Textiles and Traditional Arts of Japan

Indigo Textiles

Textiles and Traditional Arts of Japan

Small Group Journey

Tokyo, Nagano, Kanazawa & Kyoto

Explore Japan next fall for an unforgettable travel experience highlighting the art, culture and food of Japan. Much of what makes Japan unique is its deep history of fine arts, crafts, textiles and food. On this 11-day tour, we touch every aspect of life in Japan by visiting large and small cities alike. Personally guided by Koshiki Yonemura, co-founder of TanpopoStudio and a guide from 2019 Textile Tour with Textile Center, our journey starts in Tokyo, a thriving modern metropolis, and from there we will quickly move onto rural Japan where we will learn the history of silk production (UNESCO site) and participate in a regional cooking class. Kyoto, Kanazawa and Nagano are all enriched with artisan studios, meticulous Japanese gardens, feudal castles, eye catching fiber arts and fine pottery.

Enjoy the delicious cuisine of Japan pairing with regional sake, relax in the natural hot springs, indulge in a multi-course kaiseki dinner, and stay in a traditional ryokan (inn) while wearing a Kimono (optional) are all part of this spiritual journey. Let’s travel together with five senses to see and feel how textiles are woven into the culture and everyday lives of the people of Japan.

TanpopoStudio Textile Tour Map


  • Welcome Dinner
  • Take a Tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market and have fresh sushi for lunch
  • See the Tomioka Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Enjoy a natural hot spring bath & kaiseki dinner at ryokan (traditional inn)
  • Experience Zen Culture at the historic Zenkoji Temple in Nagano
  • Visit the 300 year old Koiwai Weaving Studio in Ueda
  • Participate in Tea Ceremony at Kenrokuen, a 17th century castle and garden in Kanazawa
  • Take a cooking class from a local women’s group
  • Tour the Nishijin Textile Center and Kimono Fashion Show
  • Private dinner and performance by Maiko in Gion
  • Take a Roketsu Dye Workshop (traditional dye using wax)
  • Sightseeing in Asakusa or shop at Textile Town in Tokyo
  • Farewell Dinner


Day 1-2 > Ginza, Tsukiji Market & Welcome Dinner

Our tour starts in Ginza, an upscale shopping district of Tokyo where we’ll have a welcome dinner together as a group. The next morning we’ll tour the Tsukiji Fish Market and have sushi for lunch. The afternoon will be available for you to explore Tokyo on your own. Visit museums, Japanese gardens, the Imperial Palace, shopping and more.

Day 3-5 > Tomioka Silk Mill, Koiwai Studio & Cooking Class

We’ll take a bullet train to Gunma and the mountains of Nagano, to learn the history of silk production at the Tomioka Silk Mill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll learn regional cooking from a local women’s group, have a demonstration on Ueda weaving and silk dyeing, stay at a hot spring hotel, enjoy a multicourse kaiseki dinner and more.

Day 6-7 > Kanazawa, Tea Ceremony & Fiber Arts

We are going to spend two days in Kanazawa, one of the best preserved Edo period (1603-1868) cities in the country for workshops and hands on activities of gold leaf as well as needle and feather art. Tea ceremony and garden visits are also included in Kanazawa.

Day 8-9 > Kyoto, Nishijin Textile Center & Roketsu Workshop

Welcome to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, and home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We are going to see a Kimono fashion show and learn about fabric making for the Imperial Courts and Samurai lords. We will also participate in Roketsu, wax dye workshop and have traditional dinner with dance and music performance.

Day 10-11 > Asakusa & Farewell Dinner

Back in Tokyo, we’ll have for a day of shopping and sightseeing at Asakusa followed by farewell dinner as a group. Transportation to the airport is included for those who are leaving Japan on the last day of the tour.

Travel Details

oct. 4 – oct. 14, 2020

$4900 per person, double occupancy

what’s included:
hotels, local transportation
workshops & demonstrations
19 meals
guide & interpreter
transportation to/from hotel on the first/last day of tour

what’s not included:
travel or medical insurance
flight to/from Japan
personal spending including:
shopping, alcohol, laundry, some meals

koshiki yonemura, 651-734-3923, koshiki@tanpopostudio.com

customer testimonial
Koshiki Yonemura

After graduating from University of Minnesota, she and her partner opened a Japanese restaurant in St. Paul, MN. After nearly 18 years in the restaurant business, she co-founded TanpopoStudio, a boutique travel company, offering hands-on on tours to Japan. She has curated and lead groups to Japan on food and art tours to Japan as well as working as a interpreter for the General Mill Wheaties Team during the Nagano Olympics. Come travel to Japan and discover the hidden gems of culture, textiles and food!

Studios and Partners

Kowai Weaving Japaan