Ceramics, Sushi, and Sightseeing in Japan

May 17th – June 1st, 2017
$4,500 Includes: tuition, flights, rail pass, hotels, select meals

Take an amazing trip to Japan this summer! We’ll visit Mashiko, Nikko, southwestern Japan, then Kyoto; going to various potteries, art museums, castles, temples, shrines, and art studios. We’ll participate in some hands-on art workshops and get to experience Japanese culture. The meals are incredible – an experience, not just food. You’ll wear a yukata, (house kimono), and truly enjoy every moment. “Japan is over the top great!”

good Shiho Kanzaki San pots

Shiho Kanzaki’s pottery in Shigaraki


Hami Seiho, potter in Unzen

good Shigaraki potter cups wadding

Shigaraki pottery


Kinkaku Temple,  (the golden pavilion)

good Indigo dyeing examples

Indigo, onion peels, and rust dyed fabric

good Kodiaki pottery inlaying slip

Koda Yaki Potter in Yatsushiro City, 14th generation

Tentative Itinerary (Still working on details)

May 17th – Leave for Japan from San Francisco, CA – SFO

May 18th – Tokyo

May 19th – 20th – Mashiko and Nikko

May 21st – 22nd  – Kumamoto

  • Kumamoto Comtemporary Art Museum
  • Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center – Higo Inlay Jewelry Workshop

May 23rd – 24th – Gokanosho

  • En route – stop at tea shop in Hitoyoshi – learn about Japanese tea and enjoy tea and snack
  • Aoi Aso Shrine – National Treasure
  • Visit Waterfall – breathtaking!
  • Shodo Workshop – Japanese Calligraphy – learn how to write some Japanese with brush and ink
  • Bamboo Workshop
  • Gokanosho Museum
  • Stay at Heike-so – a special small inn with incredible Japanese dinners and wonderful breakfasts. A unique and memorable experience.

May 25th – Yatsushiro

  • Partake in authentic, formal tea ceremony at the Shohinken Tea House built in 1688.
  • Kimono shop – learn about traditional Japanese clothing
  • Kodayaki Pottery demonstration – 13th generation potter since 1602

May 26th – 27th – Unzen

  • En route – visit Tokoji Zen temple. Experience Zen meditation and learn about Buddhism.
  • Enjoy natural hot springs – Onsen in Unzen, which has a European influence.
  • Visit local potter using volcanic ash glazes
  • Glass gallery
  • Indigo dyeing workshop

May 28th – June 1st – Kyoto and surrounding areas

  • Kinkaku,  (the golden pavilion) – Gorgeous Zen temple and garden
  • Tour of Shrines and Temples in Kyoto
  • Travel to Shigaraki – “pottery town” Meet potters, see a lot of pottery
  • Travel to the temples at Nara

June 1st – Return to US – SFO

Early registration is recommended.


good Mirand Sara walking in front Nara temple

Temples at Nara Todai-ji temple – Great Buddha Hall

food Yumei dinner 1

Typical meal at the Yumei Hotel in Unzen (then they bring more!) Oishi! Delicious!

good drummer airborne hs

Syugakukan High School performance in Yatsushiro City

good suspended bridge Shingo

Gokanosho, creek behind our hotel