knowledge of its textile and culture with personal and attentive service so you can experience the best of what Japan has to offer.
Kenneth Schweiger is an accomplished visual artist living and working out of his studio in Lowertown, St. Paul. After graduating from DePaul University in Chicago, he lived in Tokyo and studied Japanese classical and contemporary fine art and culture. With his abundance of energy and kindness and passion for Japanese arts, Kenny guided the 2019 Textile tour and will be your guide in 2023 as well!
Words can not express my gratitude for all your help and learning opportunities you gave me in this wonderful, amazing, soul-recharging trip. Thank you!
Maite, WashingtonTextile and Traditional Arts Tour 2023
The long awaited 2023 Textile Tour of Japan was a trip of a lifetime! Everyday was an adventure filled with sights, workshops, history lessons and surprises. A perfectly sized group of 7 (plus Koshiki and Kenny) traversed Japan visiting both cities and the countryside. In addition to traditional sightseeing, we shopped the Tokyo flea market, learned the history and characteristics of kimonos (and how to disassemble them), had workshops with Saori and silk weavers, made paper woven jewelry, dyed fabric both in indigo and in shibori style, visited a potter whose family has served Japanese dignitaries for hundreds of years and applied gold leaf in patterns that we created. We discovered a tailor shop with silk remnants for sale and a private display of historic kimonos. In each experience, we learned about the long history of the craft in Japan and how it is interwoven into Japanese culture. Koshiki and Kenny were guides par excellence! This trip could not have been better!