Immerse yourself in an old Japanese textile tradition and experience Japan's ultramodern capital on this tour and retreat. We'll spend five days exploring Tokyo—with a focus on studio visits to meet contemporary designers—followed by an indigo-dyeing retreat in a verdant village outside the city where we'll learn the fundamentals of shibori and katazome.

Part 1: Tokyo Tour

We'll hit the ground running on our first day in Tokyo with a guided walking tour exploring Japanese aesthetics through the city's architecture and design, both old and new. With Shibuya as our home-base, we'll continue to explore the city through the lens of textiles, craft and design as we visit the studios of contemporary textile designers; hunt for vintage crafts and contemporary design at Tokyo's one-of-a-kind boutiques; and visit interesting museums and exhibitions. Along the way, we'll meet gracious Tokyoites, enjoy amazing food, and discover different neighborhoods in this dazzling city.

Private Studio Visits

  • Visit one of Japan's preeminent contemporary textile designers for an introduction to her company's innovative textile techniques
  • Visit a century-old lighting-design company, where we will make our own traditional washi table lamp to take home
  • Visit the studio of a young, contemporary katazome artist
  • Visit a century-old dyeing workshop, which continues to dye fabric for kimono using traditional stencil-dyeing techniques
  • Visit the studio of a contemporary designer of yukata and kimono, with the option to be fitted for your own custom yukata

Cultural Experiences

  • Visit The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Nezu Museum and d47 Museum plus additional special exhibitions or cultural events to be determined

Guided Shopping & Sightseeing

  • Shopping for vintage Japanese textiles and craft as well as contemporary Japanese designers
  • Two guided walking tours of Tokyo
  • Custom shopping and dining maps for you to explore on your own

Part 2: Indigo Retreat

After exploring Tokyo we will travel by train to a verdant village outside the city for an intensive indigo-dyeing workshop and cultural retreat. Our host and teacher has lived in Japan for over two decades and is an expert in Japanese textile crafts. We will stay at his 150-year-old silk-farming house where we'll learn about indigo dyeing using the Japanese techniques of shibori (resist) and katazome (stencil) dyeing. We'll also enjoy delicious home-cooked Japanese meals and unique cultural experiences.

Workshops

  • Immersive, multi-day, hands-on introduction to the ancient Japanese tradition of indigo-dyeing using shibori and katazome dyeing techniques (You will come home with many completed projects!)
  • Day-trip to visit the workshop of an esteemed sixth-generation katazome dyer

Cultural Experiences

  • An ikebana flower arranging workshop
  • An introduction to traditional Japanese tea ceremony
  • Hiking in the lush hills around the village
  • Visit to a traditional Japanese onsen
  • Delicious home-cooked Japanese meals in addition to eating at local restaurants
  • Experience local festivities taking place during Golden Week
  • Visit local potters and craftspeople

DATE: 

23 April - 6 May, 2017


Cost:

$4,500 USD / 12 days & 13 nights

SOLD OUT! Join our mailing list to be notified about Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 dates.

Based on single occupancy in Tokyo and double occupancy during retreat. Limited to 8 participants

A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is due upon registration with the final payment due January 23, 2017


This price includes:

  • Accommodation
  • All workshops (including instruction fees and materials) and studio tours
  • Guide and interpreter fees
  • All meals during the indigo retreat and two special meals in Tokyo (does not include other meals in Tokyo)
  • Ground transportation (except airport transfers)
  • Museum admissions

Does not include:

  • International airfare
  • Transfers to and from airport
  • Most meals in Tokyo
  • Personal shopping money
  • Any additional experiences or activities not included on the itinerary

For more information, please refer to our FAQs and Disclaimer pages.

 
 
Jessica did a great job researching, organizing and executing a truly remarkable experience for all of us. It was meaningful in so many ways and getting to spend time with locals was the best!
— JM Jones
I’ve been on two textile tours with Jessica, both were absolutely amazing. She gains access to places tourists typically don’t go. Her love of textiles and adventure make for an informative and exciting tour.
— Susan Rogers