CERAMICS OF JAPAN

Our Japan Ceramics Tour from March 5-15, 2018 is designed for enthusiasts, potters and anyone interested in the art of Japan. On this journey we’ll discover the beauty of both the lush countryside and the incredible ceramics of Japan.  Joining our Japan-based art and ceramics expert and guide, Keiko Kamei, your guide, will be guest lecturer Robert Yellin, one of the foremost experts on Japanese Ceramics.  The focus of this introductory tour is to learn about the wide range of Japanese ceramics and how ceramics is such an integral part of all of the arts of Japan, including cha no yu (tea ceremony), ikebana, kaiseki, and more. We cover the range from traditional to contemporary to sculptural ceramics in a fast-paced 8 days in Kyoto. With such a talented team you’ll return home with an education in ceramics, from mingei pottery to high-fired, low-fired, glazed and unglazed yakishime.

Rob Yellin

Japanese Pottery Specialist and Licensed Japanese Antique Dealer
Sen no Rikyū (1522-1591)

If you have one teapot
And can brew your tea in it
That will do quite well.
How much does he lack himself
Who must have a lot of things?

Highlights

φ Visit the great pottery centers of Shigaraki, Bizen and Tamba, all from our central base in Kyoto.

φ Explore the unique styles of Japanese pottery and learn about both traditional and contemporary ceramics.

φ Be guests in potter’s studios, where you will hear about their lives and their art.

φ Gain an understanding of the role of Ceramics in Japanese life and history and how ceramics still plays a major role in all the arts of Japan, including kaiseki, ikebana, tea ceremony and more.

φ See the work of non-ceramics artists and craftsman in Kyoto and learn about how the concept of mastery is an integral part of the culture of Japan.

φ Visit small towns full of artisans still working with traditional materials in both ancient and innovative ways.

Daily Itinerary: March 5 - 15, 2018

Depart for Japan on your individually arranged flight.

Esprit Japanese Garden Tour - Ginkakuji-Kyoto-ViewArrive Osaka Kansai airport.  You will be met and transferred by reserved van shuttle to the Royal Park Kyoto hotel, our well-located tour hotel and convenient to public transport.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto

Esprit Japanese Garden Tour - Zuiho-In-AbbotSpend the morning at Daitokuji Zen monastery, for a private experience of the Way of Tea with the abbot of Zuihoin sub-temple, an introduction to their extensive tea bowl collection and a discussion of how the ceramic history of Japan is so closely tied to the tea ceremony. After lunch in a 500-year old noodle shop visit Ryosho, a gallery specializing in implements for the tea world for a presentation of a full range of tea bowl styles by the retired founder and former manager of Takashimaya’s art department.   End the day in Eastern Kyoto for a walk along the Philosopher’s Walk to a Robert Yellin’s Yakimono Gallery to continue our introduction to the world of Japanese ceramics.  Return to the hotel for dinner on your own.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Esprit Japanese Garden Tour - Tamba-potter-at-wheelTravel to the town of Tamba to start the exploration of ceramics with a visit to the studio and kilns of some local ceramic artists.  Tamba ware originated in the medieval period, and is typically a style used for storage jars and vases and it is also famous for its sake bottles.  Rob Yellin will put the artists you are visiting in context so that you will have a deeper appreciation of this type of Yakishime, high-fired unglazed stoneware.  After our return to Kyoto we will have a group dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Esprit Japanese Garden Tour - KikomizuExplore the Gion area, including the Kennin-ji monastery and gardens, followed by a walking tour of the nearby Kyoto traditional ceramics district, including the Kiyomizu Rokubei family generational museum, the Kondo Yuzo museum and a visit to the home of a renowned celadon master.  Learn about the 300-year old Ninsei and Kenzan styles. Return to the center of Kyoto to visit a current ceramics show.  Tonight dinner will be on your own.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Esprit Japanese Ceramics Tour -Imbe-KilnToday we head to Okayama prefecture for a visit to the Bizen Pottery Village in Imbe.   Rob will lead us on an exploration of the various tunnel kilns and artists still practicing the centuries old art of creating these unique reddish or brown-colored, unglazed works.   We will learn about the six major variations of Bizenware and how they are created through the careful placement of the objects in the kiln.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Esprit Japanese Ceramics Tour - GionStart the day with an ikebana demonstration showing ceramic vases by a master teacher in the Sogetsu Ikebana school.  Next travel to the Raku Museum and follow that with a visit to the Kawai Kanjiro house.   Lunch will be in a Zen-style vegetarian restaurant set in a lovely old house near Kiyomizu temple.   After a visit to a contemporary ceramic mingei artist, the rest of the afternoon will be free for exploring Kyoto on your own or using Esprit’s complimentary shopping map. Take an optional early evening walking tour with your tour leader of the Gion geisha district before dinner on your own.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Esprit Japanese Ceramics Tour - ShisendoStart the day at one of Kyoto’s quiet garden for a reflective moment.  Enjoy a demonstration of Senchakai, the leaf tea ceremony at a private restaurant, with an introduction to Sencha ceramics.  The proprietor of Kyoto’s oldest inn and garden, located facing the Takano River, will do a presentation on how the various styles of dishes are used in the presentation of a Japanese Kaiseki meal.  The rest of the afternoon will be free for exploring Kyoto on your own or using Esprit’s complimentary shopping map.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Esprit Japanese Ceramics Tour - Shigaraki-cupsOn today’s out-of-town excursion by private bus to Shiga prefecture, we will visit the Sagawa Museum of Art, a beautiful contemporary architectural site which has devoted a special underground wing to the spectacular work of 15th generation Raku potter, Raku Kichizaemon IV.  We’ll enjoy a Japanese bento lunch en route and will visit the studios of a selection of ceramic artists and kiln tours with commentary provided by Rob Yellin. Return to Kyoto by early evening.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Esprit Japanese Ceramics Tour - Tanoue-ShinyuToday is devoted to a series of visits carefully selected by Rob Yellin to highlight contemporary ceramic artists in the Kyoto area.   End the day with a farewell dinner.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Transfer by reserved van shuttle, per individual flight times, for your pre-arranged return flight from Osaka Kansai Airport

Meals: Breakfast

Note: The itinerary will be finalized approximately 30 days prior to departure.  Artist visits are subject to availability and the schedules of our Japanese colleagues.  A final itinerary will be sent to you about two weeks prior to departure.   The itinerary and visits are subject to change at any time.

Pricing, Sample Video, and Materials

Price: $5,350

Registrations are currently being accepted

 

Tour Price Includes:

  • Nine nights accommodations in Royal Park Kyoto hotel, sharing a room
  • Daily breakfast and additional meals as indicated
  • Round-trip airport transfers by reserved, shared van shuttle
  • All internal trains and buses for the tour, including riding on Japan’s famous Shinkansen “Bullet train”
  • Informative commentary by an Esprit tour leader who is fluent in Japanese, using our unique radio headset system
  • Special guest lectures by Japanese ceramics expert Robert Yellin
  • Admissions and local transportation

Single supplement information is available upon request.
Singles are limited.
Twin beds are the norm in Japan for a double room.
Group size is limited to 12.

Price may be adjusted at the time of final payment for currency fluctuation.

For registration information and Terms and Conditions, call 800-377-7481, or email info@esprittravel.com.

Note: Actual visits and events will be finalized approximately 30 days prior to departure to allow for the inclusion of special exhibitions, visits and events, and are dependent on the schedules of our Japanese colleagues. A final itinerary will be sent to you about two weeks prior to tour departure. The itinerary is subject to change at any time.

Downloadable Ceramics Tour Itinerary –

Esprit Travel – Ceramics of Japan Tour

Note: The itinerary will be finalized approximately 30 days prior to departure.  Artist visits are subject to availability and the schedules of our Japanese colleagues.  A final itinerary will be sent to you about two weeks prior to departure.   The itinerary and visits are subject to change at any time.