TEXTILES OF KYOTO

Our Japan Textiles tour, from May 22-June 1, 2018, is a journey into the vibrant world of Japanese textiles, planned by Conde Nast Japan Travel Expert Nancy Craft.  Nancy’s love of Japanese textiles began when she lived and studied in Japan for six years. With the guidance of one of Esprit’s expert guides, you will visit her friends and colleagues, along with quiet off-the-beaten track temples, gardens and hidden corners in Japan’s traditional capital.

Fujiwara no Sekio (c 1200)

Frost for the warp and dewdrops for the weft are too weak—
no sooner is the mountain brocade woven
than it scatters in tatters.

Highlights

From our base in Kyoto, we will…

φ Have private meetings with artists and craftspeople;

φ Study age-old weave and dye techniques and see contemporary fiber works

φ Explore lively markets and visit selected galleries and shops;

φ Visit serene gardens and temples;

φ Explore the richly varied world of  Japanese cuisine.

Esprit Textile Tour - Mori Viist - Sally Fowler

Daily Itinerary - May 22 through June 1, 2018

Depart for Japan on your individually arranged flight.

Arrive at one of Osaka’s two airports and transfer to your downtown Kyoto  hotel by shared shuttle service.
Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: None

Esprit Japan Textile Tour-Zuiho-in AbbottWe will depart the hotel by taxis and travel north and west to Daitoku-ji Monastery, one of Japan’s most significant sites, aesthetically, historically and culturally.   First, we will visit Zuiho-in, one of Daitoku-ji’s sub-temples, where we will meet the abbot, who is a master of the Way of Tea, for an introduction to the tea ceremony. After another garden visit, we will have lunch at a nearby restaurant, which specializes in Zen-style vegetarian cuisine. After lunch, we will continue by taxis to a kimono shop in the historic Kamishichiken geisha district, featuring fine fabrics for custom kimono, for a presentation.  Our last group event of the day will be an orientation walk on Sanjo Street highlighting some of the galleries and shops that you can return to on your own. The evening is free.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Esprit Japan Textile Tour-Yarn Shop Corner-CDSome possibilities for you to explore include the once-a-month Kitano Shrine Flea Market, the Tanaka Nao dye company, Nishiki market, a serene and beautiful garden and downtown exploring using Esprit’s Kyoto Downtown Guide.

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast

Our first visit today is to the studio master of katazome, a paste resist stencil dye technique. The artist will show us her work and demonstrate the tools and basic techniques for katazome.  Next we will have a quiet walk and some contemplation at Konchi-in, a temple within the 700- year old Nanzen-ji Zen Monastery. Lunch features yudofu, simmering tofu that is lightly seasoned and served with a set of simple condiments and side dishes.  After lunch, we will walk to the workshop of a family of kumihimo artisans, who weave both giant silk tassels for Shinto shrines and original silk cords for contemporary art jewelry. We will gather for a group dinner this evening.

 

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

Esprit Japan Textile Tour-Gallery Gallery Art-Helen HasenfeldWe will spend the morning in a meeting room for presentations about fiber. Our first presenter is a master yuzen dyer, who will explain this uniquely Japanese dye process. Next, an internationally known artist, author, teacher and researcher will show us her hand felted work and will talk about her life as an expat artist in Kyoto.  After free time for lunch, we will proceed as a group for a presentation at the nearby Shibori Museum.  Finally, we head to downtown Kyoto, to Gallery Gallery, to see their Showcase Gallery, which displays works by 100 different fiber and textile artists in individual boxes and for a presentation at Sou-Sou, a young company using traditional fabrics for contemporary fashion

 

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast

Esprit Japan Textile Tour-Mori Indigo-Sally FowlerWe will travel out of Kyoto to neighboring Shiga Prefecture today.  Our first stop is Yasu, the home and workshop of a family that has been growing and fermenting indigo dyestuff, and dyeing in the traditional way since 1870, using 20 ceramic dye pots that are sunk into the floor of the family workshop.  We will continue deep into the countryside to the Miho Museum, a spectacular museum that was designed by I.M. Pei and completed in 1997. We will see the permanent collection of Asian art and antiquities and this spring’s temporary exhibition. We will have lunch at the museum.  In Shigaraki, one of Japan’s old pottery towns dating back to the 1200’s, we will visit the workshop of a ceramist who makes functional stoneware with the local light-colored gritty clay that is fired without glaze for six days in a wood-fired kiln.

 

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Today is devoted to studio visits to traditional and contemporary Kyoto textile artisans. Our first stop is the home and studio of a family that has been pivotal in the re-introduction of 6th and 7th century textiles back into the Japanese culture. We go  to the Nishijin weaving district to visit the workshop of craftsmen whose specialty is to translate the hand painted work of artists into the thousands of punch cards required to produce an obi on a Jacquard loom.  We will also enter the workshop of master dyers of silk yarn for kimono and obi weaving. After lunch, we will visit the traditional machiya-style merchant house of a 5th generation gold leaf artisan who is part of a collaborative process of applying gold leaf to handmade washi paper, which is cut and woven with silk to create luxurious kimono obi, for which Kyoto is famous.  Nearby, we will spend time in an obi showroom, featuring a large number of obi that have been woven in this neighborhood with gold leaf. The weaving of this district is representative of some of the most complex textile processes in the world.  Finally, we will visit the nearby headquarters of a weaving company, a small traditional kimono and obi weaver, founded in 1688. This company also creates contemporary fabrics for interior design and fashion companies.

 

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

Esprit Japan Textile Tour-Natural Dye Yarns-CDToday we will travel to Ohara, a picturesque rural village, with small family farms with lovely mountain views and pickle shops featuring the many vegetables grown locally. Our destination this morning is Ohara Kobo, where we will learn about natural dyeing and participate in a hands-on workshop. Lunch is at a restaurant in an old farmhouse.  After lunch, we will visit a rustic dye studio specializing in kakishibu, a dye technique using the tannin from persimmons to create a rich brown color.  We’ll also walk uphill past stands selling local produce and handicrafts to Sanzen-in temple, known for its large mossy garden with tall cedars and carefully-placed rocks, ponds stocked with colorful carp and stone statues of Jizo, the Buddhist protector of travelers and children.

 

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Esprit Japan Textile Tour-Saito Wool Dyeing-CDOn our final day in Kyoto, we will begin the day with a visit to the studio of a contemporary textile artist who has used the skills and techniques he learned as a traditional yuzen kimono craftsman to create original dyed works for shirts, coats, accessories and wall pieces.  Next, we will have a presentation at a gallery specializing in Japanese folk textiles.  The rest of the day will be free before our farewell dinner this evening.

 

Accommodations: Royal Park THE Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

You’ll have the morning free to take in the sights, shop or simply stroll Kyoto’s varied neighborhoods one last time. Transfer by reserved van shuttle, per individual flight times, for your return flight from Osaka Kansai International Airport or Osaka Itami Airport.

Meals: Breakfast

Note 1: 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.
Note 2: The Japan Textiles Tour is not scheduled at this time, for more information please inquire below.

Pricing, Sample Video, and Materials

Price: $5,650 USD

Registrations are being accepted as of September 22, 2017.

Tour price based on a group of 14 and includes the following:

  • Nine nights accommodations in Royal Park Hotel Kyoto, sharing a room
  • Daily breakfast and additional meals as indicated
  • Round-trip airport transfers by reserved, shared van shuttle or airport limousine bus
  • Informative commentary by an Esprit tour leader who is fluent in Japanese, using our unique radio headset system
  • Daily touring, including admissions and local transportation
  • Single supplement $675 – Singles are limited.
The tour is based on a group of at least 14. A surcharge may be levied for a smaller group.
Maximum group size is 16. The price may be adjusted at the time of final payment for exchange rate fluctuation.

For registration information and Terms and Conditions, call 800-377-7481 – ext. 1, or email nancy@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 Japan Textiles of Kyoto Tour Itinerary –

Esprit Travel – Textiles of Kyoto 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.