Affordable Japan - amazing group trips with a ceramic artist who is overly enthusiastic about Japan!
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Affordable Japan - amazing group trips with a ceramic artist who is overly enthusiastic about Japan!
Go to places you wouldn't think to go to. See iconic temples in Kyoto as well as enjoying nature in the scenic mountains. See artisans at work. Enjoy sake, and enjoy incredible meals that are an experience, not just delicious food! I'm eager to share Japan with you and so excited that Japan is open to tourists again
"You don't have to be a potter, you just have to love pottery!"
The tours include lots of potter's studios, museums, and supply shops, but we'll also be doing a lot of sightseeing and hands-on art workshops in a variety of mediums. We'll see iconic temples, shrines and eat delicious food!
The tours are action packed with a lot of walking. Not recommended for people with mobility issues or physical fitness limitations.
Anyone is welcome age 20 and up! Spouses and friends love the tour too!
May 2023 November 2023 Registration Page
Hand dyed by Master Ogata
Konnichiwa! Hello! Nice to meet you! I'm Sheri Leigh O'Connor, a Japan enthusiast! I have been taking people on tours to Japan for years. I always can't wait for the next trip! I've been there over 20 times and speak enough Japanese to get us from A to B, and shop! While in Japan, you'll meet incredible people I know, who are amazingly kind, from tour-guides to indigo dyeing artists, to potters, artists and other creatives.
Forming Trip2Japan LLC is a dream come true! Please join me on an ARTsome Trip2Japan!
I was invited to go on an "Inspection Tour" in Japan by the Kumamoto government's department of tourism. It's in Kyushu, located in southwest Japan. I, and two other ceramics professors, were generously hosted to an incredible trip! They took us to amazing places that I couldn't have imagined. I experienced "real Japan" not just touristy Japan. Since then, I've been joyfully taking people interested in ceramics, art and skiing/snowboarding on different tours of Japan. The trips have been to different locations and during various seasons, and I absolutely love each and every trip! You will too! It's affordable, incredible, educational and ARTsome!
I was a ceramics professor for over 30 years, 24 at Sierra Nevada University, where I'm now Professor Emeritus. I'm currently a practicing ceramic artist. sherileighceramics.com I'm excited to concentrate on the most exciting part of my academic career - Japan!
Since the first time I went to Japan in 2000, I absolutely love everything Japanese, and I'm completely obsessed with travel to Japan!
Recently, I bought a property in Ayabe, in the Kyoto Prefecture, and I plan to offer workshops and an Artist in Residency program there soon. It's a dream come true!
Why is it so cheap? It's just me, no employees, and low overhead! I want nothing more than being able to take enthusiastic folks on multiple trips to Japan a lot! With my years of experience arranging Japan tours I'm able to keep costs low by utilizing public transportation: trains, busses, subways and ferries. We'll travel on bullet trains using Japan's excellent rail pass. All of these are all included in the tour fee. There is no supplemental fee for single rooms! Single or doubles, same price (except for Japanuary and Gokanosho, where there will be shared rooms for a few nights.
The trips involve a lot of walking! They are not suitable for people with mobility issues or those that are not physically fit enough to walk long distances and hop on and off trains and busses with luggage, etc. Some trips have light hiking on trails to see waterfalls, going up and down the mountain, etc.
I have relationships with experienced tour guides who arrange local government sponsored activities, local tour guides and transportation in some locations, They are unbelievably kind and generous.
I'm obsessed with Japan, and absolutely can't wait until I can go again as soon as I get home!
I'm an artist. Yes, most tours of Japan will include amazing Japanese art, but chances are your tour guide will not be an artist. I've been all over Japan and have taken groups to: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Utsonomiya, Nikko - amazing temples, Nagano, Zao, Yudanaka - snow monkeys, Mashiko - pottery town, Shigaraki - pottery town, Kumamoto, Takeo Onsen, Unzen Onsen, Yatsushiro and more.
Perhaps you're planning your own trip and you want advice from an artist, or you'd like to have a personal tour guide/artist take you on an itinerary of your choosing, or you'd just like to join a group of like minded people on an upcoming group tour. I'll connect you with Japanese people, places, and tour guides.
On the group tours you'll visit remote areas, stay at incredible Japanese style hotels - Ryokans, and enjoy the Japanese baths - onsen, sleep on a futon resting on tatami mats, and eat Japanese food like you can't even imagine! It's edible sculpture on a plate! We'll also stay at Western Style hotels. Tours go to gorgeous Kyoto and visit iconic temples, museums, and artist studios where you'll meet the artist and see how they make their work. See snow monkeys, do hands on art projects with Japanese masters, see demos by talented craftspeople, enjoy remote landscapes in the mountains, and exciting cityscapes!
I'd love to take school groups or other groups to Japan! It doesn't have to focus on ceramics! I'll do all the planning, and one teacher's/professor's/group leader's' expenses will be covered!
If you'd like to join a shopaholic, I'll take you shopping in 100 yen stores (dollar stores), and places to buy vintage kimonos, and studios where you can buy artwork directly from the artist. Every time I go to Japan, I tell myself I'm not going to buy too much this time, and I haven't even come close!
Join me on a trip of a lifetime!
Owner: Sheri Leigh O'Connor
10112 Columbine Road
Truckee, CA 96161
Trip2Japan LLC is licensed to do business in CA and is registered with the State of California Seller of Travel, and the Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation in CA.
California law requires certain sellers of travel to have a trust account or bond. This business, Trip2Japan LLC, has a trust account.
Deposits of $100. are non-refundable but can be transferred to another scheduled trip if a situation arises where you can't attend the trip for which you deposited.
Full payment, (any remaining balance) is due 60 days before the start date of the trip and is non-refundable 60 days prior to the start date of the trip. Payment will be accepted any time prior to the 60-day deadline.
The itinerary advertised on this website, Trip2Japan.com, reflects the travel dates, locations to be visited, included activities, and other inclusions, such as a Japan Rail Pass. Itineraries are subject to slight changes due to unforeseen circumstances, such as inclement weather, but will not vary greatly from the published itinerary. For example, touring the Golden Pavilion may occur a day before or after it was listed on the itinerary.
Participants will be required to purchase a Traveler's Insurance policy.
Upon depositing, you'll receive a written itinerary, waiver forms for you to complete and return, as well as a lot of information to prepare you for an ARTsome Trip2Japan!
I'll take you on an amazing tour of Japan where you'll visit iconic sights but also out of the mainstream areas. that our Japanese guides will take us to. You'll want to go back to Japan as soon as you get home! Limited to 18pp. No surcharge for single occupancy. Doubles available. These are active trips that are somewhat rigorous with a lot of walking on most days. Reserve your trip of choice today by depositing!
Two-week tour. beginning in Osaka, then Tottori, Kumamoto, Gokanosho, Takeo Onsen, and Hirado. Experience gorgeous Kyoto before traveling home. We'll see historic mountain towns, learn Shodo Calligraphy, indigo dyeing, and work with bamboo. Includes all hotels, activities, rail pass, and select meals. Does not include flights.
Contact Sheri Leigh with questions - More info: May 2023.
Two week tour of eastern Japan starting in Tokyo, including Odawara, Hakone, Mashiko, Nikko, and Kyoto! In between tour days, we'll be in the studio with Lisa Clague making clay sculptures. Experience the beauty of Japan, relax in their onsen baths, eat incredible food, and meet Japanese potters. Includes all hotels, activities, rail pass, and select meals. Does not include flights.
Upcoming tours in beginning in April and May, 2024. Both are two week tours of Japan where you'll see Japanese potters and pottery towns, temples, shrines, museums, and enjoy incredible food!
Pick my brain for information about traveling to Japan. It's my pleasure to answer your questions!
Create a list of questions, and get expert advice. Billed in quarter hour increments. Minimum charge: 50.
Let me plan a trip of a lifetime to Japan for you! Tell me your interests and budget, and I'll do as much work on it as you like, just hotels, or everything I can think of!
Let me make a suggested itinerary, or plan whatever you'd like to do.
I'll take 10% of what I book for you, such as just one hotel night for the lowest rate I can find near where you want to stay, or the whole trip: from flights, hotels, activities and more. Free initial 5 minute consultation.
We'll plan the itinerary together, and I'll guide your family, group, or school group to the most artsome places in Japan!
Get a group of 17 people to register for a trip, and your trip with the group will be totally free! (Does not include flights. Includes everything that is included in the group's trip) Can be for a planned group tour, or a custom tour.
Depositing early is recommended as Japan is now open to tourists, and trips may fill rapidly! Trip2Japan LLC is fully registered, licensed and insured in the state of California.
Click below to start our conversation about Japan, my favorite topic!
Truckee, California, United States
Flexible. Phone, Zoom, or In person hours by appointment:
After the first trip I was hooked! Sheri is an incredible tour guide and planner, perfectly balancing art, culture, food and fun. I am looking forward to going on my 4th trip as soon as I can.
Traveling to Japan gave me an opportunity to step outside of my routine and embrace a new way of perceiving life. The culture and art was rich with philosophy and the appreciation of the earth. The people we met were generous and warm. I felt a sense of peace in the countryside of Gokanosho. My Mom had the chance to experience things she had never imagined, that opened her eyes to the beauty of travel! Sheri has a way with connecting people and places that bring great transformation. I have so much gratitude for her planning and manifesting an amazing trip to Japan!
I often think of you and the fabulous trip to Japan with you and that group of makers! Your expert shepherding and detailed planning made that trip a wonderful experience. Sheri, you were the reason that trip was a great experience. .
Going to Japan on the art tour with Sheri was a once in a lifetime adventure. I have always been fascinated with the Japanese culture, their food, their art and pottery and the people. It was truly an amazing trip. It was a small group and we visited some wonderful shrines and sites that Sheri had arranged for us. I highly recommend this trip for anyone who has been to Japan or who is never experienced the country. Sherry was flexible, fun to be with, curious and very knowledgeable
I always wanted to go to Japan, but never thought I’d be able to go. Sheri made the trip to Japan seamless and a trip of a lifetime. She made the itinerary with so much intention and balance between sightseeing, art, culture and fun! Sheri really has a gift for trip curating. She’s personable and her deep love for Japan is easy felt through the trip. She has made relationships with locals and isn’t just “another tour Japan trip”, she deeply respects the culture. I had blast and it was a trip I will always remember, thank you so much for the experience! Would go again in a heart beat.
This is a trip I will remember forever! It was amazing to be immersed in such a beautiful culture. I loved that we traveled to different parts of Japan from the city to the country side! Sheri was so knowledgeable and had everything planned so well! I felt very safe and had so much fun learning new art techniques and to be in the midst of such deep history is awe inspiring! I would take this trip again in a heartbeat.
Going to Japan with Sheri and my classmates was fantastic. Our translator was a great guide for the trip, and getting to see Toyko and ride the bullet train to Kumamoto was an experience I'll never forget. The food was outstanding, the culture was invigorating, and the schedule was full of the perfect balance of fun and informative adventures, guided tours, and some downtime to really appreciate each and every place we went. I think about this trip all the time and highly recommend joining Sheri. She takes all of the work out of making an itinerary and gives you all the enjoyment of a quality vacation/trip.
In 2014 I went to Japan with Sheri Leigh O’Connor and had my socks blown off!!! Japan is an extravaganza full of cultural heritage experiences and ancient art techniques interwoven into the majestic landscape you travel through with Sheri. This trip was a life changer and I’ve been eager to return to Japan ever since ! Sheri creates an all inclusive environment allowing you to integrate seamlessly into the Japanese culture. Her humble and passionate knowledge of the culture allows you to see with keen eyes the techniques of life yet unrealized by another country. We walked softly in the aura of an ancient heritage. I wouldn’t want to return to Japan with anyone else because of how comfortable she makes you feel as you meet all her friends she’s made over the years. Her itinerary keeps you connecting with so many unique people and places you feel at home because of how finely integrated you become with every Japanese family. As for my personal growth as an artist, I flourished upon returning home with all the inspiration from the diverse artists we visited. I wanted to create in all Mediums ! Making art in a country unparalleled in craft and design Encouraged growth I didn’t even realize possible ! This trip may seem like one in a life time but soon after you return you’ll be planning your next trip , Sheri Leigh makes traveling to Japan a lifetime adventure !
I can honestly say that the trips I took with Sheri to Japan totally changed my life. Japan has so much history and innovation. I learned all about Hamada and other western artists. We visited the cultural center in Shigaraki, and I remember thinking that is was like the Olympics of ceramics! I thought maybe someday I’d be able to work there. After graduating, a friend said “Do the Dream” so I applied to Shigaraki and got in! The hospitality of the Japanese stood out so much. They’d miss their train to help you find your train! If you get the chance, go to Japan with Sheri Leigh!
Just dropping you a note to thank you thank you thank you for a wonderful trip. We had a terrific time. Your choice of locations - especially in Kyushu - was thoughtful, the sites we visited were all fascinating and focused, transportation well-planned and smooth, and lodgings a perfect balance of traditional and modern. Our introduction to Japanese pottery was exactly what we had hoped for. Most importantly, you were the perfect guide: knowledgeable, flexible, and personable. We are so very grateful for all of your hard work, passion, and good humor. Our trip with you was a great experience and value.