30th Quilt and Textile Tour to Japan 2019
Tentative Dates: January 17 – 29, 2019
Quilters’ Express to Japan (QETJ), combines owner Susan Ball Faeder’s two passions, Japan and textiles. Susan’s Japan tours provide plenty of shopping opportunities, but the true aim—and what makes her tour unique—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 2019 venue will be her 30th Quilt and Textile Tour to Japan since the creation of the business in 1988.
Across 13 days in Japan the tour visits 5 cities. The port of entry is Osaka, and the tour begins with 4 nights in Kyoto: the aesthetic, cultural, and religious hub of Japan. A proper introduction to this ancient capital starts with sightseeing day of select temples and shrines. Our time in Kyoto also includes a visit to the private studio of a world-class Japanese natural indigo dyer, a hands-on workshop in the Kyoto-style Yuzen stencil painting, the Brocade Museum Kimono Fashion show, a Japanese Tea Ceremony, and a Flea Market.
A short ride on the bullet train takes us to Nagoya for 1 night, from where we embark on a full-day excursion to Arimatsu, the town designated by the shogun over 400 years ago as THE #1 place in Japan to go for Shibori fabric. After an educational video, enjoy a “stitch and knot” patterning workshop taught by local artisans. Free time in the afternoon allows for exploring and shopping before returning to Nagoya Station for bullet train ride #2 that delivers us to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo by early evening where we stay for the last 6 nights.
Our discovery of Tokyo begins with sightseeing in the Asakusa neighborhood, strolling through the lovely Sensoji Temple grounds and the Nakamise shopping arcade with its crafts and souvenirs of Old Edo. We’ll also tour a small museum that houses antique farmers’ clothing to learn about the origins of Japanese mending terms such as Boro, Kogin, and Sashiko. A full day is set aside for a group visit to the Tokyo International Quilt Show, a shopping Mecca for fabric lovers, but also a remarkable chance to witness a cross-section of the entire Japanese quilt world. Join Susan for her on-site talk, “What is Japanese about the Japanese Quilt World,” meet some of Japan’s top master Sensei, and consider how the Japanese quilting world is like ours—and not!
A second full-day excursion by private motor coach takes us to a picturesque village at the base of Mt. Fuji, where Itchiku Kubota’s famous kimono are displayed, providing testament to his Tsujigahana legacy. And, a quilter’s visit to Tokyo would not be complete without stepping into the magical world of “Blue & White,” a 40+ year-old established landmark & veritable treasure house, owned by collector and textile historian, Amy Katoh. We celebrate the end of the tour with a Sayonara (“See you again”) group dinner.
*The 2019 dates are based on previous years, and will be firmed up or changed slightly in July, when the Tokyo quilt show committee makes the formal announcement.
Please email or call Susan at (570) 522-7480 for a complete brochure in .PDF format.