29th Quilt and Textile Tour to Japan:
Tentative Dates: January 20–February 1, 2018
Quilters’ Express to Japan (QETJ) is owned and operated by Susan Ball Faeder, and combines her two passions: textiles and Japan. We invite you to join Susan’s next tour, the 29th (ALL for quilters, ALL to Japan!) since the creation of her business in 1988. There are plenty of shopping opportunities on QETJ tours, but the true aim is an educational one: to gain an in-depth cultural perspective of Japan through the beauty and history of its indigenous textiles and fabrication methods, both past and present.
The itinerary for this tour is a “tried-and-true” version of thirteen near-identical previously successful January venues that visit five cities. Our port of entry is the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, and what better way to begin the tour than by joining the throngs of quilters for a full day at the 14th round of the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival, now THE LARGEST QUILT SHOW IN THE WORLD! This quilt show is truly a shopping Mecca for fabric lovers, but it is also a remarkable chance to experience a cross-section of the entire Japanese quilt world. Join Susan for her on-site talk, “The Development of Quilting in Japan,” and meet some of Japan’s top master sensei.
Our discovery of Tokyo continues with sightseeing in the Old Edo neighborhood of Asakusa, strolling through the lovely Sensoji Temple grounds and wandering through the Nakamise arcade of shops filled with crafts and souvenirs. We also tour a local museum that houses antique farmer’s clothing and learn about Japanese concepts of “Boro” and “Mottainai.” On another day we explore Azabu, one of Tokyo’s foremost international neighborhoods, and step into the world of Blue & White, a treasure-trove of hand-stenciled yukata cottons. Schedule permitting, we’ll meet shop owner & textile historian, Amy Katoh.
Next, we take a break from Tokyo with an excursion to Kawaguchi, a picturesque lake village at the base of Mt. Fuji. To celebrate Japanese silk, we visit both the Itchiku Kubota’s Kimono Museum, where extraordinary examples of his tsujigahana “magic” are artfully displayed, and also a small local museum featuring woven silk tsumugi. En route to Kyoto we spend a full day in Arimatsu, designated by the shogun over 400 years ago as THE #1 location in all of Japan to purchase tie-dyed shibori fabric. A tie-dyeing workshop awaits you, taught by the local specialists.
The last 4 days of the tour are devoted to Kyoto, the aesthetic, cultural, and religious hub of Japan. A proper introduction to this ancient capital begins with sightseeing of temples and shrines. While in Kyoto, we also visit the private studio of a world-class Japanese natural indigo dyer to learn about this labor-intensive craft, experience a second hands-on workshop in the Kyoto-style of fabrication known as Yuzen Stencil-Dye painting, and attend a kimono fashion show to see how the young women are dressing.
Please email or call Susan at (570) 522-7480 for a complete brochure in .PDF format.