Experience Japan with Sue Gardiner
Join Sue Gardiner in Japan in May 2018. Discover the traditions of Japan from its temples and gardens to its contemporary culture. With a focus on the combination of art, architecture and environment, this is summed up nowhere better that the art islands of Seto Inland Sea where we will spend four nights.
Among our things to do we discover the Miho Museum and the pottery town of Shigaraki. Wander the backstreets of old Kurashiki, discover Tokyo’s bustling metropolis, and sample Kyoto’s famous market.
Wednesday 9 May 2018
Today we depart on Air NZ flight NZ 99 at 8.30am to Tokyo Narita airport. On arrival we are transferred to our hotel for the night in Shinjuku. Shinjuku is near the areas of Shibuya, Omotesando and is home to the recently opened Yayoi Kusama Museum and the New Opera City Gallery.
There are many department stores of all kinds in Shinjuku, as well as many restaurants and Tokyo’s largest train station.
Suggested Hotel: Tokyo Hyatt Regency
Hotel arrival: 7.30pm
Thursday 10 May 2018
This morning you will be awake early, so after breakfast a light stroll around the neighbourhood and an introduction with Sue.
We will choose what galleries or museums we will visit today depending on exhibitions and opening times.
This may include the New Opera City Gallery, Yayoi Kusama Museum, Nezu Museum or the Studio of Taro Okamato and a walk among the alleyways of Omotesando and Aoyama.
Friday 11 May 2018
This morning we depart at 7.00am to Haneda Airport for flight to Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku. On arrival we will be met by a local guide and transferred to our hotel via the famous Ritsurin Gardens.
Takamatsu is a smaller city of around four hundred thousand people and the jumping off point for our Inland Sea Adventure. Our hotel for the night overlooks the Seto Inland Sea. You will get an idea of the industrial nature of the inland sea and its vast network of transportation routes.
Saturday 12 May 2018
This morning our bus picks us up at 9.00am to take us to the Isamu Noguchi Sculpture Garden Museum. This museum houses both finished and unfinished work by Isamu Noguchi, who spent six months a year working in Takamatsu.
We will head back to Takamatsu port for our ferry to Naoshima Island and the Benesse Art Site. Our first stop is the Art House Project where we will spend some time before our check in.
Your home for the next four nights is Benesse House – Park. Our rooms overlook the grounds, beach, sculptures and the restaurant. A very picturesque area, which will instil a total sense of harmony in you over the next four days.
While staying at Benesse House your breakfast and dinner are included. We are required to have the set menu each night, which will alternate between French and Japanese. Exquisite meals are one of the highlights of your time with us here.
Sunday – Tuesday 13 – 15 May 2018
The next few days involve a rotating visit in groups to the various museums of the Benesse House Art Site.
One day we will visit the island of Injuima, often missed by many, but for our past groups one of the absolute highlights of their time with us. Inujima consists of the Seirensho Museum, and another Art House Project.
We will also visit Teshima Island, where we will find time to visit the Teshima Art Museum. Time permitting we will stroll down the hill to the Christian Boltanksi “Archive of Hearts” project.
On Naoshima we will visit the Benesse House Museum, Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum, and spend a little time in the port town among the works there.
Wednesday 16 May 2018
This morning we say good bye to Naoshima and head off the island in the other direction toward Okayama by bus.
Our first stop for the morning is the small town of Kurashiki and its restored canal front warehouses, as well as the famous Ohara Museum. Our bus will then take us to the beautiful Kora-kuen Gardens in Okayama before depositing us at the train station for the one hour ride to Kyoto.
(We will have our bags with us for this short ride)
On arrival in Kyoto we will walk out of the station to the adjacent Kyoto Century Hotel.
Thursday 17 May 2018
Today is a free day to explore Kyoto’s temples and markets at your leisure, or follow Glen and Sue through some of the areas from Kiyomizu Dera Temple down to the Nishiki Market.
Tonight you may wish to explore the bars and restaurants in Pontocho Alley.
Friday 18 May 2018
This morning we send our bags ahead to our Tokyo hotel before setting off in our bus for the day to visit to the Shigaraki area. Our highlights here are the famous Miho Museum, embedded into the hillside. Designed by I M Pei, the location of this museum is extraordinary.
From here we take a short drive over to the pottery town of Shigaraki. Our highlight here is the massive Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park. Home to resident ceramicists, a great café, huge grounds and the Museum of Contemporary Ceramics.
We arrive back in Kyoto at the station in time to pick up a bite and get the train to Tokyo. We arrive at Shinagawa Station and transfer to the JR Line for ride up to Shinjuku.
Welcome back to Tokyo.
Saturday 19 May 2018
Today we will visit the Roppongi area to see some of the local dealer galleries, and complete the Art Triangle if we can by visiting the 21_21 Design Site, the National Art Center, exhibition permitting, and the Mori Museum and observation deck.
Sunday 20 May 2018
Our last day full day in Tokyo will take in a visit this morning to one of the areas we have missed out on our first visit, with a little free time this afternoon if there is anything you missed you really want to see, or perhaps visit some of the amazing variety of shops in the Shinjuku area.
Our farewell dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant.
Monday 21 May 2018
This morning we check out and depart the hotel at 2pm for the airport for our flight home.
Your time is free until 1.30pm
Tuesday 22 May 2018
This morning we arrive in Auckland and say farewell.
Sue Gardiner as your Art Tour Guide
Glen Armstrong as your Tour Manager and Guide in Naoshima
Accommodation including breakfast as per the final itinerary:
Park Hyatt, Shinjuku, Tokyo
JR Clement, Takamatsu
Benesse Park Hotel, Naoshima
Century Hotel, Kyoto
All transfers, museum entry, taxies, domestic flights, ferries as per the final itinerary.
Local guides or assistants where noted
4 course dinner while on Naoshima
Farewell dinner in Tokyo
International airfares and taxes, visas, miscellaneous items not mentioned in the itinerary
Travel Insurance is mandatory
$10399.00 per person twinshare
$12999.00 per person single
Initial deposit is due of $750 by 31 August 2017
An interim deposit of $1500 by 15 December 2017
Final Payment will be due approx. 1 March 2018
House of Travel Terms and Conditions apply in relation to cancellation
Your tour is subject to minimum numbers with a maximum of 15 guests
*Suggested itinerary and cost subject to change