9th Annual Japan Tour – 2017

MAIN TOUR

Waitlist open

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Nagoya – Arimatsu – Miyama – Kyōto – Takasaki – Kiryū – Yonezawa – Yamagata – Tōkyō

30 September 2017   –   17 October 2017
16 days, 17 nights   |  18 participants maximum
¥560,000 JPY (~$4925 USD) + $500 USD   |   ¥79,000 JPY (~$695 USD) single supplement

Led by textile scholar, World Shibori Network President, and Slow Fiber Studios founder Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada, the Slow Fiber Studios Japan Tour focuses on shibori, indigo, and silk, highlighting traditional skills, modern techniques, and collaborative innovations. Travel to key cultural and textile centers including artisan studios in Arimatsu-Narumi, a neighborhood with over 400 years of history practicing traditional Japanese shibori dyeing; some of the last remaining sericulture farms and factories producing Japanese silk; and sites preserving safflower dyeing in the Tōhoku region. Visit private artist’s studios, unusual museums, gardens, and temples; engage in hands-on workshops with local artisans; enjoy seasonal Japanese cuisine and stay in unique traditional inns.

SFS TO17 JP Tour RouteItinerary Highlights

  • Wander a local autumn festival in Arimatsu
  • Walk along the old Tōkaidō route to see shibori artisan studios and historical merchants’ homes
  • Tour some of the last remaining sericulture (silkworm) farms and silk reeling mills in Japan
  • Learn about textile design with a seminar in Kiryū, famous for innovative weaving, knitting, and embroidery studios and factories
  • Meet and learn from master shibori artisans of Arimatsu, silk spinners, weavers, and dyers in Yamagata, and safflower dyeing luminary Dr. Kazuki Yamazaki
  • Visit a cutting-edge knitting studio and a university fiber art program in Yamagata
  • Renew inspiration at fashion and art sites in Tōkyō, including the flagship stores of Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons, and Yohji Yamamoto
  • Explore museums and temples including Arimatsu’s Shibori Museum, Kyoto’s Silver Pavilion, Tōkyō’s National Museum, and the Miho Museum designed by I. M. Pei
  • Attend specially arranged visits to a private studio on Mt. Hiei, a village with thatched-roofed farmhouses, and the Little Indigo Museum
  • Enjoy dinner at an bohemian Tōkyō restaurant with a third-generation owner fond of kimono, and a store with a huge paper stock in a rainbow spectrum
  • Rejuvenate with four nights at three different ryokan complete with scenic surroundings, tatami mat rooms, seasonal traditional Japanese cuisine, and communal hot baths – a quintessential Japanese experience

Included

  • Shared accommodations throughout tour
    • 13 nights at Western-style hotels
    • 4 nights at a business hotel (single accommodations for all)
    • 4 nights at traditional Japanese ryokan
  • 29 meals: breakfast each morning; 4 lunches; 9 dinners
  • Private and public transport throughout tour to destinations in the tour itinerary (Optional shared taxi rides and Japan Rail Pass are not included – please see Tour Details)
  • Luggage shipping (1 piece) between Nagoya and Kyōto, Kyōto and Yonezawa, and Yonezawa and Tōkyō
  • Honoraria and compensations for guides, specialists, demonstrators, and lecturers
  • Entry fees to temples, museums, historical sites, and other activities in the tour itinerary

Optional Additions

  • Single accommodations upgrade for 13 nights at Western-style hotels (ryokan are shared accommodations only; business hotels are single accommodations only)   –   ¥79,000 JPY (~$695 USD)
  • Guided tour and half-day workshop with master potter at Tokoname Kiln in Nagoya   –   (Price TBC)
  • 2 half-day workshop with shibori artisans in Arimatsu, 2 lunches, and all workshop materials   –   ¥24,000 JPY (~$210 USD)   |   ¥7,200 JPY (~$65 USD) observation only
  • 1 day workshop with spinners, weavers, and natural dyers in Yonezawa, 1 lunch, and all workshop materials   –   ¥12,000 JPY (~$105 USD)   |   ¥2,400 JPY (~$20 USD) observation only

POST-TOUR EXTENSION

Waitlist open

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Shōdoshima – Inujima – Teshima – Naoshima – Kanayama

17 October 2017   –   22 October 2017
6 days, 6 nights   |  19 participants maximum
¥230,000 JPY* (~$2025 USD)   |   ¥200,000 JPY* (~$1825 USD) Ohana option

The Post-Tour Extension focuses on contemporary art and architecture and features visits to unique and hard-to-reach art sites as well as stops along the Shōdoshima Island with Buddhist pilgrimage route. Island-hop through the inland sea to visit indoor and outdoor art installations created for the Setouchi Triennale by both Japanese and international talents. Stay at the exclusive Benesse House Park designed by famed architect Tadao Ando and enjoy unique experiences like a bath at the I♥︎湯 (“I love yu (hot bath)”) public bath house designed by artist Shinro Ōtake.

SFS TO17 JP Post-Tour Extension RouteItinerary Highlights

*Participants registering for Post-Tour Extension only must pay tour fare plus $500 USD deposit.

Included

  • Shared accommodations throughout tour
    • 1 night at a business hotel (single accommodations for all)
    • 2 nights at Japanese minshuku
    • (Standard option) 2 nights at Benesse House Park
    • (Ohana option) 2 nights at Ohana “Kai” cottage
  • 10 meals: breakfast each morning; 4 dinners
  • Private and public transport throughout tour to destinations in the tour itinerary (Optional shared taxi rides and Japan Rail Pass are not included – please see Tour Details)
  • Honoraria and compensations for guides, specialists, demonstrators, and lecturers
  • Entry fees to temples, museums, historical sites, and other activities in the tour itinerary

DETAILS

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Not Included

  • International airfare, airport or hotel shuttle transit, and any other travel before and after the tour start and finish or outside of the tour itinerary
    • Main tour only: fly into Nagoya Chubu Centrair (NGO) and out of Tokyo Narita (NRT) or Tokyo Haneda (HND)
    • Post-tour extension only: fly into Tokyo Narita (NRT) or Tokyo Haneda (HND) and out of Nagoya Chubu Centrair (NGO)
    • Combined main tour and post-tour extension: Fly into and out of Nagoya Chubu Centrair (NGO)
    • N.B. The tours begin the evening of 9/30 (Main Tour) and 10/17 (Extension). We advise you to arrive the day before the tour begins to allow for jetlag or travel mishaps. Many flights involve a time zone change, so please double check your arrival date; e.g. to arrive 9/29, travelers from the US depart on 9/28. Please make your own hotel booking at the Meitetsu Inn Nagoya Kanayama for the night of 9/29 or the Shiba Park Hotel for the night of 10/16.
  • Japan Rail (JR) Pass to cover train travel to and between cities on the tour
    • Main tour only or post-tour extension only: 7 day pass, ¥29,110 JPY (~$260 USD)
    • Combined main tour and post-tour extension: 14 day pass, ¥46,390 JPY (~$410 USD)
  • Meals and snacks outside of tour itinerary; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
    • We recommend that participants with specific dietary requirements come prepared with their own snacks
  • Travel, entry fees, meals, accommodations, etc. deviating from the tour itinerary
    • Sometimes due to weather, location, etc. tour participants prefer to take a shared taxi rather than public transport. This is optional and considered an incidental cost.
  • Porter services or bag shipping fees for excess luggage
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)

Accommodations

For more information about the types of accommodations on tour, please refer to Slow Fiber Studios accommodations details.

Physical Requirements

  • Extended periods of walking, sometimes over rough terrain
  • Walking up and down large staircases in subway stations or temples
  • Sitting on the floor or standing for extended periods   –   we may be able to provide a chair with advance notice
  • Sleeping on futon on the floor   –   we may be able to arrange a bed with advance notice

Policies

Please refer to Slow Fiber Studios tour policies.

In addition to the above referenced policies, please note that the Post-Tour Extension Ohana Option has a minimum enrollment of 2. If the Ohana Option does not have at least 2 travelers registered on September 1, 2017, Slow Fiber Studios will cancel the Ohana Option. Tour fare will be refunded in full. All other payment policies apply as usual.


REGISTRATION

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SFS tours are only open to World Shibori Network members. Read about this and other membership privileges on the World Shibori Network Membership website.

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You must make a $500 deposit to Slow Fiber Studios to secure your place in this coveted program. Registration deposit is 90% refundable until 6/30/2017.

Please make sure you have carefully read what is included in tour fare and what is not, including the Tour Details section of this page and Slow Fiber Studios tour policies. Among other things you are responsible for purchasing your own airfare, your own Japan Rail Pass, and your own travel insurance.
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