Journey to Japan
June 11–21, 2023 – Kyoto
June 21–23, 2023 – Tokyo Extension (optional)
Travel with ICAN to Japan and discover a land rich in breathtaking beauty, where art and culture have been handed down and preserved by an entire nation for centuries.
For a ceramics lover, Japan is a “must see” country. Joining this exclusive ICAN journey is a great way to enjoy the spirit and culture of Japanese pottery with fellow ceramic enthusiasts. Let ICAN take care of the travel details and help you to explore this diverse region with a fully curated itinerary.
Our small group tours enjoy traditional Japanese experiences; tour Japan’s most exciting ceramic museums, meet local potters and watch exclusive pottery demonstrations, visit beautiful temples and ornate shrines, learn the way of tea, ikebana, and calligraphy, experience bullet train journeys, meditate in secret gardens, and delight in gourmet meals. Get ready for complete sensory overload!
"I cannot rate this tour too highly. It was well planned and an inspiring journey." —2018 ICAN Tour of Tuscany participant.
- Kyoto ceramics district, the Kiyomizu Rokubei, Kondo Yuzo, and Raku museums, and Yakimono Gallery.
- Full Buddhist service performed by 40 chanting monks, including a fire ceremony.
- Daitokuji Zen monastery for a Way of Tea ceremony with an extensive teabowl collection.
- Bizen pottery village, practicing artists, and the tunnel kilns.
- Kyoto’s Gion geisha area; Kennin-ji monastery and gardens.
- Nishijin textile district; demo by a 5th generation master of gold leaf.
- Tamba village to visit local ceramics studio and kilns.
- Celadon master’s studio.
- Calligraphy master and performance.
- Shigaraki, Sagawa Museum of Art, plus local ceramic studios.
- Rengei-ji’s stunning gardens and architecture in northern Kyoto.
- Ikebana demonstration with ceramic vases in the Sogetsu Ikebana school.
- Kyoto’s oldest inn and garden and demo on how various dishes are used to present a Japanese Kaiseki meal.
- Shisendo Hall of the Poet Hermits, former home of a samurai now a Soto Zen temple and a sukiya-style home and scroll garden.
- Contemporary ceramic artist studios and Kawai Kanjiro house
- Kyoto treasures: Tenryu-ji, one of the oldest gardens in Kyoto; Kyoto’s bamboo forests; the 10,000 bright vermillion torii gates of Fushimi Inari; delicacies at Kyoto’s Nishiki Market; the Philosopher’s path; Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavillion).
Optional Tour Add On: TOKYO!
- Guided walking tour of the Ginza.
- Travel to Tochigi prefecture to tour Mashiko, the famous ceramics village and home of the Mashiko-yaki.
- Tour the museum of Japanese ceramic national treasure, Shoji Hamada.
- Visit the Mashiko Reference Collection museum.
- Discover local potters in the area and shop the Mashiko potteries.
- Travel to Kasama to visit the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum and learn about Kasama pottery.
- Free time to discover Tokyo with guided suggestions.
Kyoto: The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo
Optional tour extension in Tokyo: Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier
Included in the Registration:
- Meet and greet airport service
- 9-nights double occupancy at the Royal Park Kyoto Sanjo Hotel — Western-style room. Single supplements available.
- Local transport: Subways, taxis, coach travel for Tamba and Shigaraki, and ordinary car train to/from Bizen
- 9 breakfasts*
- 8 lunches, including water, coffee or tea (soft drinks or alcoholic beverages paid individually)*
- 2 dinners, including water, coffee or tea (soft drinks or alcoholic beverages paid individually)*
- All admissions
- Tour leader(s) fully fluent in Japanese
- Japanese ceramics expert for four days of touring with introductions to ceramic artists in Tamba, Shigarki, Bizen, and Kyoto
- All tours conducted in English
- *We regret that we are not able to accommodate gluten free (celiac), vegan, or fish allergy diets on group trips to Japan.
Not Included in the Registration:
- International airline tickets for tour guests
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses incurred within hotel properties
- 7 dinners; drinks with meals other than water and Japanese tea
- Guide tipping
Tour Rates and Payment Options:
Tour rates cover your lodging, local ground transportation, tour activities, and some meals. Rates do not cover airfare, travel insurance, hotel incidentals, and some meals. See the official itinerary for details. All rates in US dollars
One-Time Payment (Pay in Full), on or after August 1, 2022:
Kyoto: Double Room (per-person occupancy)
Kyoto: Single Room Supplement
Tokyo: Tour Extension (optional)
Tokyo: Tour Extension: Single Room Supplement
The Tokyo Tour Extension is only available as an add on to the main Kyoto Tour. It cannot be purchased without first paying for the Kyoto tour.
The Tokyo Tour Extension has fewer spaces available than the main tour and will fill quickly.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The One-Time Payment (Pay in Full) option and the Tokyo Tour Extension (Pay in Full) option will each incur a non-refundable $250 Japan administration fee should you decide to cancel before December 1, 2022. No Refund after December 1, 2022. Please see our cancellation terms below.
Registration Process and Terms:
- Questions and Payment: To ask a question about the tour or to make a payment to register, contact the ICAN Manager, Holly Goring, directly. Please DO NOT email your credit card information to us.Holly
Goring, ICAN Manager
Direct Tel.: 1-614-895-4213
- Confirmation: Once we process your initial payment, your space on the tour is officially reserved. You will also receive an email confirming your spot with a receipt.
- Required Documentation: After your reservation has been confirmed, you will need to provide the following documents to the ICAN Manager in order for you to participate in the tour:
a) A completed Registration Form (provided by us)
b) A completed Emergency Contact Form (provided by us)
c) A completed Liability Waiver (provided by us)
- Airline Tickets: We advise that you do not to book non-refundable flights or other services until the tour has filled the minimum number of required participants. Once the tour has met that minimum requirement, you will be notified immediately and will be encouraged to book your flights at that time.
- The ICAN member discount only applies to products in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop and cannot be applied to this international tour.
- All registered guests must be 21 years or older.
- ICAN does not provide travel insurance to registered guests. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
- We regret that we are NOT able to accommodate gluten free (celiac), vegan, or fish allergy diets on group trips to Japan.
- COVID-19 vaccinations and testing may be required by the Japanese government for entry into the country of Japan.
- Tour Cancellation and Refunds: In the unlikely event that the tour be cancelled due to low enrollment or other reasons beyond our control, all tour-related deposits and payments made previously by you will be refunded back to you.
- Personal Cancellation and Refunds: If for some reason you register for the tour and later determine you will not be able to participate, you must notify the ICAN Manager in writing. Any payments made up to that point will be refunded up to December 1, 2022. No Refunds after December 1, 2022. Notification of your cancellation after the deadline will result in a forfeiture of any payments made to that point. Note that this clause does apply to any deposits or admin fees made.
- There is no refund for arriving late or leaving the trip early.
Communication Leading Up to Departure:
Once registered, tour participants will receive regular communication from the ICAN Manager with details about the event. All you’ll have to do is relax and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime trip! We hope you can join us!
To ask questions, or reserve a spot, contact the ICAN manager directly:
550 Polaris Parkway, Suite 510
Westerville, OH 43082
"This tour was an inspirational highlight of my life. I can't wait to go on anther one!" —2018 ICAN Tour participant.