Itinerary – Ceramics of Japan

Sunday, October 8 Depart for Japan on your individually arranged flight.

Monday, October 9 Arrive Japan

Arrive 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.

Tuesday, October 10 Kyoto

Spend 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.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch

Wednesday, October 11 Tamba

Travel 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.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Thursday, October 12 Kyoto

Explore 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.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch

Friday, October 13 Bizen

Today 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.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch

Saturday, October 14 Kyoto

Start 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.
Included meals: Breakfast

Sunday, October 15 Kyoto

Start 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.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch

Monday, October 16 Shigaraki

On 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.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch

Tuesday, October 17 Kyoto

Today 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.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Wednesday, October 18 Depart Japan on your individually arranged flights

Transfer by reserved van shuttle, per individual flight times, for your return flight from Osaka Kansai Airport 
Included meals: Breakfast


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