Textiles of Japan & the Festival of Quilts

Prices from £5,199

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13 Jan 2020 - 27 Jan 2020
Duration: 14 nights
Ref: 20001
With: Pat Archibald

Prices

Prices from £5,199
Single Supplement: £799
Deposit: £400

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Join Pat Archibald on an extraordinary journey to the Land of the Rising Sun! A fascinating fusion of old and new, Japan’s soaring skyscrapers and high-tech innovation sit side by side with historical 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 crafts people 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.

TOKYO'S GREAT QUILT FESTIVAL

The largest show of its kind in Japan, Tokyo’s 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. 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.

DAY 1: LONDON - TOKYO

Meet your expert for this tour, Pat Archibald, at London Heathrow airport for your overnight flight to Tokyo

DAY 2 - TOKYO

We'll land in Tokyo in the morning and meet our local guide before transferring by coach to our hotel. After some time to unpack and freshen up we’ll start our sightseeing with a visit to the Meiji Jingu shrine. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of modern Japan. It was during Emperor Meiji’s reign that Japan modernised and westernised to become one of the world’s major powers. We’ll also get our first taste of retail therapy with a visit to ‘Blue & White’, a quirky shop presenting the best of blue and white handmade crafts.

DAY 3 - TOKYO

Today we’ll visit Sensoji/Buddhist Kannon Temple in Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s districts where an atmosphere of the past survives. The temple is Tokyo’s oldest and one of the most colourful and popular. We’ll also take the opportunity to browse (and maybe buy!) in the shops in Nippori Fabric town.

DAY 4 - NAGOYA

This morning we travel to Nagoya by bullet train, Shinkansen, the first high speed train in the world. From the train station we’ll travel by coach to Arimatsu, a suburb of Nagoya and home of the Arimatsu-Narumi shibori. Here we’ll visit the tie-dyeing museum and enjoy a talk and workshop from one of the local experts. After the visit we’ll have some free time to stroll through the old town before continuing to Takayama.

DAY 5 - TAKAYAMA

We’ll spend a full day in Takayama today, visiting:

  • The morning market
  • Hida folk Village; an open-air museum exhibiting over 30 traditional houses from the region
  • Hida Crafts Experience, where we’ll make a Sarubobo doll
  • Festival Float Hall; where four of Takayama’s autumn festival’s floats are on display. The elaborately decorated floats are several hundred years old and beautiful examples of Takayama’s legendary craftmanship
  • Hida sashiko shop

DAY 6 - KYOTO

This morning we’ll travel to Kyoto by train. Once in Kyoto we’ll go to the Nishijin area, well known for its textile industry. Here we’ll visit the Orinasukan Handmade Fabrics Museum to learn about their dyeing and weaving traditions. Our final visit of the day will be to the Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most celebrated temples in Japan.

DAY 7 - NARA

This morning we’ll take a sightseeing tour of Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital. It remains full of historic treasures including some of Japan’s oldest and largest temples. We'll visit Todai-ji temple, built in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples in Japan. The main hall is the world’s largest wooden building. We continue to Uji, where we’ll visit local quilting teacher Ms Nakazawa for a workshop and tea ceremony. Lunch is included today.

DAY 8 - KYOTO

We'll enjoy a relaxing morning at the hotel before starting our sightseeing tour of Kyoto, including a visit to Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavillion) Zen Buddhist temple, one of Kyoto’s most iconic sites. In the afternoon we’ll visit the Yamamoto Roketsu dyeing studio for a workshop using this traditional technique.

DAY 9 - FUKUOKA

This morning we’ll visit the Toji Temple flea market before travelling by bullet train to Fukuoka, on the island of Kyushu. On arrival we’ll visit the Hakata Traditional Art & Craft Museum, where we’ll view the traditional crafts of the area including the most famous; Hakataori textiles and Hakata dolls.

DAY 10 - KURUME

We start the day in the craft town of Kurume for a workshop with local dyeing expert, Yamaai. In the afternoon we’ll visit Yamedento Kogeikan Museum & Shop and the Yumezaiku dyeing studio for a workshop on natural dyeing techniques.

DAY 11 - KAWAGUCHI

This morning we fly back to Tokyo and transfer to Lake Kawaguchi, the second largest of the five Fuji lakes. From the panoramic rope way, we’ll enjoy magnificent views of Mount Fuji and the lake. This evening we’ll dine together at our hotel and enjoy a traditional hot spring bath.

DAY 12 - KAWAGUCHI

This morning we’ll visit Kubota Itchiku Art Museum. Kubota Itchikuu was the artist who revived the lost art of Tsujigahana silk dyeing, used to decorate elaborate kimono during the Muromachi Period (1333-1573). In his early twenties he was so inspired by a fragment of Tsujigahana textile exhibited at the Tokyo National Museum, that he devoted the rest of his life to recreating and mastering the labor-intensive silk dyeing technique. We’ll continue through the countryside, with constant views of Mt Fuji, to renowned artist Akie Ginza’s Sashiko Museum and Shop, located in a traditional Japanese farmhouse.

DAYS 13 & 14 - TOKYO QUILT FESTIVAL

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

DAY 15 - TOKYO - LONDON

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

PRICES (INCL. FLIGHTS & TRANSFERS):

Twin room: £5199 per person
Single supplement: £799
Discount for triple room: £100 per person
Please call to enquire about booking a triple room.

Deposit: £400 per person

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • Return international flights with British Airways
  • 13 nights bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Private coach transfers and guided sightseeing
  • Travel in reserved seats by bullet train
  • Entrances to museums and temples
  • Sarubobo doll workshop at Hida Takayama Crafts Experience
  • Stitching workshop in the home of local quilt expert Ms Nakazawa, including lunch and tea ceremony
  • Workshops on a variety of dyeing techniques with local experts
  • Domestic flight from Fukuoka to Tokyo
  • Western-style dinner at Mt. Fuji hotel
  • 2-day entrance ticket to the Tokyo Festival of Quilts
  • The company and expertise of Pat Archibald
  • The services of an experienced local Tour Manager

NOT INCLUDED:

Meals and drinks unless otherwise stated, Porterage, Travel insurance.

TRAVEL ADVICE:

A good degree of mobility is required for this holiday due to the amount of walking, sometimes uphill, involved in visits to the shrines.

If you have a ‘British Citizen’ or ‘British National (Overseas)’ passport, you can enter Japan as a visitor for up to 90 days without a visa. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Visit your health professional at least 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

NON-CRAFTERS

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

WHY NOT MEET US THERE?

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.

THE "STITCH TOGETHER" PROGRAMME

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 4-star hotel was designed by one of Japan’s leading architects and is set in 10 acres of beautifully landscaped Japanese gardens. The superior rooms provide stylish comfort, elegant furnishings and tasteful decorative touches. Room facilities include TV, telephone, free high-speed internet, hair dryer, refrigerator and kettle. Dining options include Japanese and Chinese restaurants and a diner offering a freshly prepared buffet with three show kitchens.

Best Western Hotel, Takayama

This 3.5-star hotel is nestled in the heart of Takayama. The modern and spacious rooms offer complimentary wifi, cable TV, tea/coffee maker, hair dryer and minibar.
Please note: Best Western Hotel Takayama has no bathtubs – shower only.

New Miyako Hotel, Kyoto

This 4-star hotel offers a total of 988 comfortable rooms. Our bedrooms, on the premium floor in the main building, are inspired by the traditional Kyoto style. Room facilities include television, complimentary Wi-Fi, telephone, refrigerator, kettle and tea set and hairdryer. The hotel provides an array of dining options including a stylish café, buffet-style restaurant, authentic Chinese restaurant and a Japanese restaurant using select ingredients. In ‘Miyako Avenue’ you can find souvenirs, clothing and accessories and convenience store items.

Hotel New Otani Hakata, Fukuoka

This centrally located 4-star hotel offers first class accommodation and a full range of facilities delivered with a unique blend of gracious Japanese hospitality and international standards. In-room amenities include television, free wifi, and tea making facilities. Dining options include Japanese, European, Chinese, Noodles and Sushi.

Marriott Fuji Lake Yamanaka, Yamanako

This 4-star hotel boasts a magnificent view of Mt Fuji. The hotel’s design features natural motifs inspired by the elegant rich landscape. Our superior rooms are luxuriously appointed with facilities such as complementary bottled water, coffee/tea making facilities, refrigerator, safe and cable TV. Relax body and mind in the healing Yamanako hot spring water whilst enjoying the amazing view.

The Tokyo Dome Hotel

This 4-star hotel is within easy walking distance of Tokyo Dome, the venue for Tokyo’s Festival of Quilts. The hotel combines comfortable spaces and modern and warm interiors with playful artwork and exquisite views. Room facilities include refrigerator, kettle, safe, TV, free wifi and hairdryer. Dining options at the hotel include Italian, French and Japanese formal restaurants, casual dining salad bar and grill and a buffet restaurant offering Western, Chinese and Japanese options.