Inland Sea & Kyōto Tour

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


On Shōdoshima you’ll visit Buddhist pilgrimage sites, tour a traditional soy sauce brewery and view local art installations. Then make a pilgrimage of a different kind to the contemporary art mecca of Benesse Art Site Naoshima, where you’ll stay for two luxurious nights at a hotel designed by Tadao Ando.

We’ll travel 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 will finish with two days in Kyōto where we’ll explore UNESCO World Heritage sites, contemporary art and craft galleries, the Kyoto Shibori Museum, and specialty textile and fashion shops. Weather permitting, we’ll visit the Kitano Shrine monthly flea market to browse for vintage fabrics, yarns, and kimono.

Kyōto Tour

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


We’ll visit 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 weather permitting, the Kitano Shrine monthly flea market.

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

We’ll deepen 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 won’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

Take a full-day workshop in Arimatsu with world-renowned specialists including natural dye masters Michel Garcia, Kazuki Yamazaki; textile chemist Joy Boutrup; Shadowfolds artist Chris K. Palmer; natural dyer and Woven Shibori artist Catharine Ellis; and international shibori artists Ana Lisa Hedstrom and Eva Lagnert.