japan tour :: Okan Arts

embark on the trip of a lifetime!

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE 2021 TOUR INFO WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL COVID-19 CONCERNS ARE RESOLVED. To be added to the Interested List for future tours, please contact Patricia Belyea (patricia@okanarts.com). Thank you.

Below is info on last year’s tour:

Patricia Belyea and Victoria Stone of Okan Arts invite you to join them on a remarkable journey to Japan

2020 Tokyo Quilt Festival & Japanese Textile Tour

12 Days / 11 Nights 
January 25 – February 5, 2020

Only 16 participants!
This Textile Tour—the perfect blend of hands-on activities and deluxe experiences—is designed for 16 active and adventuresome quilters and textile lovers.

tour details

Your Tour includes a fun Welcome Dinner in Tokyo, a Traditional Japanese Dinner in Hakone, and an exquisite Spirit of Japan Dinner in Kyoto, plus four lunches in specialty restaurants, and all breakfasts.

Your rooms are reserved in a four-star hotel in Tokyo, right beside the Quilt Festival, and a five-star hotel in Kyoto. At Hakone, in the Mount Fuji region, you stay at a deluxe Japanese ryokan with a natural mineral hot bath.

Okan Arts is a licensed Seller of Travel with a trust account to hold your deposit and final travel funds.

check out the itinerary!

B L D = Included Breakfast B, Lunch L, or Dinner D

DAY ONE  Narita Airport—Arrival
Victoria greets you at the airport and connects you with the driver and private car that take you to your hotel in Tokyo. Here Patricia welcomes you and gives you a quick orientation. With 12 restaurants in and around the hotel, relax and take the evening at your leisure.

DAY TWO  Tokyo—Tokyo International Quilt Festival
This is what you’ve been waiting for! After meeting Patricia and Victoria for breakfast, head across the Tokyo Dome Plaza to attend the largest quilt show in the world with amazing quilts and ultra-impressive exhibits. Finish your day with a Welcome Dinner, hosted by Okan Arts, at a fun Japanese BBQ restaurant. B D

DAY THREE  Tokyo—Tokyo International Quilt Festival, Textile Town
Enjoy another full day at the Tokyo Quilt Festival. Or slip away in the afternoon to Nippori Textile Town. For this adventure, Patricia and Victoria take you by public subway and train to the famous Fabric Town lined with over 80 shops. B

DAY FOUR  Tokyo—Chusen-Dyeing Workshop, Asakusa
Head north by private coach to Tokyo Wazarashi, a 130-year chusen-dyeing company. Here you learn about the tradition of chusen-dyeing and experience stencil-dyeing your own tenugui. Coach to Asakusa to catch lunch at  one of the myriad of small restaurants before touring Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. Enjoy this atmospheric neighborhood while wandering down Nakamise, a shopping street filled with traditional delights. B

DAY FIVE  Tokyo—Amy Katoh, Blue & White
Be a guest in the home of Amy Katoh, champion of the Japanese arts and author of four beloved books about Japanese culture. Here Amy shares her extensive textile collection with you. Then coach to the chichi Azabu Juban neighborhood for lunch at a noted farm-to-table vegetarian restaurant. Cap your day with a visit to Amy’s iconic store, Blue & White, where you peruse her curated collection of contemporary Japanese goods. B L

DAY SIX  Tokyo—Sashiko Museum, Soba Temple
Coach to a rural village west of Tokyo to explore the rustic farmhouse of Akie Ginza— filled with her life’s work of sashiko stitching. Then continue to bucolic Jindai-ji, Tokyo’s second oldest temple. Known as the Soba Temple, enjoy lunch at a nearby cafe where you can watch soba noodles being made. Then stroll the grounds to discover the historic water wheel, straw gates, and botanical gardens.

DAY SEVEN  Hakone—Kubota Kimono Museum, Mineral Hot Baths
Pack your carry-on bag for an overnight trip to Hakone, the popular Tokyo getaway with its breathtaking view of Mount Fuji across Lake Ashi. As you coach into the mountains, visit Itchiku Kubota Museum—a bucket-list destination—with its treasured kimono collection. Your day ends at a deluxe ryokan where you savor delicious Japanese food and sleep on a futon laid out on tatami mats. Also, there’s plenty of time to soak in the outdoor hot bath fed with mineral water from a naturally heated spring.  B D

DAY EIGHT  Kyoto—Historic Arimatsu, Shibori Workshop
With your carry-on bag traveling ahead of you, coach to Odawara Station where you board the green first-class car of the Shinkansen (bullet train). Traveling at speeds up to 300 mph, you are whisked away to Nagoya. Ride a private coach to the historic town of Arimatsu, birthplace of shibori dyeing. Along the way, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Once in Arimatsu, learn about shibori dyeing at Narumi Tie-Dyeing Museum and dye a small project in the studio of Tsuyoshi Kuno. The afternoon ends with a private coach back to Nagoya, the bullet train to Kyoto, and a private coach to your hotel. All of your belongings catch up with you this evening. B L

DAY NINE  Kyoto—Textile District, Spirit of Japan Dinner
A day of special delights! Coach to the Misuyabari Needle Shop—a 400-year-old family business that makes handmade needles. Then onto the Textile District, the heart of the Japanese textile culture. After lunch at a Kyo-machiya (historic wooden house), stop by the Somé-Seiryukan to see a sublime exhibit of expertly hand-dyed textile panels. Cap your afternoon at Nishijin Textile Center to watch a kimono fashion show. After a freshening up at the hotel, join Okan Arts for an exquisite dinner at Jugyuan—considered one of the top restaurants in Kyoto—overlooking the city and beyond. B L D

DAY TEN  Kyoto—Fushimi Inari, Sanjusangendo, Higashiyama District
Your morning starts with a private coach to Fushimi Inari Shrine, featured in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, where you walk up a mountain path flanked with over 10,000 vermillion torii gates. On to Sanjusangendo, a temple filled with 1001 statues of Kannon—the goddess of mercy. Lunch in a specialty restaurant featuring yuba. Then spend the afternoon in the Higashiyama District where you experience a feeling of going back in time with wooden shophouses lining hillside lanes. Your walking tour continues to the Gion, world-renowned for its geisha and teahouses, where you can keep exploring on your own or coach back to the hotel for a well-deserved break. B L

DAY ELEVEN  Kyoto—Indigo-Dyeing Workshop, Nishiki Market
Start your day with a hands-on workshop where you design your own noren and experience the entire roketsu-dyeing process. Then head to the Nishiki Market, a fresh food market known as Kyoto’s Kitchen, for lunch. The afternoon is free for exploration and last-minute shopping in Kyoto’s charming downtown. Make your way back to the hotel on your own. B

DAY TWELVE  Kyoto—Nijo Castle, Kansai Airport
Squeeze in one last sight before your departure! With a leisurely mid-morning departure from your hotel, coach to Nijo Castle. Roam around the residence of the first shogun of the Edo Period—a remarkably decorated fortress with its chirping nightingale floors and stunning gardens. Continue to Kansai Airport for your flight home. B

To see a blog post about the 2020 Tour +click here

tour leaders: patricia belyea & victoria stone

A lover of all things Japanese, quilter and textile expert Patricia Belyea has travelled extensively throughout Japan. Patricia designed this Textile Tour to take you to her favorite places for an in-depth experience of Japan. Her daughter Victoria Stone joins the Tour as the co-leader and coordinator.

A Japanese guide accompanies the Tour from Day Four to Day Twelve.

quick overview

Your Tour Cost includes:
– A 12 Day/11 Night Tour led by Patricia Belyea and Victoria Stone of Okan Arts, and a Japanese guide
– Two days at the 2020 Tokyo Quilt Festival
– An exclusive visit to the home of Amy Katoh, champion of traditional Japanese arts
– Three mini textile workshops—chusen dyeing, shibori, and indigo resist-dyeing
– Visits to cultural and historic sights including Akie Ginza Shibori Museum and the Kubota Kimono Museum
– A fun Welcome Dinner in Tokyo, a Traditional Japanese Dinner in Hakone, and an exquisite Spirit of Japan Dinner in Kyoto, plus four lunches in specialty restaurants, and all breakfasts
– Textile sights in Tokyo, the Mount Fuji region, the historic town of Arimatsu, and Kyoto
– Entrance and workshop fees for all activities
– All airport transfers and travel within Japan including first-class seats on the Bullet Train
– Overnight in a deluxe Japanese ryokan with a mineral hot bath
– Four-star hotel accommodations in Tokyo near the Quilt Festival, and five-star hotel accommodations in Kyoto
– 10% Japan consumption tax, all tips and service charges

Your Tour Cost excludes:
– International airfare
– All meals not specified in the itinerary
– Airport transfers on days/times not scheduled by the Tour
– Trip cancellation insurance, supplemental baggage insurance, international medical insurance
– Personal supplies, incidentals, and alcoholic drinks at included meals