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This will be an extraordinary trip, and we urge you to register early to secure a place.

Registration is through Arts to Life and limited to 16 participants. We may be reached at:

telephone:    0207 740 3222 (within the U.K.)    +44 207 740 3222 (for those of you outside the U.K.)

email: Jessica Deutsch jessica@artstolife.com     email: Kate Salvi ksalvi@optonline.net

scroll down for TOUR ITINERARY...

DAY 1 Thursday, October 16th

Arrive at Kansai International airport and transfer by limousine to the The Kyoto Royale Hotel in Kyoto.

Upon arrival participants will have time to orientate themselves to surrounding area or to rest.

Late afternoon tea and welcome lecture by Judith Clancy, local historian and expert on Kyoto.


DAY 2 Friday, October 17th

Morning Visit to Saiho-ji : Moss Temple

This temple is renowned for its exquisite teahouse, the Shonantei, and for its famous moss garden from which it derives its popular name. The temple was founded by priest Gyogi at the beginning of the 8th Century and a distinguished list of the leaders of the various sects are believed to have lived in its compound. The garden was renovated by the great Zen master Muso Soseki in the Fourteenth Century.

Bus transfer to Miho Museum

Few experiences match the sense of sublime anticipation cleverly structured by the approach to temple like shrine of art designed by legendary architect I.M. Pei to house the collections of the Miho Museum. Set in a landscape of outstanding natural beauty the museum which is located in rural Shiga Prefecture contains a stunning collection...
We walk from the car park along a curving path which leads through landscaped gardens, into a space-age streamlined tunnel and across a suspension bridge spanning a dense forested valley. Across the bridge sits the museum, 80% of which is submerged into the mountain.. This is a worthy structure to house the masterpieces of ancient Asian art accumulated by Mihoko Koyama and her daughter Hiroko. The mother was the founding president and spiritual leader of Shinji Shumeikai, a new religion founded in 1970 which believes that spiritual fulfilment lies in art.
The collection encompasses early Egyptian and central Asian art. The West wing includes Japanese art ceramics, scrolls and screens.

Return to hotel.

Evening lecture on early aristocratic courts in Japan up until the Edo period. With art historian Paul Berry


DAY 3 Saturday, October 18th

Visit 'Master' Wax Resist Textile Dyer's studio

Talk on a brief history of the kimono and demonstration of the wax resist dyeing process by a Master Craftsman. Wax resist dyeing is little known outside of Japan but rather than weaving, is the major medium used to apply color to kimono. We will be shown how the artist works a design so that it envelops the wearer after the garment is sewn together, transforming the disparate panels into a continuous fluid scene.

After this we will be served tea and be given instruction in the rituals of the Japanese tea drinking ceremony.

After lunch, guided by Judith Clancy, we will visit some of the temples around along the Eastern hills, temples renown for their gardens and elegant structures located in this rural setting.

Dinner and Discussion with a member of a descendant of a Samurai family.

DAY 4 Sunday, October 19th

Morning visit to a lacquerware artist. As many as 100 layers some of different colours are applied to the surface of an object to obtain the lustrous effect desired. The average thickness of an individual layer is around 3mm; The technique was first developed in China during the Song and Yuan periods (960-1368) and became increasingly popular during the Ming period, In Japan during the 1800s Tamakaji Zokoku (1807 -69) is thought to have adapted the Chinese technique to suite Japanese Taste and made it popular. Exquisite designs are skillfully painted onto the surface, many of traditional origin yet with a modern whimsical sense.

Visit to Zohiko, a world famous lacquer store in the famous Okazaki area.

Walk through the craft museum and view arts videos of noted Kyoto craftspeople. Lunch in the Hosomi Museum where we can savour a collection of treasures from all areas of Japanese spanning the Yayoi period to the Edo period.

Evening walk through Gion, an area famed for its Geisha houses. Catching a glimpse of a Geiko (as Geisha are known in Kyoto) and their apprentices, Maiko, is a favorite pastime of photographers so if you see a few people armed with sophisticated cameras positioned near the doorways of exclusive restaurants, you can be sure they are waiting for someone to emerge.

DAY 5 Monday, October 20th

Visit the private studio of a well known silk weaving family.

Silk came to Japan in the Nara period, in the 7th c. and elaborate woven cloth found a place in the early Buddhist temples and in the Imperial family. Silk became a major industry in the Meiji Period about 150 years ago and several families established dynasties of artistic tradition. We will see examples of this handcrafted art using traditional looms and today's modern computerized versions. Silk items ranging from bags to large mounted pieces will be displayed.

Afternoon in the Kiyomizu-dera area of Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera Temple which dates back to 798 and which takes its name from the waterfall within the complex offers spectacular views of Kyoto. From here we walk through the streets and visit beautiful shops and visit a fine ceramics factory where painting and gold leaf is applied to the Kyoto ware. The streets in this district are filled with shops selling pottery and fine porcelain for which the district is known.

Return to hotel, Dinner on own.

DAY 6 Tuesday, October 21st

Market day at Toji Temple. The market is the largest in the country, attracting people from surrounding cities. Bargaining is welcome but more as a friendly exchange than as a serious pursuit. All manner of goods are on sale from delicate bonsai plants, oriental medicine, furniture, pottery, new clothing, old kimono to all sorts of antiques. For the connoisseur of fine textiles, this is an excellent chance to buy a treasured obi or kimono at a very reasonable cost.

DAY 7 Wednesday, October 22nd

Festival of the Ages

A wonderful day of pageantry marking the passing in 1867 of Kyoto as capital of Japan to Edo or Tokyo. This day commemorates the founding of Kyoto in 794, the date that Emperor Kammu entered Heian-kyo and made Kyoto the imperial capital. Featured at the festival is a procession of more than 2000 people wearing fantastic and authentic costumes representing nearly 12 centuries of Kyoto's historical eras and society. The procession begins at seven in the morning with the transferral, in sacred palanquins, of the imperial spirits from the Heian Shrine to the Old Imperial Palace. At noon the Imperial Palace becomes a massive stage.

Late lunch

Fire Festival

The Karuma Fire Festival is an ancient rite in which the spirits of hell are guided by the light of pine torches through the human realms. It begins at sunset with the lighting of fire lanterns in front of each house many of which have family treasurers on open display in their front rooms. Young boys wearing colourful long sleeved kimono chanting "sairei, saireryo" carry mini torches down the town's main streets. Later the teenage males of the village parade up and down the streets with heavier longer torches. The climax of the festival comes as a group of men race up the stairs to the Yiki shrine carrying a large portable shrine to make the annual fire offering to the gods.

DAY 8 Thursday, October 23rd

Transfer by Shinkansen 'Bullet Train' to Tokyo.

The Tolman Collection
Late afternoon talk at the Tolman Collection by Norman Tolman about Tokyo from 1945 to the present. The lecture will cover the avant garde movements in Tokyo; the reason Tokyo looked forward rather than backward; the different generations of artists and why they were so innovative; and why artists surpassed the boundaries of established art forms of even the most radical international art movements of the Post War periods.
The Tolman Collection are the largest publishers of contemporary Japanese graphic arts internationally and have been closely involved with all the artists they represent.

Reception at The Tolman Collection.


DAY 9 Friday, October 24th

Early morning visit to Tsukiji wholesale market located in the Tsukiji district of Chuoward. This market was established in 1935 and is the oldest and most interesting of the city's eleven central wholesale markets. It comprises an outer market which presents a wide variety of fresh and pickled vegetables, tea and sweet delicacies as well as cooking utensils and ceramic tableware punctuated by small refreshment stations offering sushi and omelette and noodles for breakfast; and the famous inner market which accounts for almost 90% of the fish and marine products sold within the central wholesaling system.

We eat breakfast at the market.

The Mori Art Museum.

This private museum is housed on the top two floors of the 54 story Mori Tower designed by the American Architect Richard Gluckman for the property developer Minoru Mori. It has a team of leading curators and the museum is poised to take a world view of Contemporary Art as well as take the lead in introducing the newest art from Asia and other regions of the world. Study of the collection with a curator.

After the museum we take a walk in the Roppongi Hills a 28 acre development with a vertical garden city and urban landscape which integrates architecture and landscape along with public sculptures by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Isa Genzen, Martin Puryear and Tatsuo Miyajima.

Lunch on the 10th floor of Chanel's new Ginza headquarters.

In the afternoon we look at Tokyo's retail architecture at Ginza and see how cutting edge architecture is merged with cutting edge design as well as of the moment interior decoration. Besides Chanel we look at Maison Hermes and the new flagship property of Mikimoto.

Transfer to Omotesando where star architecture has been placed in the service of shopping. This is Tokyo's Champs Elysées.

Free time for shopping.

Early evening meet at one of the forces behind fashion design in Japan.

DAY 10 Saturday, October 25th

The Transformation of Japanese Architectural Expression.

We look at the birth of modernism of Japanese architecture with an expert through site specific works going back to Pre-War buildings and then to Post War architecture. We look at the conditions that governed the making of Japanese architecture. We will examine why as early as the 1870s Japan embraced Japanese Revivalism, the effect of earthquakes and the fact that modernism after the war became a pillar of democracy. We will tour various buildings and houses to see the emergence of free expression in Japan. Finally we will visit those buildings that have won Japan international recognition.

Lunch on Floor 52nd of the Grand Hyatt Hotel at the New York Grill. This is one of the most extraordinary hotels in the world.

Visit to the Gallery Koyanagi - one of the most famous galleries in Tokyo.

Late afternoon optional visit to a bathing house.

We meet for Kabuki theatre in the evening. Kabuki was invented in Kyoto at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century and remains one of the pillars of Japanese cultural tradition. It is distinguished by the stylization of the drama and the lavish costumes and kumadori, or make-up, worn by the actors who include Onnagata or performers specialising in the portrayal of female roles. Headsets supply a continuous synopsis in translation so that it is easy for an English audience to follow the action.

DAY 11 Sunday, October 26th

We visit a former economically deprived area to the East of the central city which has been left behind by the massive development projects in Roppongi Hills and Ginza. This area is now enjoying resurgence through young art galleries, artists' studios and a new Contemporary Art Museum. The area is full of vitality with cafes and galleries mimicking New York's Chelsea and London's Soho. We spend the day at galleries showing young artists, young fashion designers, coffee shops, art spaces, art happenings and stopping in at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Closing dinner.

DAY 12 Monday, October 27th

Breakfast at a collection.



The fee for the trip is $12,750.00 with a single supplement of $1,500.00.
The fee includes:

  • Eleven nights luxurious stay in Japan
  • Guided study
  • Lectures with experts
  • All transportation including high speed 'Bullet' train and guided travel thoughout
  • Entrée to places not normally open to the public
  • Meetings with artists and artisans
  • Kabuki theatre
  • Geisha entertainment
  • Instruction in Japanese tea drinking
  • Museum entrance fees
  • Entrance fees to artist studios
  • Entrance to gardens and temples
  • Most meals

Airfare to and from Japan is not included.

We are currently working with Connie Greenspan at Altour Travel, New York who can assist you with all your travel arrangements. Please call her at 1 212-897-5063

This will be an extraordinary trip, and we urge you to register early to secure a place.
Registration is through Arts to Life and limited to 16 participants. We may be reached at:

telephone:    0207 740 3222 (within the U.K.)    +44 207 740 3222 (for those of you outside the U.K.)

email: Jessica Deutsch jessica@artstolife.com     email: Kate Salvi ksalvi@optonline.net

Or use our contact page

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