CLICK PHOTO ABOVE to see a short slide show of our 2018 trip. 2020 will be Nancy's last time to lead this tour, so we're taking reservations for that year as well as for 2019. The 2020 tour itinerary will be quite similar to the 2019 itinerary.
October 13th - 22nd OVERVIEW: This tour is held entirely in Kyoto, where you'll learn about Japanese textiles and culture, shop
at the temple markets, meet several traditional artisans, and tour one of the most beautiful and exotic
cities in the world. We meet in Kyoto (airfare and transportation
to/from the airport is on your own but we can help with
recommendations). And yes, we spend the entire time in and around
Kyoto! Is it enough? Nope. Most group members arrive a day early and extend their stay to explore other parts of Japan.
Kimono owner Nancy McDonough leads the tour. Nancy lived in Kyoto from
1992-95 and that's where her love of Japanese textiles began. She's
looking forward to sharing "her Kyoto" with you.
Two textile workshops Five artisan studio visits One handicraft market One temple flea market Two free days Selected heritage sites
- 9 nights in a western-style hotel (Palace Side Hotel) - single occupancy room with private bath - all workshop, tour activities, and entrance fees - breakfast every day - lunch on tour days - Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner - transportation during the tour - gifts for our teachers and guides - prep materials and other goodies - memory book after the tour
CLICK HERE for the tentative itinerary for 2019; the 2020 tour will be quite similar CAUTION! This trip is not
for everyone. If you're flexible, healthy, eager to visit Japan, and
normally not inclined to travel in groups (but welcome the chance to
meet like-minded others) - this trip could be what you've been waiting
for. We provide a great framework from which you can create your own
unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience, but
hand-holding is at a minimum.
You'll have free days to explore in and around Kyoto on your own, so if
you're a hesitant traveler, this is not the trip for you. Also, if you
have dietary restrictions, physical limitations, or a low tolerance for
the unfamiliar, this is
really not the trip for you. We can't emphasize enough the need for everyone to be sufficiently physically fit to do the daily walking!
Tour members will be asked to prepare for the trip and to conduct themselves in ways that may sometimes be a challenge:
physical requirements: be able to walk unassisted at a standard 3-mile/hour pace for up to an hour at a time, several days in a row
balance requirements: get up and down for floor seating (required at some meals and studio visits)
meal requirements: be able to eat with chopsticks and have no strict dietary or allergy issues
cultural awareness: be knowledgeable about Japanese customs and
etiquette, be able to master basic greetings, counting, and polite
group participation: be punctual, flexible, compassionate, attentive, and respectful of group dynamics
COMFORT LEVEL: We will not have luxury-level accommodations or meals in
Japan, but our hotel is clean, convenient and comfortable.
You'll have a private room with bath, but the rooms are small. The food
will be authentic, local, and plentiful, but you'll need to be able to
eat with chopsticks. You'll get to know Kyoto from an ex-pat's and textile-lover's perspective, and we'll do whatever we can to help you feel comfortable
heading out on your free days to pursue your own adventures. The focus
of the trip will be to enjoy Kyoto at a reasonable pace -- we can't
possibly see it all, so lets be in good spirits and well-rested to enjoy
what we can see in the time we have.
$1000 deposit reserves your spot (
payment link below), which would only be confirmed after a phone chat with Nancy to
discuss the trip and share expectations or concerns. The balance is due
by check - half by March 15th and the rest by June
REFUND POLICY: 75% back for
cancellations made at least six months in advance. 50% back for
cancellations made at least three months in advance. 25% back for
cancellations made at least one month in advance. It is strongly encouraged that everyone get traveler's insurance to cover the gap between full trip cost and refund amounts allowed.
Late November: First invitations are emailed to our First Dibs List Members. (To get on the First Dibs List for the next trip, email Nancy.) Early December: deposits due and initial Tour Chat with Nancy scheduled Mid-December: Any open slots are advertised in a December Newsletter (To get on the newsletter list, sign up below.) March 15th: Half the balance due by check; flight itineraries due April:
Prep cycle begins (group introductions, web, book, and movie
recommendations suggested, Free Day interests shared among the group)
June 15th: Balance due by check July: More prep materials suggested, pre-trip goodie bags sent out, more prep talk among the group September: Final pre-trip check in October 13th: We all meet up in Kyoto! (US members leave on the 12th to arrive on the 13th)
Fill in your email address below to sign up for one or both of our mailing lists:
Our "First Dibs" list for the annual Trip to Kyoto. If you're thinking about coming on the next trip, sign up to get the first invitation.
Our Weekly Update goes out each Friday and lets you know what new treasures are posted each week.