Visit the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Fukuoka
Look through the spectacular Kyushu National Museum.
Experience several local kiln sites (Arita, Imari, Karatsu, Onta, Hagi, Bizen) and speak with local artisans.
Stay at an onsen ryokan in Hita.
Visit the Benesse Art Site of Naoshima Island
Enjoy a tour of Kyoto with Riki in his home town.
Visit the Sagawa Art Museum in Kyoto.
Transport and entry to all places described
Accommodation and meals described
The services of Riki Inamura, the tour escort
Airport-hotel transfers in Japan
Hotels & Ryokan
Fukuoka - Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel
Karatsu - Yoyokaku (traditional ryokan)
Hita - Kizantei Hotel (onsen hotel)
Hagi - Mihagi Resort Hotel
Okayama - Korakuen Hotel
Kyoto - Royal Hotel & Spa
Travel to Fukuoka by Tuesday 3 Oct 2017
Arrive at Fukuoka's very convenient airport by own arrangement with transfers provided into the city.
Visit the Daizaifu Tenmangu Shrine to wish a safe journey, then see the Kyushu National Museum, one of Japan’s best, set spectacularly on a forested hillside. Relax before our welcome dinner in this cosmopolitan little city.
Fukuoka to Karatsu via Arita & Imari BD
This morning, we’ll take a bus to visit several working kilns in Arita, Imari (where the picture below is inspired from) and Karatsu. There’ll be opportunities to talk with the local artistans.
Imari to Hita via Onta village BD
Today, we’ll head into the countryside by bus to visit the hidden village of Onta, which still produces ceramics using ancient methods past down through the generations. Today, there are ten families in the village, all of whom work the kilns. After exploring Onta, we’ll head for the nearby town of Hita on the Chikugo River, where you can soak your feet in the onsen and enjoy our kaiseki dinner.
Hita to Hagi BD
After visiting the old part of Hita town, we will make our way up to Hagi on the Japan Sea side of Honshu. You can relax by the sea until our kaiseki dinner together.
Today, we will visit the local kilns with the guidance of a local specialist. Hagi has one of the longest ongoing history of pottery making under the Korean tradition. Their tea bowls are considered the best in Japan.
Hagi to Okayama B
In the morning, we'll head across the mountaisn to meet the Shinkansen for our journey to Okayama, where you can just relax or visit Korakuen Garden.
Okayama (Naoshima Art Site day-trip) B
Catch a local train and ferry to the Benesse Art Site of Naoshima, a beautiful island on the inland sea. Enjoy the unique art work and installations amongst the marvellous scenery.
Okayama to Kyoto via Bizen B
We’ll catch a local train to Bizen, which has been a centre of pottery since medieval times. There will be an opportunity to work with local clay under the guidance of the kiln master. Then we take a train and Shinkansen to Kyoto.
Join Riki for a tour of Kyoto including the Golden Pavilion. After lunch, follow the Philosopher’s Path to the Silver Pavilion.
Relax for the day as you wish in Kyoto, or join Riki to visit the Sagawa Art Museum east of Kyoto to see among other things, the works of the ceramic artist Raku Kichizaemon. At night, enjoy our farewell dinner at Wontana, Riki’s family favourite.
Kyoto, then travel home on Saturday 14 Oct 2017 B
Enjoy your day in Kyoto as time permits before transferring to Itami or Kansai Airport for your flight home.