Textiles of Japan & the Festival of Quilts

Prices from £4,995


14 Jan 2019 - 28 Jan 2019
Duration: 14 nights
Ref: 19014
With: Mandy Shaw


Prices from £4,995
Single Supplement: £725
Deposit: £450

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Join Mandy Shaw on an extraordinary journey to the land of the rising sun! A fascinating fusion of old and new, the ultra-modern and an ancient culture, Japan's soaring skyscrapers and hi-tech innovation sit side by side with historic pagodas and traditional shrines. A country with deep-rooted cultural and religious beliefs, Japan also has a long history of textile excellence making this tour the trip of a lifetime for quilters, patchwork and embroidery aficionados alike. As you visit Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto and Fukuoka, you'll explore cultural sights, meet local craftspeople and take in the very best that Japan has to offer in terms of textiles. Along the way you'll travel in the comfort of Japan's famed Bullet Train and soak up the country's physical beauty around Lake Kawaguchi, in the shadow of iconic Mount Fuji. Your tour culminates with a 2-day visit to Japan's Great Festival of Quilts where you'll be astonished at the finesse demonstrated in the work of some of Japan's finest quilters.


The largest show of its kind in Japan, Tokyo's Great Quilt Festival is considered one of the most prestigious events in the quilting calendar. Held in the vast Tokyo Dome, the event attracts some 2.8 million visitors each year. 2019 will be the show's 18th year and once again you can expect a magnificent showcase of contemporary, traditional and miniature quilts including masterpieces from some of Japan's best textile artists. Row upon row of booths house merchandisers from across the country where you'll find 'all things quilting' under one roof. Quilting, patchwork and stitching enthusiasts will love this show with its astonishing array of quilts featuring unique stitching, colour and style, along with the intricacy of Japanese craftsmanship.


Along with two fantastic days at Tokyo’s Great Quilt Festival you’ll also enjoy visits to the Amuse Museum, the ‘Blue & White’ shop, and the ‘Tomato’ shop in Nippori Fabric Town. Further afield in Hinohara village you’ll visit Ginza’s Sashiko Museum and shop, and in Nagoya enjoy a talk and workshop at the Arimatsu Narumi Tie-Dyeing Museum. In Kyoto there will be visits to the Orinasukan Handmade Fabrics Museum and to a Master Indigo dyer. You’ll also participate in a Roketsu dyeing experience and join local quilt teacher Ms Nakazawa for a workshop at her home in Uji. From Fukuoka you will visit the Moriyama Kasuri Kobo Studio and the old crafts town of Kurume for a workshop with local dyer Yamaai. During your stay in Takayama you have the chance to make a traditional Sarubobo doll and visit the Homp Hida Sashiko shop. There will also be a visit to the Kubota Itchiku Museum which houses a wonderful collection of kimono art.


Meet Mandy Shaw at London Heathrow for the overnight flight to Tokyo.


Your room will be available for early check-in upon arrival at the hotel. This afternoon's sightseeing includes the Meiji Jingu shrine and a visit to the 'Blue & White' shop in Tokyo.


Enjoy a visit to the Asakusa Kannon Temple and learn about the traditional Japanese technique of 'Boro' in the Amuse Museum. There is time for shopping in the amazing 'Tomato' shop in Tokyo's Nippori Fabric Town.


Step aboard the Bullet Train for the journey to Nagoya. Visit the Arimatsu-Narumi Tie-Dyeing Museum for a talk and the first of your hands-on workshops. Continue to Takayama for a 2-night stay.


Today's sightseeing of Takayama includes the morning market, festival float hall, Kami-sannomachi old town, 'Hompo Hida Sashiko' store, Hida Folk Village and the Hida Takayama Crafts centre where you have the chance to make your own small traditional Japanese Sarubobo doll.


Relax and enjoy the bullet train journey to Kyoto where you'll visit the Orinasukan Handmade Fabrics Museum and Kiyomizu temple before checking in to your hotel.


Nara, one of the oldest parks in Japan, is famous for its free-roaming deer. Here you visit the wooden Todai-ji temple before driving to Uji where you'll visit the home of local quilt teacher Ms Nakazawa for a hand-stitching workshop. Ms Nakazawa and her students will serve a delicious Japanese lunch and host a traditional tea ceremony.


Browse the myriad stalls at Toji Temple flea market before visiting Aizenkobo for a talk and demonstration wih master indigo dyer Kenichi Utsuki. Admire the Kinkaku-ji temple (Golden Pavilion) and visit the Yamamoto Roketsu dyeing studio where you can create your own piece using this traditional technique.


Take the bullet train from Kyoto to Fukuoka on Kyushu Island. Visit the Hakataori Kogeikan Museum and tour the weaving factory. Continue to the Moriyama Kasuri Kobo studio in Yame for a workshop to learn the dyeing technique that is synonymous with the Chikago region.

DAY 10

Visit the old crafts town of Kurume and enjoy a workshop with a local dyer Yamaai. This afternoon, enjoy a wonderful insight into different techniques associated with Japanese textiles from the owners of Kimonoboy.

DAY 11

After a flight from Fukuoka to Tokyo, you'll drive to Lake Kawaguchi at the foot of majestic Mount Fuji. Enjoy a cable car ride and enjoy views of the Owakudani Valley before checking in to your hotel where a traditional Japanese dinner is served.

DAY 12

Admire the stunning kimono at Kubota Itchiku Museum before driving through the countryside to Hinhora village where you'll visit renowned artist Akie Ginza's Sashiko Museum and shop. Check-in to the Tokyo Dome Hotel for a 3-night stay.

DAYS 13 & 14

Two days to immerse yourself and soak up the atmosphere of the renowned Tokyo International Quilt Festival at the Tokyo Dome.

DAY 15

Flight from Tokyo to London.


Twin room: £4995 per person
Single room: £5720 per person


  • Return flights between London & Tokyo
  • Domestic flight from Fukuoka to Tokyo
  • 13 nights' hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Traditional Japanese dinner in the Fuji View Hotel
  • 2-day entrance ticket to the Tokyo's Great Festival of Quilts
  • Reserved seats on bullet trains journeys
  • Private coach transfers and guided sightseeing
  • Stitching workshop in the home of local quilt expert Ms Nakazawa with lunch and tea ceremony
  • Workshops in different techniques of indigo dyeing
  • Workshop on the traditional Sarubobo doll
  • Entrances to museums and temples as detailed in the itinerary
  • The company and expertise of Mandy Shaw
  • The services of an experienced local Tour Manager


Single supplement, porterage at the hotels, drinks, meals other than those specified, travel insurance and items of a personal nature, i.e. telephone calls, laundry etc.


Dates for this holiday are provisional as the actual dates of the Tokyo Great Quilt Festival are yet to be announced. The holiday dates may therefore be subject to change until the organisers confirm when the festival will take place. Should the date change, airfares may fluctuate, however, we will confirm the total cost at the time your booking is confirmed.

A good degree of mobility is required for this holiday as it involves a fair amount of walking, including some walking uphill to shrines 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.


For single travellers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.

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

Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa, Tokyo

This recently renovated, 4-star hotel is ideally located just 5 minutes walk from Tokyo's Shinagawa Station. It boasts all the facilities you'd expect of an urban hotel, yet set amidst 20,000-square metres of gardens the hotel affords tranquility in the middle of this metroplis.


  • En suite bathroom with complimentary amenities
  • Hairdryer
  • TV
  • Fridge
  • Kettle
  • Complimentary WiFi

Best Western Hotel, Takayama

Located in the heart of Takayama, this comfortable 3.5-star hotel is within easy walking distance of all major attractions, JR Takayama train station, shopping centres and convenience stores.


  • En suite bathroom (single rooms have shower cubicle)
  • Hairdryer
  • TV
  • Tea/Coffee making facilities
  • Mini bar
  • Complimentary WiFi

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 New Otani Hakata, Fukuoka

A centrally located, first class hotel with a full range of facilities, the Hotel New Otani Hakata is renowned for its comfortable, contemporary rooms and gracious Japanese hospitality.


  • En suite bathroom with complimentary amenities
  • TV
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Tea making facilities

The Fuji View Hotel, Lake Kawaguchi

Set amidst vast, tranquil gardens this relaxed, comfortable, resort-style hotel enjoys splendid views of majestic Mount Fuji. The hotel has its own Onsen (hot spring) bath.


  • En suite bathroom with complimentary amenities
  • TV
  • WiFi
  • Telephone
  • Hot water jugs & Japanese tea sets
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer

The Tokyo Dome Hotel

At the centre of Tokyo's 'round-the-city' JR Yamanote Line and overlooking Tokyo Dome City, the Tokyo Dome Hotel is within easy walking distance of the entertainment venue and Tokyo's Festival of Quilts. A contemporary super-highrise hotel , guestrooms on floors 9 to 41 have splendid views of the city.


  • En suite bathroom with complimentary amenities
  • TV
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Tea making facilities
  • Fridge
  • Hairdryer