Journey to Japan
June 9–19, 2022

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.

Trip Highlights:

  • 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.


The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

Optional tour extension in Tokyo: Marriott Ginza

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
  • Personal expenses incurred within hotel properties
  • 7 dinners; drinks with meals other than Japanese tea or water
  • Guide tipping

“This tour was an inspirational highlight of my life. I can’t wait to go on anther one!” —2018 ICAN Tour participant.


For pictures from other past trips, visit on our Events Gallery Page page!