Our Quilters Textile Tour to Japan is a gateway to the tradition that lies at the heart of Japan’s fiber-art heritage. In Shimane Prefecture, with a home base in Matsue, we visit the Izumo Museum of Quilt Art and the Adachi Museum, are introduced to indigo dyeing, and in the former silver-mining town of Omori, visit historic buildings which are now museums and shops, and likely a small quilt exhibition.
On to Kyoto for a wax-resist indigo dyeing experience, as well as the Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design and Nomura Tailor, a treasure trove of fabrics, notions, and tools.
Next we travel to Tokyo with an en-route stop in Kawaguchi Lake to visit majestic Mt. Fuji, Akie Ginza’s Sashiko Museum, and the Itchiku Kubota Museum’s kimono collection. In Tokyo, delight in shopping trips to several locations, including the Blue and White Shop, Nippori Fabric Town, and Nuno.
Cultural sites round out the tour’s itinerary, including the Fushimi Inari Shrine with its thousands of orange torri gates, the Golden Pavilion, and the Sumida Hokusai Museum. Plus, feast in food markets on this immersive 11-day journey.
The tour starts at Matsue Excel Hotel Tokyu on Day 1 Sunday November 5, and finishes after breakfast at JR Kyushu Blossom Shinjuku on Day 11, Wednesday November 15.
Day 1 Sun Nov 5 Arrive Matsue
Welcome to Japan. On arrival, Make your own way to hotel in Matsue. Enjoy a group dinner tonight. (D)
Day 2 Mon Nov 6 Matsue
Day excursion to the pleasant small town of Omori, situated along a narrow valley below mountains that once contained massive amounts of precious silver. It is a part of the Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Site. Visit Iwami Ginzan Museum and explore the old town’s historic buildings some of which are likely to house a pop-up quilt exhibition. Return to Matsue with a stop at the Nima Sand Museum, famous for its giant hourglass and singing sands. (B, D)
Day 3 Tue Nov 7 Matsue
Day excursion to Izumo and visit Izumo Museum of Quilt Art, the first and sole quilt museum in Japan. Also visit Izumo Taisha, one of the oldest and most important shrines in Japan. Return to Matsue and enjoy the boat ride in a heated kotatsu through Matsue Castle moat that takes you through the history, nature and people of Matsue. (B, D)
Day 4 Wed Nov 8 Matsue-Kyoto
Today we visit the Adachi Museum of Art and its award-winning garden. Conveying the harmonized beauty of Japanese paintings and Japanese Gardens is the aim and wish of Adachi Museum of Art, which is best known for having one of the greatest collections of modern to contemporary Japanese arts. Then attend the Amano Kouya Indigo dyeing workshop before travelling to Kyoto. (B)
Day 5 Thu Nov 9 Kyoto
This morning visit the intriguing Fushimi Inari Shrine. The magical, seemingly unending path of over 5000 vibrant orange torii gates that wind through the hills behind Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine makes it one of the most popular shrines in Japan. Then visit the iconic Nomura Tailor and Nishiki Market before participating in a Roketsu dyeing workshop using a traditional wax-resist dyeing method. (B)
Day 6 Fri Nov 10 Kyoto
After breakfast we visit the spectacular Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden Pavilion, and Japan’s most famous rock garden and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ryoanji Temple. Then visit Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design (formerly the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts Fureaikan). Also visited today is Kyoto’s best-known Geisha quarter – the Gion District. (B)
Day 7 Sat Nov 11 Kyoto-Kawaguchi Lake
Take bullet train to Shizuoka and visit the beautiful Itchiku Kubota Museum to see the stunning Kubota Kimono Collection, also stop at Fujisan World Heritage Centre. Arrive Kawaguchi Lake and check in our hotel. This evening, enjoy the view of Mt Fuji from our onsen hotel. (B, D)
Day 8 Sun Nov 12 Kawaguchi Lake-Tokyo
Bid farewell to Kawaguchi Lake. Travel to Tokyo en route visit Akie Ginza’s remarkable Sashiko Museum in the small village of Hinohara. The museum is filled with her sashiko work, apparel, wall hangings, handbags, jewelry, and home décor and more. Arriving in Tokyo, we will attend a Furoshiki workshop at Tokyo Karakusa. (B)
Day 9 Mon Nov 13 Tokyo
After breakfast, we enjoy a visit to the beautiful Imperial Palace East Garden before heading to Nippori Fabric Town, home to nearly 100 shops carrying all sorts of fabric and notions. Then visit the famous Blue & White shop which houses artisan ceramics, designer clothing, traditional textiles, fun jewelry, collectibles, and gifts. Also visit NUNO, one of the world's most innovative textile companies, which specializes in interior design fabrics, scarves and clothing. (B)
Day 10 Tue Nov 14 Tokyo
This morning we visit the Sumida Hokusai Museum, dedicated to the ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai. His most well-known works include The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Red Fuji. Explore Asakusa market and the famous Sensoji Temple. Later we visit Japan Folk Crafts Museum. This tiny but enchanting museum, hidden away in peaceful Komaba, displays folk crafts (mingei) from all over Japan. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight. (B, D)
Day 11 Wed Nov 15 Depart Tokyo
Our tour ends after breakfast. (B)
Janet McDonald began quilting in 2011 when a friend gave her a copy of Roberta Horton’s book An Amish Adventure. She enjoys all aspects of quilting, even binding, and loves to learn new techniques. She hand quilts with Dorcas Quilters in San Francisco on Wednesdays and works part-time at New Pieces Quilt Shop in Berkeley. She so much enjoyed her trip to Japan in 2019 that she has begun exploring some of the things that inspired her including shibori, dyeing with indigo and kakishibu (persimmon), and sashiko and kogin (counted sashiko). Outside of the quilting world she still works part-time in her profession as a librarian.
What is included in the tour price?
What is not included in the tour price?
Matsue Excel hotel Tokyu (3 nights)
Mercure Kyoto Station (3 nights)
Hotel Mystays Fuji Onsen Resort (1 night)
JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku (3 nights)
For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
877 235 3767
If these dates don’t work for you, register to hear about the next tour.
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