Japanese Textile Traditions

Prices from £5,145


3 Sep 2019 - 16 Sep 2019
Duration: 13 nights
Ref: 19029
With: Janice Gunner


Prices from £5,145
Single Supplement: £725
Deposit: £400

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The trip of a lifetime! Come and see the amazing textile delights of Japan together with visits to some iconic tourist attractions. Our brand-new itinerary includes visits to textile museums in and around Tokyo, to Arimatsu, a very special Shibori town, stunning Kyoto and Kinkakuji, the ancient and preserved village of Miyama, Tokushima famous for Aizome (indigo) production, Matsue and more. Included are visits to see the work and talk to award winning quilter Noriko Endo, Shibori master Mr Hirose Murase, The Little Indigo Museum and master indigo dyer Hiroyuki Shindo plus lots of workshops including one with a delightful quilt teacher and friend, Reiko Nakazawa. You will go home with amazing memories and experiences and hopefully fall in love with Japan like we have!


Meet your expert for this tour, Janice Gunner, at London Heathrow airport for your flight to Tokyo


We'll land in Tokyo in the morning and meet our local guide before transferring by coach to our hotel. In the afternoon we'll take a half day tour of Toyko, including our first fabric shop (all 5 floors of it!)


Today we'll spend the full day in Toyko, seeing some iconic sites as well as exploring the traditional Japanese silk fabrics that are produced in the Tokyo area. Our crafty highlights will include a visit with award-winning quilter Noriko Endo and a spot of shopping at another of the city's many craft stores.


We start the day travelling on one of Japan's famous bullet trains to Nagoya. We continue by coach to the villages of Arimatsu and Narumi, famous for the Shibori dyeing technique. Here we'll visit the museum dedicated to the technique and learn more about it from a local expert. Our second bullet train of the day takes us from Nagoya to Kyoto.


This morning we'll enjoy a sightseeing tour of Kyoto, including Kinkaku-ji, a Zen Buddhist temple and one of the most popular buildings in Japan. In the afternoon we travel by coach to Miyama to visit The Little Indigo Museum, Hiroyuki Shindo's collection of textiles from Japan & around the world.


Today we'll enjoy a full day tour of Kyoto including a visit to a Roketsu (wax-resist) dying studio and the opportunity to learn, hands-on, about one of Kyoto's traditional textile dyeing methods. We'll also take a workshop with local quilt teacher Reiko Nakazawa and experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.


Our target today is Tokushima, an area famous for growing indigo plants and dyeing. En route we'll visit the Uzo-no-michi walkway to view the Naruto whirlpools, created by the large volumes of water moving between the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean between high and low tide. Once in Tokushima we'll visit a museum dedicated to the indigo trade and enjoy a performance of the traditional Awa-Odori dance, one of Japan's most famous traditional dances.


Our second day in Tokushima includes a visit to a local studio to learn about the indigo dyeing process and the opportunity to try your hand at washi (Japanese) papermaking.


Today we'll travel by coach to Okayama, stopping on route in Sakaide to visit a museum dedicated to the history of the rounded paper fans (Uchiwa) that have been used in Japan for many centuries. You'll also have the opportunity to make your own Uchiwa. Once in Okayama we'll visit the castle and Korakuen, one of Japan's top three landscaped gardens.

DAY 10

This morning we'll travel by coach to Yasugi where we'll visit the Adachi Museum of Art, housing a collection of modern Japanese art and Japan's number one garden. We'll also enjoy a Hirose-Kasuri dyeing workshop. Tonight, we'll stay in Tamatsukuri in a ryokan, a type of traditional Japanese inn that has existed since the 8th century. We'll enjoy a Japanese dinner and an Onsen hot spring bath.

DAY 11

Today we'll enjoy a full day tour of Izumo including the Folk Crafts Museum, the Taisha shrine, once of the most ancient and important Shinto shrines in Japan, the premises of an indigo dyeing specialist and the Ichibata temple, visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year searching for a cure for their eye complaint. Fingers crossed the weather will be fine this evening, and we can enjoy sunset over Lake Shinji, the seventh largest lake in Japan.

DAY 12

Our tour of the Izomo and Matsue areas continues today. We'll visit Shiomi Nawate Street and soak up the charm and character of old Japan from its white-washed samurai houses and other old residences. Our crafty indulgence for today is the Izumo Museum of Quilt Art, displaying the quilts of internationally reknown designer Mutsuko Yawatagaki. The fabrics used in her quilts come from antique and vintage kimonos, some as much as 200 years old. Later in the afternoon we'll take an internal flight back to Tokyo.

DAY 13

Our final full day in Japan includes a visit to Akie Ginza Sashiko Museum & shop, dedicated to the works of modern Sashiko artist Akie Sakamoto and the Edo Isegatakami Museum to see Japan's largest collection of Ise-katagami; the Japanese craft of making paper stencils for dyeing textiles.

DAY 14

It's time to say farewell to Japan as we depart the hotel and travel to the airport for our return flight.


Twin/double share: £5145
Single supplement: £725


  • Return international flights
  • 12 nights accommodation in good 3 star, or 4-star hotels with breakfast
  • Lunch on Day 6
  • Dinner on Day 10
  • Travel by coach, bullet train and internal flight, as described in the itinerary
  • Direct luggage transfer on Day 4
  • Services of a local English-speaking guide throughout the tour
  • The company and knowledge of our expert, Janice Gunner
  • Visits, entrance fees and workshops, as outlined in the itinerary


Travel Insurance, optional excursions and items of a personal nature (room service, telephone calls etc.)


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Worldwide - £75


Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.


If you are interested in any of our Stitchtopia holidays but don’t have a friend to join you, why not join our ‘Stitch Together’ programme? Designed for those travelling alone, we will help you find someone like-minded to share with so you've no single supplement to pay and can enjoy the benefit of this saving.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>

Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro

The Hotel Metropolitan is located in the heart of the city and conveniently located adjacent to the Ikebukuro train and subway station.


  • En suite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • TV
  • Fridge
  • Complimentary WiFi


Facilities include 5 restaurants serving international and Japanese cuisine, bar, shop and business centre.

New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto

A contemporary 4-star hotel with 998 rooms, the New Miyako Hotel is ideally located in the heart of the city close to Kyoto Station. Superior rooms in the main building feature designs inspired by the traditional Kyoto style.


  • En suite bathroom with complimentary amenities
  • TV
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Telephone
  • Fridge
  • Kettle & tea set
  • Hairdryer

Hotel Clement – Tokushima

The Hotel Clement is located within Tokushima station complex, adjacent to the shopping area. The 250 rooms come equipped with satellite TV, telephone, wifi, tea and coffee making facilities, refrigerator, mini-bar, hairdryer and air conditioning. The hotel offers a number of eating and drinking options.

Hotel Granvia Okayama

Located close to Okayama station, the Hotel Granvia offers comfortable rooms that are both well-designed and practical. Facilities include toiletries, telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, refrigerator, mini-bar and hairdryer. Within the hotel you can find free wifi, a number of eating and drinking options and the Granvia Resort Club with indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna and gym.

Hotel Gyokusen

Hotel Gyokusen is a traditional Japanese-style ryokan (inn). Each room comes with toiletries, wifi, TV, refrigerator, safe, kettle and hair dryer. Facilities include a hot spring bath, Japanese-style garden, lounge, a nightly folk-song event and two shops.

Excel Hotel Tokyu - Matsue

Rooms at the Excel Hotel Tokyu come with TV, telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, refrigerator, hairdryer and toiletries.