May 15th - Fly from your airport to KIX, Kansai Airport in Osaka, Japan. Usually you'll land the following day due to the time change.
May 16th - Sheri will meet you when you arrive in Osaka. You can check right into the hotel located in the airport. We'll meet as a group that evening.
May 17th - Guided tour of some uniques places in Osaka, like this historical knife making studio, the Rikyu Museum, and more! Osaka is known as Japan's kitchen!
May 18th - Travel to Tottori, where we'll meet our guide, Ken. See the incredible sand dunes, lunch at local restaurant, then visit the Watanabe Museum of Art,
May 19th - Workshop making Japanese Washi Paper, see Tottori Nijisseiki Pear Museum, (above), group lunch, then visit Kazuwa Kiln, and stay in a beautiful Japanese Ryokan that night.
May 20th - Travel to Kumamoto in Kyushu and visit the Jyosai En Cultural Center that has beautiful ceramics and other crafts, and visit the Kumamoto Castle.
May 21st - Travel by chartered bus to a very special place in the mountains, Gokanosho. We'll see a gorgeous waterfall, and visit the Heike Museum, before an incredible dinner!
May 22nd - Learn Shodo (Japanese calligraphy), enjoy bento box for lunch, then get creative with bamboo at the craft center. Another awesome dinner with sake heated in the fire in freshly cut bamboo!
May 23rd - We'll take a chartered bus to Yatsushiro where we'll try on kimonos and have a brief tea ceremony, then see Kodayaki Pottery, who made work for the emperor! Then we'll travel by ferry to Unzen.
May 24th - Experience the out of this world Unzen Hell, a Unesco Geopark, visit the Video Ceramics and Glass Museum, and go to Unzen Pottery, volcanic ashes glazed pots.
May 25th - We'll go up to Takeo Onsen, a historical onsen town, and participate in a really fun indigo dyeing workshop. Master Ogata grows his own indigo and make the dye. He makes gorgeous work!
May 26th - We'll visit Master Koga's pottery studio and showroom. His work is gorgeous, with various decorations and glazes in this multigenerational pottery studio.
May 27th - We'll visit the Raku Museum, a generational family pottery museum, then see the Golden Pavilion, the Nijo Castle, and enjoy the Nishiki Market.
May 28th - Seita, our guide, will take us by chartered bus to Shigaraki pottery town. We'll visit the Cultural Center, and private pottery studios. You'll see incredible work!
May 29th - We'll go see the Ceramics Center, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, go to a ceramics supply store, and tatami mat maker's store and more!
May 30th - Sheri will help coordinate your travel from Kyoto back to KIX airport in Osaka the last morning. You'll probably arrive in the US before you left on the same day due to the time change.
The food in Japan is Oishee! Delicious! There's so much variety: sushi, sashimi, many kinds of noodles, tempura, teppanyaki, sukiyaki, takoyaki, bento boxes with yummy little compartments, and yummy desserts!
There is so much to see and do in Japan! It's hard to narrow it down for a two-week trip! We'll see and do ARTsome things every day, and enjoy all that Japan has to offer. We'll visit places that are not touristy in the "real" Japan!
The people of Japan are incredibly polite, considerate, and accommodating! They are extremely kind and generous! The country is filled with beauty, the landscapes, intricate designs, and the food is so enjoyable!
Ken, our main guide in Japan, is Japanese, but lived in New York for years. He has had a great career in tourism and will take us to awesome, unforgettable places. We'll be in Osaka and Kyoto, which are large cities, but spend the majority of the trip in Kyushu, Japan's southwest island.
Upon registration, you'll receive a lot of information about Japan, and what to expect, pack, and tips for an incredible experience. You'll receive a detailed itinerary and informational handouts. Itinerary is subject to change, but the plan above is current.
Contact Sheri Leigh below if you'd like more information.
Reserve you seat soon! A $100 non-refundable deposit will be requested at that time. The balance will be due two months prior to the trip, by March 15th, 2023.
Maximum group size is 18 and minimum is 6. For people age 20 and up.
This trip is not recommended for individuals with mobility issues. We'll be walking a lot every day, and hopping on and off public and private transportation with our luggage.
May is a great time to visit Japan. It can be warm and humid, and it may rain occasionally. In Gokanosho and Unzen, mountain towns, it can be cooler.
Pack comfortable shoes that you can easily take off and put on, as some places we visit will ask you to take off your shoes. We'll be on our feet a lot, so think comfort!
The trip is $3,900 which includes all accommodations. There is no extra charge for single rooms. Double rooms and two twin beds are available too. Fee also includes rail pass, all scheduled activities, and select meals.
Sheri Leigh is a professor emeritus and loves helping people with any questions that folks may have. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any issues or questions.
Pottery decorator in Kyoto