Leave your home airport for the KIX, Kansai Airport in Osaka, Japan. Usually you'll arrive the next day due to the 16 hour ahead time change.
Arrive at KIX airport. Sheri Leigh will meet you when you arrive and take you to the Nikko hotel located in the airport. Depending on arrival time, you can rest, or go shopping at nearby Rinku. The group will have a meet and greet in the evening.
Tour of Osaka with amazing knife making demonstration. Visit the Rikyu Museum that details the origins of the tea ceremony in Japan, with a replica of the first tea house. Visit another art museum and enjoy the lively night life in Namba and tasty food in Japan's kitchen, Osaka.
Take train to Nagoya, drop off luggage then travel by local train to Seto, a pottery town with a beautiful museum, the Seto-gura, and see lots of pottery related sites.
Leave Nagoya for Tokoname, another pottery town. See informational museums and walk the Pottery Path with lots of pottery studios, stores, and other interesting sites.
Travel to Shigaraki and tour the awesome Cultural Center, which has outstanding cutting edge ceramic facilities and gallery. Go to private potter's studios too. Then travel to Kyoto.
In Kyoto we'll visit the Raku museum, the Ceramics Center, the Kiyomizudera Temple and more if time allows.
We'll visit the Golden Pavilion, then travel to Kyushu and meet our guide Ken in Kumamoto. We'll visit the Jyosai En Cultural Center that has great exhibits and collection of ceramics and other crafts.
We'll visit the Kumamoto Castle and the Contemporary Art Museum before departing on a chartered bus to Gokanosho. It's a mountain area where the Heike clan hid 50 generations ago!
We'll see a gorgeous waterfall and learn about the Heike samurai at the Heike museum. Dinner at the home-stay inns of Heike-so or Sakura-so are incredible. Beautifully arranged delicious food!
We'll have a fun day of workshops learning Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) and you'll learn how to write your name in Japanese. Then we'll enjoy a delicious bento box lunch before we get creative learning how to make pieces out of freshly cut bamboo from a master. Enjoy another dinner.
We'll come down from the mountains and visit Yatsushiro where we'll get to try on kimonos and enjoy a brief tea ceremony. We'll visit a 15th generation Kodiaki potter, and see their original drawings for orders going to the emperor! Then we'll travel by ferry to Unzen.
In Unzen we'll enjoy the natural onsens, visit the Vidro Ceramics and Glass museum/store and visit Unzen Pottery. You can walk the path through Unzen Hell, a Unesco Geopark that's out of this world! There are lots of quant shops, a bakery and a unique toy store with vintage toys.
We'll travel up to Takeo Onsen where we'll do a really fun indigo dyeing workshop with Master Ogata. Then we'll go over to Arita where we'll tour the Kyushu Ceramics museum and learn about their porcelain products.
We'll travel back to Osaka on a bullet train and stay at the same Nikko hotel
Return home. You'll probably arrive before you left with the time change. Allow some downtime after you get home if possible to get over the jet lag.
The trip is $3,900. which includes all accommodations, rail pass, all scheduled activities, and select meals. Does not include airfare.
Upon registration, you'll receive a lot of info with details about hotels, itinerary, tips for traveling to Japan and numerous handouts by email.
Maximum participants is 18, minimum is 6, age 20 and up.
Not recommended for people with mobility issues. We'll be walking and on our feet a lot, and taking trains and busses with our luggage.
A $100 non-refundable deposit will be required to reserve your seat. The balance will be due two months prior to the trip, by January 25th, 2023.
If you'd like to get on this exciting trip, or would like information, please contact me below. I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have. It's my pleasure to respond!
I'm happy to speak on the phone, or Zoom!