14 Days | 30 May – 12 June, 2024. $AUD8771 aprox pp, joining and concluding in Osaka.

Apart from textiles, Japan has profound skills in many other crafts and we will witness some of these from sword making, ceramics to cooking. We also see glorious scenery, magnificent ancient buildings – temples, palaces, shrines and more.

Program Overview:

30 May – 12 June, 2024.

Explore the diversity of textiles and Japanese crafts with Valerie Kirk

Our program begins in Osaka and almost immediately immerses into Saori Free Style Weaving through our first workshop experience.

Then travel to Nagoya to experience the regions unique weaving, museums, craft villages and textile workshops. Our accommodation on the way will give you the true Japanese experience of staying at an Onsen and Minshuku before continuing over four days to Kanazawa via delightful old traditional villages.

Kyoto is bountiful, as we embark on a comprehensive program of studio visits, textile enterprises and districts, Master craftsmen as well as a selection of shrines and temples.

Returning to rural Japan we visit with an interesting indigo dyer, a boutique sake brewer and our last Minshuku experience.

Following our second workshop experience we spend the night at a superb Ryokan complete with a Japanese degustation ”farewell” dinner.

Return to Osaka for our last night before departure.

14 days| 30 May – 12 June, 2024| $8771.00AUD per person twin share. Single room supplement: $1150.00AUD. Price to be confirmed.

Joining in Osaka, concluding in Osaka. Minimum 10, maximum of 16 guests.

Price could alter due to exchange rate fluctuations and revised prices from Japan.


  • A total of 14 days in total.
  • All accommodation, land transport and our amazing local guide.
  • All breakfasts, some lunches and Japanese style dinners.
  • Three hands-on textile focused workshops.
  • Knowledge of Valerie Kirk.
  • Comprehensive range of included activities.
  • Meetings with renowned textile designers, artisans and producers.
  • Enjoy comfortable hotels and Japanese style guest houses.
  • Wander about local villages and markets.
  • Indulge in fabulous fresh meals.
  • Comprehensive Trip Dossier.


30 May, Thu: Day 01: – Arrive Osaka

Arrive at your respective time and transfer to our accommodation for tonight. Options for transferring from the airport will be provided. This is a meet-up day and there are no planned activities.

31 May-01 Jun, Fri-Sat: Day 02-03: – Osaka to Nagoya

Our first Saori no Mori Weaving Workshop takes place today, followed by Iga Braiding demonstration, along with dyed Shibori art. Continue to our first authentic small, “off the beaten path” Japanese village. This town offers a rare opportunity to see, and be part of, a traditional way of life that has changed little over many years. Overnight at an onsen, a Japanese style hot spring bath and hotel.

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02-05 Jun, Sun-Wed: Day 04-07: – Nagoya – Takayama, Shirakawa and Kanazawa

Over the next days we are immersed into morning markets, intricate Festival Floats and beautifully preserved buildings dating from the Edo period (1600-1868). We plan to visit Myoruji (Ninja Temple), the Centre for Traditional Art & Craft of Ishikawa, the famous Kenrokuen Garden, historic Nagamachi District, and Nomura Ke Samurai House.

Here we participate in our second specialised textile workshop.

On one night we stay in quaint private family owned minshiku’s, essentially Japanese style B&B’s. And we delve into the public transport system for which Japan is famous for, to explore the attractions in Kanazawa City.

06-08 Jun, Thu-Sat: Day 08-10: – Kyoto

We have a full program over the next few days with visit to some of Kyoto’s impressive National Treasures, fascinating silk, complex tsuzure brocade weaving, tapestry, dye, shibori, lacquerware, Kozo paper, a textile school, traditional Kasuri weaving and outstanding handwoven fabric for kimono using natural dyes, Jacquard and takabata looms and weaving equipment. You should be overwhelmed with the diversity and interesting visits.

Apart from the nationally recognised textile artisan we meet in Kyoto, we also travel outside of Kyoto to meet another who specialises in contemporary ikat and kasuri.

09-10 Jun, Sun-Mon: Day 11-12: – Japan’s Mountains and Valleys

More highlights are on the agenda for these days. We weave our way through stunning forests to a small village where we enjoy our third workshop. You are offered a choice between weaving or woodwork at this charming village, set amongst beautiful mountains. The village owners were inspired by William Morris and the Arts and crafts movement and transformed an abandoned primary school into their Village. They sustain themselves with permaculture gardens and the arts.

Our next experience is with a Master indigo dyer and artist housed in a thatched roof (kayabuki) farmhouse. This Master has spent some time in Australia and has a passionate, lifelong commitment to indigo dyeing in natural, fermented vat processes. The local shop sells delicious milk in glass bottles!

11 Jun, Tue: Day 13: – Osaka

Later today we complete our circular journey and arrive back in Osaka for our last night in Japan.

12 Jun, Wed: Day 14: – Depart Osaka.

At the appropriate check-out for your transport to Osaka airport.

Intentionally Different Travel trusts this program suits your interest. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions.

The trip price includes:

  • Accommodation for 13 nights on a twin-share basis in +3 to 4-star hotels and Japanese style minshuku lodges.
  • A single room can be requested for the hotel nights at an additional fee of $1150 (except at the Japanese lodges for two nights).
  • Prices are in Australian dollars.
  • All breakfasts, some lunches and dinners.
  • Several included textile workshops.
  • Travel by private, comfortable air-con vehicle.
  • Comprehensive touring program including sightseeing to iconic attractions.
  • Visits to many textile workshops, galleries, weaving centres, markets and villages.
  • Services of Valerie Kirk as our Guest Lecturer.
  • Tips included.
  • Services of well-qualified English speaking local guides.
  • Entrance fees to museums, galleries, and attractions as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Comprehensive information kits.
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Items Not Included are:

International airfares, airport and government taxes, visa fees; airport-hotel-airport transfers (there are many options which we will provide to you), travel insurance; health costs; personal expenditure, communication expenses and shopping. Single rooms available at a reduced supplement.

What We Provide


Includes personally selected guesthouses and hotels. Our selection criteria include central location, charm, cleanliness, cultural integrity, uniqueness, and standard of service. All Western style rooms have private western-style bathrooms and comfortable beds. Some have pools while others have pleasant gardens. Where choice is limited we select the most appropriate hotels for our guests. Onsen and thermal baths may be available.


Dining on our programs are an enjoyable experience as we explore regional delicacies and classic meals found at interesting local eateries. We don’t include all meals, as we prefer our guests to have as wide a choice as possible. All breakfasts and some dinners and one lunch are included.

Road Travel

We use comfortable air-con vehicles and endeavour to provide more seats than guests. Road conditions vary and some are in excellent conditions while others may be windy in the mountains.

International Air Travel

There are several airlines to select from and we suggest arranging a flight to arrive Osaka in the morning. Our experience suggests ANA as a good choice for their price, seat space and arrival and departure times. Transport on departure is by airport train with very frequent departures from near our hotel.

Our Style

Our journeys excel when it comes to personal attention and relevant information. This includes information on where to dine, where to purchase textiles and other products, explanations on textile practice along with answers to the myriad of other questions our guests pose.

Apart from good and relevant information, and excellent hands-on workshops, we include attractive accommodation, good sightseeing opportunities, plenty of ‘getting-to-meet-the-locals’ encounters and of course, plenty of opportunities to explore the local cafes or cocktail bar. We don’t hold your hand all the way so there are ‘free time’ periods to allow you to rest, explore on your own, or simply visit a café for an iced coffee.

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Past guests have found our ‘style’ very much to their liking and we trust you will also.

Should you join this program?

Firstly, if you enjoy textiles you should join. However, as there is much more included in the program, others with an interest in Japanese ancient and modern culture and history would also enjoy this tour. There are some medium walks throughout, so a reasonable level of fitness is an advantage. While this is not an ‘outdoor/adventure’ trip, a ‘sense of adventure’ is required for the trip. Note that Japanese accommodation implies ‘futons on the floor’. If you have an issue with this please advise so we can make alternate arrangements for you. As this is a Study Tour with comprehensive notes and information provided, some guests may receive a tax concession. Check with your financial advisor.


Email to: to ask any questions and request a reservation form.

To secure your place, please email your intention to join our Textiles of Japan program. You will then receive a reservation form to complete. Your option is held for seven days secured by receipt of a non-refundable deposit of $750 per person. Deposit is refunded if minimum numbers are not reached.

‘The Paperwork’

Your deposit will be acknowledged. We keep you informed as to the status of bookings and advise you when minimum numbers are reached. Then, we send you a confirmation kit and invoice. Final payment is due 60-days prior departure. When our group is complete and after final payment, travel documents will be sent out. Then it is only a short time before your wonderful textile experience begins!

Your Expert Tour Host

Valerie Kirk, Tapestry Weaver, former Senior Lecturer and Head of Textiles, Australian National University will accompany this tour as Guest Lecturer. Her medium is woven tapestry and she is represented in many collections in Australia and overseas. Valerie is recognised internationally for her work as an educator and is devoted to encouraging an appreciation and understanding of textiles through her knowledge, along with direct contact with practitioners. Valerie has a wealth of information and is an accomplished tour manager, with over 20 years of accompanying our textile focused tours. You will be in capable and informed hands.