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Books on Kyoto Kyoto Itinerary

SOLD OUT for 2019
WAITING LIST established for 2020

CLICK ABOVE to see a short slide show of our 2018 trip.

October 13th - 22nd, 2019

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.

Kyoto 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. 2020 will be Nancy's last time to lead this tour, so we're taking reservations for that year as well as for 2019.

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 itinerary for 2019; the 2020 tour will be quite similar.

! 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 speech
-- group participation: be punctual, flexible, compassionate, attentive, and respectful of group dynamics

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.

PAYMENTS: A $1000 deposit reserves your spot for 2019 ( 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 15th. (The deposit for the 2020 tour is $500.)

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)

Click here to sign up for our First Dibs list for next year or our Weekly "What's New" email.

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