Inland Sea & Kyōto Tour

We sailed across the Setouchi inland sea to experience a unique dichotomy of rural island culture and cutting-edge contemporary art.


On Shōdoshima we visited Buddhist pilgrimage sites, toured a traditional soy sauce brewery and viewed local art installations. We made a pilgrimage of a different kind to the contemporary art mecca of Benesse Art Site Naoshima, where we stayed for two luxurious nights at a hotel designed by Tadao Ando.

We traveled by chartered boat to visit installations on three different islands, including the “House Projects” by Kazuyo Sejima of SAANA; the haunting and provocative “Inujima Seirensho Museum” by Hiroshi Sambuichi and Yukinori Yanagi; Christian Boltanski’s “Les Archives du Cœur;” the Teshima Art Museum designed by artist Rei Naito and architect Ryue Nishizawa; the Lee Ufan Museum; seven varied Honmura Art House Projects; and the Benesse Art Museum on Naoshima.

The tour finished with two days in Kyōto where we explored UNESCO World Heritage sites, contemporary art and craft galleries, the Kyoto Shibori Museum, and specialty textile and fashion shops. We also visited the Kitano Shrine monthly flea market to browse for vintage fabrics, yarns, and kimono.

Kyōto Tour

We walked the streets of Japan’s capital from 794 to 1869 to find vibrant neighborhoods purveying the finest products of ongoing Japanese craft traditions including incense, brushes, books, ceramics, and kimono.


We visited the only fiber art gallery in Japan active since the 1970s; a textile arts supply store with an overwhelming variety of craft supplies; a contemporary gallery supporting local artist communities; the Kyoto Shibori Museum; and the Kitano Shrine monthly flea market.

Around and outside the city, we journeyed to UNESCO World Heritage sites including Shimogamo Shrine and Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei, where we enjoyed a intimate visit to an inspiring textile artist’s studio. We also made a special excursion to the elegant Miho Museum designed by I.M. Pei to recall Shangri-la.

We deepened our understanding of Kyōto’s traditional culture with a special ikebana demonstration by a master of Saga Goryō school, one of the oldest schools associated with Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion). And we didn't neglect Kyōto’s tastemaking cuisine, from shōjin-ryōri vegetarian monk’s food to a fabulous sukiyaki dinner in the atmospheric Pontochō district.

Arimatsu 1-Day Workshops

We took full-day workshops in Arimatsu with world-renowned specialists including natural dye master Michel Garcia; textile chemist Joy Boutrup; Shadowfolds artist Chris K. Palmer; and international shibori artists Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Catharine Ellis, Jane Callender, and Eva Lagnert.

Revealing Layers with Indigo Discharge


Nui Shibori for Artistic Exploration


Natural Dyes for Cross-Dyeing
Catharine ELLIS


Explorations of Indigo

Stitch Resist Alternatives: Sewing Machine and Smocking Pleater


Pleats on Wool and Mixed Fibers


Hira-ori: Shadowfolds for Shibori Techniques