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CLICK HERE to see a short slide show of our 2016 trip.

: October 13TH - 22nd, 2017

BASIC ITINERARY: Nine nights in Kyoto learning about Japanese textiles and culture, shopping at the temple markets, and touring 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.

CLICK HERE for itinerary details

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.

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.

Guests 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 for an hour, sit on the floor for a meal, eat with chopsticks...
  • cultural awareness: be knowledgeable about Japanese customs and etiquette, be able to master basic greetings, counting, and polite speech (i.e., "excuse me")
  • group participation: be punctual, flexible, compassionate, attentive, and respectful of group dynamics
The in-country cost of $3500 covers:
- 9 nights in a western-style hotel (The Palace Side Hotel), single occupancy room with private bath
- 2 textile workshops
- 4 textile artisan studio visits
- 2 large markets (one craft fair, one temple flea market)
- Breakfast every day and one hearty meal on tour days (not on the two free days)
- Transportation and participation costs for all tour activities
- Gifts for our teachers and guides
- Prep materials and other goodies
The price is based on eleven guests plus Nancy.

COMFORT LEVEL: $3500 is a lot of money, but does not get us luxury-level treatment in Japan. 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 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 $500 deposit reserves your spot, followed by a phone chat with Nancy to discuss the trip and share expectations or concerns. $3000 balance is due by check - half by March 15th, balance by June 15th.

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. Participants are required to get traveler's insurance.

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: $500 deposits due and initial Tour Chat with Nancy scheduled.
Mid-December: Any open slots are advertised in the December Monthly Newsletter. (To get on the newsletter list, sign up below.)

Early January: Any remaining slots are advertised in our weekly newsletter and on our website.

March 15th: Half the balance ($1500) due by check; flight itineraries due.

April: Prep cycle begins (group member introductions, web, book, and movie recommendations suggested, Free Day interests shared among the group)
June 15th: Balance of $1500 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 more of our three 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 Monthly Newsletter goes out mid-month and gets you access to our "Exclusives" which change each month. It could be first choice on selected new items, special offers, coupon discounts, free gifts and more. There's also a sweet little haiku each month for your enjoyment.
  • Our Weekly Update goes out each Friday and lets you know what new treasures are posted each week.
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