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.
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 (ryokan)
Hita - Kizantei Hotel (onsen hotel)
Hagi - Mihagi Resort Hotel
Okayama - Daiwa Roynet Eki-mae Hotel
Kyoto - Hotel Gracery Sanjo
Travel to Fukuoka by Monday 11 May, 2020
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. We will be staying in a very special ryokan tonight with a delicious shabu-shabu dinner.
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 Okayama B
In the morning, we'll head across the mountains to meet the Shinkansen for our journey to Okayama. In the afternoon, you can visit Bizen, a centre of pottery since medieval times. There will be an opportunity to work with local clay under the guidance of the kiln master. Alternatively, you could visit Korakuen Garden or Kurashiki.
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 Hagi BD
Today, we will make our way up to Hagi on the Japan Sea side of Honshu. You can swim in the sea or take an onsen bath 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 Kyoto B
Today, we travel over the mountains by bus, from where we will take a Shinkansen to Kyoto. Relax.
Join Riki on his hometown tour of Kyoto including the Golden Pavilion and some of his other favourite spots. After lunch, perhapn meander your way through Higashiyama on the Philosopher's Path as you wish.
Relax for the day as you wish in Kyoto; you may want 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 with authentic Kyoto cuisine.
Kyoto, then travel home on Friday 22 May, 2020 B
Enjoy your day in Kyoto as time permits before transferring to Itami or Kansai Airport for your flight home.