2nd - 14th April 2017 £1,700 13 day tour
This itinerary gives you details of places we will visit. Depending on the weather etc. we may change days. For example,if we are having a picnic and its raining on the day, we simply move days around so that we can enjoy the day at another time during the trip without getting wet. Everything on the itinerary will be done to the best of our ability. Occasionally we will change a visit. This sometimes happens when, for example, I hear of a market or special event that I feel is important. You can attend all or none of the excursions. We hope you join us on all! Should you wish to take time out at any stage just let me know. We do visit temples, museums etc. these visits are chosen to enhance the tour so that we see culture as well as textiles. Most people arrive the day prior to the start of the tour.
There are four included on the tour. These may be changed to other days as times etc. are given to us closer to date of the trip. ALL workshops included in the tour WILL go ahead.
As I mentioned above, we recommend that you arrive the day prior to the tour start so as not to miss anything! Arrive KANSAI (KIX), Osaka. You will be met by your taxi in arrivals or take a train or limousine bus**. The taxi will drive you directly to Kyoto with one brief toilet break. Time from airport to hotel is 85 minutes. You will be droppedoff at the hotel where we will meet you. Give you a coffee and show you to your room. Later we will give you a brief trip around the vicinity of the hotel. This is to get you accustomed to the general store and major landmarks such as the
Today we have a mid morning start. (If everyone is up early we will visit Higashi Honganji, one of Kyoto's most important temple, prior to late start) A with a tour the amazing 11 floors of Kyoto station, sky walk and craft/fabric shop. We will walk to the geisha district in the evening at around 6pm. Supper at a local restaurant followed by a geisha talk. Gentle walk back to the hotel.
After breakfast, we will board a local bus to Heian Jingu temple and gardens followed by Fureakan, Kyoto craft musum. The museum shows the best of Kyoto Handicrafts. Including in depth explanations and videos of Shibori and other fabric crafts. It prides itself on having live demonstrations.
Toji Temple market will astound you. It is a treasure trove of fabrics, kimono, bric-a-brac and just about everything new and old can be found there. Rucksack or large bags are usually the order of the day. Should you have a largeamount of shopping you may consider clubbing together for a taxi to get back to the hotel. Should be less than £4 each. In the afternoon we have lunch at Aeon or if you require more time at the market we can eat there. The afternoon can be spent at leisure or join us at Shoren-in Temple and with its exquisite scenery
Nishiki Market also known as Kyoto's kitchen and Terramachi. Shops new and old nestle together in these amazing streets. Lunch at a traditional izakaya pub. We visit a handmade knife shop whose scissors are to die for, and can, if required visit a famous hand made needle shop in the same area. Finally a 3 story fabric store I have to drag people out of! This afternoon we can attend a Kyo-yuzen workshop. (Gold leaf outlines used on kimono patterns. Yuzen dyeing is the most important method in the kimono industry of Kyoto. Kimono with golden yuzen patterns looks quite
The morning is spent at a wonderful Nishijin Museum where we see kimono and hand woven Kabuki and Noh costumes. Lunch at conveyor belt sushi and then on to Nishijin Textiles. Nishijin textiles producers of textiles for Japans Royal family We can do a weaving class here. (You will be able to see amazing pieces woven here and all the replicas of old weaving machines used to produce textile pieces in ancient times.You will also get a hands-on experience to work with one of the weaving machines to produce your very own textile piece for you to take home as souvenir. You can upgrade to the silk scarf experience if required.
Nara is always a firm favourite with guests. We visit a wonderful antique shop with goodies from 50p to £50,000. Highlights include Todaiji temple the largest wooden building in the world. We will show you handmade fans, second hand kimono, oldest brush shop in Japan and more. Inspirational all the way.
Today we will visit the superb Shibori Museum. The Kyoto Gallery offers a popular course in tie- dyeing allows you to create a scarf using quality silk georgette material and a combination of three dyes. As well as having fun learning the processes of dyeing, you can also take your creation have with you. You will be impressed by the unexpected beauty of the patterns created.) and after lunch you can attend a Kaga Yuzen workshop. (Enjoy the Yuzen stencil dyeing process by making your own work of art. Select the material and dyeing pattern you wish you will be shown the technique by specialist yuzen painters)
Hiroshima today. We visit the enigmatic A-dome and see the splendour of the peace park. See how the town has rebuilt itself since that fateful day in 1945. Back on the tram and off to the beautiful island of Miyajima for sunset. Take the ropeway to the summit of Mt Misen and choose from a wonderful selection of temples. Street food is amazing on the island.
Back on the bullet train to Kanazawa with its geisha districts, superb gardens and markets. Kanazawa is famous for its Kaga yuzen and gold leaf at Yasue Gold Atelier. You may also want to consider the Kaga embroidery which is characterised by the use of silk, gold and silver threads to create patterns that look three-dimensional, painstakingly implementing delicate technology stitch by stitch. In recent years, Kaga embroidery has been used on a variety of daily sun-dries and tapestries. Beginners are very, very welcome. (PLEASE NOTE KANAZAWA IS CONSIDERED THE WETTEST CITY IN JAPAN, I WILL ACCESS THE WEATHER PRIOR TO THE TRIP. IF WET AN ALTERNATE CITY WILL BE CHOSEN)
Nijo Castle with its nightingale floor is our venue for today. It’s glorious history and gardens are our first stop today. An exclusive paper shop and a visit to a 300 yr. old needle shop are just a few of todays visits. Lets visit a sake museum and see how one of Japans best known beverages is made. Even great for us non drinkers.
Back on the bullet train to Izumo today. We break the journey with a stop at Adachi Art Museum. The museum has been voted the best garden in Japan for the last 4 years. Then onwards to our hotel in Izumo where you can take advantage of the hot spring facilities
Izumo Taisha is our first stop today, we’ll have lunch at a world famous noodle shop and then off the highlight of the excursion. Yawatagaki Quilt Museum is the only dedicated quilt museum in Japan. Where possible I arrange for us to meet the artist herself.
Yasaka Jinja and Kiyomizudera are our final venues on our trip. Over 150 shops selling everything from knives to kimono wend their way up to finish our tour with a breath-taking view of Kyoto.