Ceramics, Sushi, and Sightseeing in Japan – October, 2018

October 4th – 18th (only 1 seat left)

Due to the summer trip being full with a wait list, we’re offering a new trip in the fall!

$3,800 Includes: Tuition, Rail Pass, Accommodations,  Activities, and Select Meals. $525 deposit due upon registration, balance due 8/4/18

Take an amazing trip to Japan this fall! We’ll visit 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), at a traditional Japanese Ryokan, and truly enjoy every moment. Registration is open to any adult.   “Japan is over the top great!”

Sheri Leigh O’Connor has been to Japan 10 times. She is the chair of the Fine Arts department at SNC Tahoe, where she teaches ceramics. Her work has been featured in the magazines Ceramics Monthly, and Clay Times, and several books. She has participated in numerous art exhibitions, including in Utsonomiya, Japan. Her passion lately has been studying Japanese and traveling, particularly to Japan. “I’ve never taken anyone to Japan who didn’t absolutely love it!”

Register Here

Itinerary – Subject to change

October 4th – Leave for Japan

October  5th – Arrive in Osaka – Group will meet up at hotel near KIX airport

October 6th  – if time allows:

  • Museum of Oriental Ceramics
  • Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko (tea bowls and tea room museum)
  • Travel to Takeo Onsen – City in northern Kyushu

October 7th – Takeo, and Arita – Pottery places

  • Visit Master Koga’s Pottery studio
  • Indigo dyeing workshop
  • Ceramics museum in Arita – (town known for porcelain)

October 8th   –  Travel to Unzen – Small quaint town – European style architecture

  • Go to Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

October 9th  –


  • Visit Volcanic Ash potter
  • Enjoy Japanese bath house – onsen
  • Glass and Ceramics gallery/museum

Shiho Kanzaki’s pottery in Shigaraki

October 10th – Kumamoto – Large City

  • Cultural Center

October 11th 12th 

Gokanosho – Remote area in the gorgeous mountains

  • Visit Waterfall – breathtaking!
  • Shodo Workshop – Japanese Calligraphy – learn how to write some Japanese with brush and ink
  • Bamboo Workshop – Make a variety of pieces with freshly cut bamboo
  • Heike Museum – Learn about the samurai who hid in this mountain town
  • Stay at Heike-so or Sakura-so – very special small inns with incredible Japanese dinners and wonderful breakfasts. A unique and memorable experience.

Hami Seiho, potter in Unzen

October 13th – Yatsushiro (city)

  • Kimono Experience – learn about traditional Japanese clothing
  • Kodayaki Pottery demonstration – 13th generation potter since 1602

October 13th – Okayama

  • Visit Bizen Pottery

Shigaraki pottery

October 14th – 18th – Kyoto

Time in Kyoto TBA, but will include:

  • Sightseeing – iconic Kyoto temples, etc.
  • 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

October 18th – Return to US – SFO

Early registration is recommended. $525 deposit required at registration. Balance due on August 4th, 2018

Video from Japanese TV station featuring 2017 group

Kinkaku Temple,  (The Golden Pavilion)

Other art workshops: www.sierranevada.edu/workshops


Indigo, onion peels, and rust dyed fabric in Takeo

Koda Yaki Potter in Yatsushiro City, 14th generation

Maiko (Geisha in training) in Gion, Kyoto

Waterfall in Gokanosho

Typical meal at the Yumei Hotel in Unzen, then they bring more…

2017 group at Nara  – Todai-ji temple – Great Buddha Hall

Koda Yaki Pottery in Yatsushiro