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All Japan Tours       337 N.Vineyard Ave Suite 215, Ontario, CA 91764
Toll Free: 1-855-325-2726 (US/CANADA) Tel: 1-909-988-8885
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Japan Pottery & Art Tour with Tokyo Extension

For travelers who can't get enough of Japan Pottery and Art, join this 17-day tour that includes all the delights of our Japan Pottery and Art Tour, with an exciting extension that includes Mount Fuji and Tokyo!

Tour Code: GTO4009643

Tour Information

Land cost: from USD $9998.00 (Limit to 12 guests)

Single supplement: USD $2280.00

Tour duration: 17 days 16 nights

Destination:
Karatsu / Imari / Arita / Sasebo / Hasami / Okayama / Yasugi / Kurashiki / Takamatsu / Naoshima / Bizen / Himeji / Osaka Nara / Kyoto / Mt. Fuji / Tokyo

Tour cost includes:
• 14 nights Western style and 2 nights Japanese style accommodation
• Meet and greet upon arrival at Fukuoka Airport
• Private airport transfers on arrival and departure
• Private coach transfers between destinations in Japan
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
• Gratuities
Meals
• Breakfast everyday
• 9 lunches and 5 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

Dates & Price
2023
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Sun. May 28, 2023 Tue. Jun 13, 2023 USD $9998.00 Fukuoka Tokyo Deluxe View Tour
2024
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Sun. May 26, 2024 Tue. Jun 11, 2024 USD $9998.00 Fukuoka Tokyo Deluxe View Tour

Please Note:
All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Itinerary

Day 1

Fukuoka Airport

Welcome to Fukuoka! We will pick you up from the airport and take to the hotel.

Hotel Nikko Fukuoka or similar class

NOTE 1: The meet and greet and airport transfer to the first hotel is ONLY available on the first day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights before the start of the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.

NOTE 2: If you wish to stay extra nights before the tour starts, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.

Day 2

Karatsu (Kyozan-gama - Meet an Artist at their Studio - Introduce Karatsu Ware / Visit Galleries around Karatsu Station), Imari (Okawachiyama Village)

Begin the day's tour in Karatsu, with a visit to Kyozan- gama. Here you will be able to meet a ceramics artist of the Kyozan-gama Atelier and be introduced the local style of pottery known as "Karatsu-ware" - a traditional form of porcelain produced in Japan since the 16th century. After, we tour galleries around Karatsu Station, where you will be able to really get a feel for the local pottery style. The tour proceeds from there to Okawachiyama Village in Imari, which was one of the first places to produce porcelain after kaolin clay was found in the nearby mountains. You will see dozens of little pottery makers and shops which are an essential part of the local area's culture. It has even become known as the "Village of the Secret Kilns"! After, enjoy a dip in a relaxing onsen followed by a dinner of traditional Japanese kaiseki cuisine at a local ryokan accommodation.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Shiibasanso or similar class

Day 3

Arita (Meet an Artist at their Studio - Introduce Arita Ware / The Kyushu Ceramic Museum / Izumiyama Ceramic Stone Field / Uchiyama District Pottery Walking Tour)

After breakfast, take a tour of Arita - part of Japan's traditional pottery heartland, starting with a tour of a local artist's studio, where you will be introduced to the local pottery style, called "Arita-ware". Next, visit the Kyushu Ceramic Museum, which is devoted to preserving the original ceramics styles and traditions associated with the Kyushu region. Then, at the Izumiyama Ceramic Stone Field, which could be considered the birthplace of Japanese ceramics - where Korean potters discovered clay suitable for firing into porcelain. After, we enjoy a lunch at Yasuna, a local Japanese restaurant that serves their food on locally produced Arita-ware. Then enjoy a Pottery Walking Tour of the Uchiyama District, which was an area developed with Arita pottery and was once known as the "thousand houses of Arita". The residences are a unique mix of architectural styles from the Edo, Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras. Next, in the Tonbai Wall Alleys, you will traverse the back alleys where the potters of old hid their secrets from their rivals. Then we tour Fukagawa Seiji, which tells the story of one of Arita's major pottery kilns through two stories of porcelain displays. Next, we visit Koransha, which holds the recognized title of the oldest producer of Arita-ware ceramics. Then, at the Imaemon-gama & Ceramics Art Museum, we see pottery using the "colored Nabeshima" technique. Finally, we return to the Onsen, for another delicious kaiseki dinner and relaxing onsen bath.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Shiibasanso or similar class

Day 4

Sasebo (Mikawachi Ware Tour), Hasami (Hasami Ware Tour), Bullet Train to Okayama

The day's tour begins after breakfast with a trip to Sasebo and a tour of the local style of pottery known as "Mikawachi-ware", which is known for its simple yet elegant blue-dyed ceramics. Then we visit Hasami for a tour of "Hasami-ware" which features a mix of high-class porcelain and everyday tableware. We stop for lunch at an Italian restaurant before finally making our way to Hakata Station and a trip to Okayama via one of Japan's speedy, sleek bullet trains.

Note: We will courier your big baggage to your hotel in Okayama (Included for up to one piece of baggage per person). Please pack your essentials for 1 night in a small bag to carry with you.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hotel Granvia Okayama or similar class

Day 5

Yasugi (Adachi Museum of Art & Garden)

Today we travel from Okayama to Yasugi for a look at the Adachi Museum of Art. The outer landscape garden – a masterpiece established by museum founder Adachi Zenko – has been repeatedly heralded as the Best Garden in Japan by the “Journal of Japanese Gardening”. Then we return to Okayama for a relaxing evening at your hotel.

Breakfast

Hotel Granvia Okayama or similar class

Day 6

Kurashiki (Canal Area / Ohara Museum of Art), Seto Ohashi Bridge, Takamatsu (Ritsurin Koen Garden & Kikugetsu-tei Teahouse)

In the morning, we will start the day with a tour of Kurashiki's Canal Area, also called the Bikan Historical Quarter, which is a gorgeous waterway bordered by willow trees and old-fashioned storehouses built in the Edo-era style. Then we tour the Ohara Museum of Art - one of the first museums of Western art in Japan. The museum features a main building constructed in the style of a Greek temple, with famous artworks from Picasso, Pollock, Rodin, and many others. There are also galleries for Craft Arts and Asiatic Arts, plus an Annex of oil paintings and sculptures. drive across the Seto-ohashi Bridge to Shikoku. Seto-ohashi, or “Great Seto Bridge” is actually a 13-kilometer long network of smaller bridges linking Honshu with Shikoku across the Seto Inland Sea. This incredible bridge system uses smaller islands to transition from one link to the next, in a clever combination of different modes of engineering, to make one of the longest bridges in the world. Making our way into Takamatsu, our first stop is a local bonsai farm. This private farm offers an exclusive look into the world of bonsai - where trees are trimmed and shaped into elegant and thought-provoking works of art. Continue to Ritsurin Garden, a traditional Japanese garden regarded as one of the top gardens of Japan. The garden features peaceful walking paths beneath dense clouds of pastel pink cherry blossoms, a large grove of cunningly trimmed box pines, and 400-year-old Kikugetsu-tei teahouse, sitting next to a large pond full of koi fish.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hotel Granvia Okayama or similar class

Day 7

Ferry to Naoshima, Naoshima (Art House Project / Ando Museum / Chichu Art Museum / Benesse House)

Today, take a ferry to Naoshima Art Island for a day of inspiration, full of buildings designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. We start with the Benesse House, a combination of modern museum and deluxe hotel, with myriad works of artists from all over the world. These include a series of outdoor sculptures set up on the park and shoreline, including the famed giant yellow pumpkin. Next, we will visit the Chichu Art Museum. Built into a hill on the southern coast, Chichu Art Museum’s underground display rooms use natural light to showcase works from a limited selection of artists including Claude Monet and James Turrell. Finally, you head over to the Art House Project, where artists renovate old houses, turning the house and the space inside into a new work of art. Tonight, you will stay in the Benesse House, which is equal parts hotel and art gallery, for a relaxing evening of artistic immersion.

Breakfast / Dinner

Benesse House or similar class

Day 8

Ferry to Okayama, Bizen (Meet an Artist at their Studio - Introduce Bizen Ware / Imbe Bizen Pottery Village), Himeji (Himeji Castle)

Today, we take the ferry back to Okayama, and travel from there to Bizen, which is a region known for its distinctive style of "Bizen-ware" ceramics. Begin by meeting an artist at their studio for an introduction to the Bizen-ware style, followed by a visit to Imbe Bizen Pottery Village which is the center of the Bizen style of pottery-making. Around the village you can see the workshops, kilns, and shops that preserve this time-honored craft. After, we will visit Himeji Castle, the largest castle in Japan and one of the surviving twelve original castles. The six-story castle keep is iconic; it’s dazzling white coating and walls that seem to spread from the tower like wings lend Himeji Castle the nickname “White Heron” (or White Egret) Castle.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hotel Nikko Osaka or similar class

Day 9

Osaka (Harukas 300 Observatory / Shitennoji Temple), Nara (Horyuji Temple), Osaka (Osaka Architecture Walking Tour / Wagyu Beef Dinner)

In the morning, we begin by enjoying a view from Harukas 300 Observatory - Japan's tallest skyscraper. Next, we visit Shitennoji Temple, which was one of the first Buddhist temples ever built by the imperial family, We take a quick stopover at Nara for a tour of Horyuji Temple - home to some of the most ancient wooden buildings in the world. Then explore the diverse collection of structures in the city with an Osaka Architecture Walking Tour. We will see the Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka Midosuji, designed by architect Jun Aoiki with architecture that looks like billowing sails. Then we travel to the Galleria Akka which was designed by Tadao Ando. We will also visit the Daimaru Shinsaibashi, which features a blend of art-deco and neo-gothic design by architect William Merrel Vories. We will visit other iconic buildings around the city as well before we enjoy a delicious Wagyu Beef Dinner. Wagyu has become world-famous as a richly-textured, high- quality beef that is so tender it practically melts in your mouth, and tonight you will be able to savor for yourself the mouthwatering taste of this prized meat.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Hotel Nikko Osaka or similar class

Day 10

Kyoto (Nijo Castle / Imperial Palace / Nishiki Market / Visit a Private Garden / Heian Shrine & Garden / Kimono Wearing Experience)

In the morning, a short drive takes you to the ancient capital city of Kyoto, where our first attraction of the day is Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site from Japan’s feudal era, and palatial former residence of the Tokugawa shogun. The gilded buildings and elegant interior are well preserved – the foremost example of Edo-era castle architecture. Next, we pay a visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. This was the former residence of Japan’s Imperial Family until 1868, during which the capital moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. Then you will have time to find your own lunch at Nishiki Market. This narrow shopping street, commonly referred to as 'Kyoto's Kitchen,' is filled with more than 100 restaurants and shops showcasing Kyoto specialties such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood, and sushi. Then enjoy exclusive access to a local private garden in Kyoto that is next to the Namikawa Yasuyuki Sippo Memorial Museum. Namikawa Yasuyuki was a Japanese cloisonne artist known for his naturalistic style and transparent black enamel, and this museum houses some of his most famous works. After, we go to the Heian Shrine, which was built to honor the foundation of Kyoto (once known as Heian) over a thousand years ago. The shrine itself is known for its enormous torii gate and spacious inner courtyard. Behind the main building are the Shin-en Gardens - a series of five gardens with various ponds, traditional buildings, and plants. Finally, enjoy a Kimono Wearing experience where you will be able to try on a colorful kimono, and take pictures while in the traditional Japanese attire.

Breakfast

Cross Hotel Kyoto or similar class

Day 11

Kyoto (Kintsugi Experience / Meet 2 Artists at their Studio - Introduce Kiyomizu Ware / Kyoto Cuisine with Maiko Dinner / Gion Geisha District Night Walk Tour)

The tour of Kyoto continues with a Kintsugi Experience. Kintsugi is also known as "Japanese broken pottery". Broken pottery pieces are put back together with a lacquer made of precious metals like gold., leaving a shining lines running throughout the pottery. Then meet two artists at their studio for an introduction to the local "Kiyomizu-ware" pottery. Enjoy a meal of Kyoto Cuisine in the company of a Maiko (a Geisha apprentice). Then enjoy an enchanting Night Walk through the Gion Geisha District, an old- fashioned district full of traditional wooden shops, restaurants and teahouses. While walking past the old wooden buildings, you may see geisha or maiko on their way to entertain guests with classical Japanese refinement.

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Cross Hotel Kyoto or similar class

Day 12

Kyoto (Kiyomizu Temple / Kondo Yuzo Memorial Hall / Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Hall / Shinmonzen and Furumonzen Antique Streets)

In the morning, we will tour Kiyomizu-dera, a famous temple in Japan that is best known for its large wooden stage that overlooks a hillside of gorgeous natural scenery. On the path below Kiyomizu Temple is Kondo Yuzo Memorial Hall, which houses famous ceramics created in the native style. Savor a Tempura Lunch at Yasaka Endo before we visit Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Hall, where you can see folk art created by ceramics master Kawai Kanjiro at his former studio. Then we tour the Shinmonzen and Furumonzen Antique Streets for a chance to browse Kyoto's most famous antique districts.

Breakfast / Lunch

Cross Hotel Kyoto or similar class

Day 13

Kyoto (Kodaiji Temple - Zen Meditation & Green Tea Ceremony / Arashiyama - Tenryuji Temple & Garden - Bamboo Grove / Ryoanji Temple / Golden Pavilion)

After breakfast, we will travel to Kodaiji Temple, which is a lavish temple built in the memory of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Here, we can experience Zen meditation and Green Tea Ceremony. Then we will tour the Arashiyama district. First is a visit to see Tenryuji Temple where you can catch a glimpse of the traditional landscape garden design. Then we walk through a dense grove of towering bamboo trees before our visit to Ryoanji Temple. Ryoanji is home to a world-famous rock garden, or "karesansui". While the exact meaning of the garden is a mystery, one can't help but feel a sense of peace and tranquility from its simple, elegant design. Next, we visit the Golden Pavilion, which is perhaps Kyoto's most renowned landmark. The three- story temple is covered in shining gold-leaf and topped with a representation of a phoenix. We finish the tour with a delicious Yakitori Farewell Dinner as you enjoy your last night in Japan.

Breakfast / Dinner

Cross Hotel Kyoto or similar class

Day 14

Bullet Train to Shin-Fuji Station, Mt Fuji (Kawaguchiko Muse Museum / Itchiku Kubota Art Museum / Oishi Park)

We begin with a trip on a smooth and speedy bullet train to the gorgeous Mount Fuji region. Disembark at Shin- Fuji Station near Lake Kawaguchi to visit the Kawaguchiko Muse Museum, featuring charming dolls made by renowned artist Yuki Atae. Continue around the lake to the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, located on the other side. This art museum is devoted to the works of silk-dyeing artist Kubota Itchiku, who devoted his life to recreating elaborate kimonos using the lost art of silk- dyeing. Then take a stroll around Oishi Park, which sits on the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko and offers spectacular views of Mount Fuji when it's sunny.

Breakfast / Lunch

Hotel New Otani Tokyo or similar class

Day 15

Tokyo (New Otani Hotel Garden / Meiji Shrine / Nezu Museum / Omotesando Street / Imperial Palace East Garden / Visit Pottery Galleries in Ginza)

After breakfast, we will make our way to the garden of the hotel we are currently staying at. This beautiful garden with a dynamic waterfall is steeped in 400 years of samurai lord history and possesses a peaceful ambience while nestled in the heart of Tokyo. Next, we will go to enjoy the natural atmosphere of the Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Then, at the Nezu Museum, you can enjoy a collection of pre- modern Japanese and East Asian art that Nezu Kaichiro put together. After bombing in World War II destroyed some of the collection, Nezu Kaichiro’s son continued to add to it to ensure that his father’s collection remained impressive. Stroll the trendy and modern Omotesando Street in search of your own lunch, then visit the Imperial Palace East Garden, which, in addition to its meticulously manicured landscape, retains some old fortifications from when Edo Castle stood there. Finally, visit some local pottery galleries in Ginza. These include Kuroda Toen, which features a range of ancient and modern ceramic teaware, and Gallery Pousse, which features a fine collection of various pottery works. We will visit as many as we have time for before returning to the hotel for a relaxing evening.

Breakfast

Hotel New Otani Tokyo or similar class

Day 16

Tokyo (Asakusa Sensoji Temple / Sumida River Cruise / Hamarikyu Garden / Tsukiji Fish Market / Roppongi Hills - Mori Art Museum and Observatory)

The second day of Tokyo sightseeing begins with a visit to Asakusa Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple with Kaminarimon gate - a gate hung with an enormous paper lantern in the midst of old areas of Tokyo. Next, board a Sumida River Cruise, where you can enjoy urban scenery of the city on your way to Hama Rikyu Garden, a huge traditional landscape garden next to the sea surrounded by Tokyo's skyscrapers. Visit the famous Tsukiji Outer Market, home to tasty and fresh sushi, and have lunch on your own. After, we tour Roppongi Hills, a modern urban development project that has become a sort of "city inside a city" with residential apartments, offices, shops, restaurants, an observation deck...all centered around Mori Tower, which is one of Tokyo's tallest skyscrapers. Finally, we tour the Mori Art Museum – displaying modern art from new artists around the world. Though modern art can sometimes be complex, the Mori Art Museum aims to have exhibitions which are accessible to the everyday viewing public.

Breakfast

Hotel New Otani Tokyo or similar class

Day 17

Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends.
Checkout time is 11 am.
Transfer to Tokyo Narita Airport or Haneda Airport by private car.

Breakfast

NOTE 3: The departure airport transfer is ONLY available on the last day of the tour. If you plan to stay extra nights after the tour, please contact us for the transfer if needed.

NOTE 4: If you would like to stay longer in Japan, please contact us to book hotel accommodations.