homepage about us travel artists exhibitions Jewellery contact

Japan 2008 - click here for ITINERARY

Japan - A country of Contrasts October 16-27 2008

This unusual journey celebrates the ephemeral splendor of Japan in October when the leaves turn a golden red. The purpose of the trip is to journey through both the traditional world of Kyoto and into the cutting edge avantgarde lifestyle of Tokyo. We are led by Judith Clancy, author of many books on Japan, as well as by scholars and experts who will address specific subjects. These will include traditional craft, gardens, contemporary art, architecture and the evolution of Japanese culture. Through exquisite art past and present we will explore the interplay of transformation and tradition, change and persistence, what falls from the bough, and what endures.

One part of the program is devoted to penetrating the heart of old Japan. To do this we focus on Kyoto, a fascinating city that has changed little over the course of hundreds of years. In Kyoto, we enter an exclusive realm of artists so skilled in their particular crafts that they are regarded as National Treasures. Through their creations we will discover the mysteries of lacquer work, the unique varieties of Japanese ceramics, the methods of weaving and the richness achieved in the dyeing of textiles. The refinement and delicacy of these works sends us back in time, and brings to life the elegant traditions of the Imperial Court, established in Kyoto in the late Eighth Century.

Around Kyoto, we are treated to a variety of gardens, each the work of a master architect or gardener, each calling for the insight of a skilled expert to explain its hidden meaning. Within the garden is often a tea house set aside for reflection and meditation. At one of the earliest such gardens, the Fourteenth Century Moss Garden, with its serene lake, we will be treated to a tea ceremony and instructed by an expert in its elaborate details. A visit to Miho allows us to explore some of the oldest ceramics in Japan. Through such exploration we will gain an appreciation for a culture that, for more than a millennium, has withstood foreign influence and maintained its distinctive, mysterious charm.

Juxtaposed to the grandeur of the old is the thrill of the new, a Japan rising from the charred ruins of the Second World War, turning its back on the past, with its gaze solidly on the horizon. Tokyo, with its futuristic skyline, offers us cutting edge architecture built to accommodate every aspect of Western consumerism. Indeed, its artists consistently out-"avant" the Western avant-garde. What we shall see in the galleries here is totally new, fresh and distinct. A day devoted to Contemporary art is spent on Naoshima Island where we sleep over at the Benesse House, floating on the Inland Sea of Japan. We will also visit extraordinary consumer temples, built to elevate the retail experience, designed by famous architects, such as Kenzo Tange and Jun Aoki. Participants will have time to explore the magnificence of these modern "shrines," which house the work of designers such as Hanae Mori, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Fendi, Donna Karan, and Armani.

Wherever possible the program includes visits to private collections and artist studios. For this reason participation is limited to 16 persons. A full day-by-day schedule will be available in November. The program begins in Kyoto on 16th October and concludes in Tokyo on October 27th.


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.

Japan 2008 - click here for more details

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.

Why We Are Different Previous Programs
Private Access Getaway Weekends
Studio Visits All Of The Arts
Experts Portfolio

Trademark/Copyright Terms & Conditions