Textiles and Traditional Arts of Japan
Next tour, fall of 2023
Registration opens in January 2023
Small Group Journey
Tokyo > Gunmna > Nagano > Kanazawa > Kyoto > Tokyo
Explore Japan next spring for an unforgettable travel experience highlighting the art, culture, and food of Japan. 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 onto rural Japan where we will learn the history of silk production (UNESCO site) and participate in a regional cooking class. Kyoto, Kanazawa, and Nagano are all enriched with artisan studios, meticulous Japanese gardens, feudal castles, eye-catching fiber arts, and fine pottery.
Enjoy the delicious cuisine of Japan pairing with regional sake, relax in the natural hot springs, indulge in a multi-course kaiseki dinner, and stay in a traditional ryokan (inn) while wearing a Kimono (optional) are all part of this spiritual journey. 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.
fall of 2023
registration now open
$5550 per person, double occupancy
$5950 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
- Tour the Tomioka Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage site)
- Enjoy a natural hot spring bath & kaiseki dinner at a ryokan (traditional inns)
- 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
- Take a cooking class from a local women’s group
- SAORI Weaving Workshop (Optional)
- Kutani Pottery Studio Visit
- Feather & Needle Art Workshop
- Gold Leaf Application Workshop
- Tour the Nishijin Textile Center and Kimono Fashion Show
- Kyoto Shibori Museum
- Private dinner and performance by Maiko in Gion
- 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 >Tomioka Silk Mill, Koiwai Studio & Cooking Class
We’ll take a bullet train to Gunma and the mountains of Nagano, to learn the history of silk production at the Tomioka Silk Mill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll learn regional cooking from a local women’s group, have a demonstration on Ueda weaving and silk dyeing, stay at a hot spring hotel, enjoy a multicourse kaiseki dinner and more.
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 as well as needle and feather art. Tea ceremony and garden visits are also included in Kanazawa.
Day 8-9 > Kyoto, Nishijin Textile Center & Roketsu Workshop
Welcome to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, and home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We are going to see a Kimono fashion show and learn about fabric making for the Imperial Courts and Samurai lords. We will also participate in Roketsu, wax dye workshop and have traditional dinner with dance and music performance.
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 2022 as well!