Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese textile practices and discover how contemporary designers are reinterpreting age-old techniques.  

We'll spend time exploring Tokyo—with a focus on meeting contemporary textile designers in their studios, homes and showrooms—followed by an intensive indigo-dyeing retreat outside the city where we'll learn the fundamentals of stitched shibori and katazome.

New in 2019, we'll end our trip by visiting the 35th Annual Shibori Festival in Arimatsu. 

Final details will be announced Summer 2018.

Part 1: Tokyo Tour

With Shibuya as our home-base, we'll explore an unexpected side of Tokyo as we visit the studios, showrooms and homes of contemporary textile designers living and working in the city. We'll also shop for traditional crafts and contemporary design at Tokyo's one-of-a-kind boutiques and visit select museums and exhibitions. Along the way, we'll meet gracious Tokyoites, enjoy amazing food and, discover different neighborhoods in this amazing city!

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Visit one of Japan's preeminent contemporary textile designers for an introduction to her company's innovative textile techniques
  • Meet a young entrepreneur who is reinventing the furoshiki in collaboration with contemporary artists and learn how to tie and wrap furoshiki
  • Visit the studio of a young couple creating whimsical, contemporary katazome designs and participate in mini-workshop
  • Visit a century-old dyeing workshop, which continues to dye fabric for kimono using traditional stencil-dyeing techniques; also participate in mini-workshop
  • Visit The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Nezu Museum and d47 Museum plus additional special exhibitions or cultural events to be determined
  • Shopping for vintage Japanese textiles and craft, products from contemporary Japanese designers, and art supplies

Part 2: Indigo Retreat

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

Highlights:

  • Immersive, multi-day, hands-on introduction to Japanese indigo-dyeing using stitched shibori and katazome dyeing techniques 
  • Day-trip to visit the workshop of a sixth-generation katazome dyer
  • An ikebana flower arranging workshop and an introduction to traditional Japanese tea ceremony
  • Hiking in the lush hills around the village and the option to visit a Japanese onsen
  • Delicious home-cooked Japanese meals in addition to eating at local restaurants
  • Visit local potters and craftspeople

Part 3: The 35th Annual Shibori Festival in Arimatsu

Rounding out our experience, we'll embark on a picturesque train journey to reach Arimatsu (near Nagoya), the historic home of Japanese shibori and the site of the 35th Annual Shibori Festival.

**Further details to be announced Summer 2018.

DATE: 

May - June 2019 (Dates to be announced Summer 2018)


Cost:

To be announced Summer 2018

Based on single occupancy in Tokyo and double occupancy during retreat and Shibori Festival. Limited to 9 participants

A TBD deposit is due upon registration with the final payment due TBD


This price includes:

  • Accommodation
  • All workshops (including instruction fees and materials) and studio tour fees
  • Guide and interpreter fees
  • Most meals (specific details on final itinerary)
  • Ground transportation (except airport transfers)
  • Museum admissions

Does not include:

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

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