Join Peter Collis as he discovers Japan and its ceramic history, temples, cities and museums. Visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Takamatsu and Kurashiki over 2 weeks in May 2019.

Day 1. Tuesday, 7 May 2019 To Tokyo

This morning depart to Tokyo on Air New Zealand. Arriving at 4.50pm, transfer to your hotel for the night in Shinjuku.

Your hotel for the night is the Keio Plaza Hotel, located close to Shinjuku Station, shopping, restaurants and nightlife.

Overnight Tokyo

Day 2. Wednesday, 8 May 2019 Tokyo

Today discover Tokyo – we recommend following the trail that starts at the Nezu Museum and its wonderful garden, wander around to the studio house of Taro Okamato for some complete contrast.

You are near the architectural highlights of Omotesando, such as the amazing Prada building. Duck up the alleyway opposite the Prada building to the Sunny Hills architectural wonder, where you hang a left and pass the café / aquariaum / wall garden of landscape designer Kazuyuki Ishihara. Keep going and come out on Aoyama Boulevard. Cross and enter another warren of alleyways, cafes and designer hairdressers – coming out eventually at Takeshita Street and Harajuku Station.

Evening Free (B)

Overnight Tokyo

Day 3. Thursday, 9 May Tokyo to Takamatsu

Check out and be ready to depart by 7.00am (Your body clock will be ok with this)

This morn we say farewell to Tokyo and transfer by coach to Haneda airport for the short flight to Takamatsu. On arrival our coach transfers us to a local mall for an early lunch, before a visit to the Isamu Noguchi Sculpture Garden.

Overnight JR Clement Takamatsu Hotel (B)

Day 4. Friday, 10 May Teshima

It is time to hit the ferry to Teshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea, and take the local bus to the Teshima Museum – a place of contemplation like no other. (It is possible to visit Inujima which is highly recommended for the Seirensho Museum and Art House Projects).

We suggest there might be time this evening to pay a visit this evening to the annual Aloha Festival, where you can grab a cheap bite.

Overnight JR Clement Takamatsu Hotel (B)

Day 5. Saturday, 11 May Takamatsu to Okayama

This morning we leave Takamatsu for Kurashiki. Here we spend the day visiting the annual Field of Craft Festival, an annual two day craft festival on the edge of the restored warehouse district.

At the other end of the canal is the Ohara Museum of Art, which houses a collection of modern European works, an amazing collection of ceramics, and Japanese modern and contemporary art.

We will arrive late afternoon at the Okayama hotel adjacent to the train station. (B)

Overnight Okayama

Day 6. Sunday, 12 May Bizen

Discover the historic pottery area of Imbe, near Bizen. We return to Okayama to catch the Shinkansen train to Kyoto. Today we will send our luggage ahead to our Kyoto hotel for our arrival by bullet train early evening.

Overnight Kyoto (B)

Day 7. Monday, 13 May Kyoto

Today is a free day in Kyoto. You could train out to Arashiyama to see the temple and amazing Bamboo Grove. You could just wonder the Nisheki Market or visit one of the many amazing temples and shrines in Kyoto.

Overnight Kyoto (B)

Day 8. Tuesday, 14 May Kyoto

Spend the day visiting some of Kyoto’s ceramic history. Start at the Museum of famed potter Kawai Kanjiro, then head across town to the Raku Museum. Home of the current Raku Master. A small museum with a history of Raku dating back to the 1500s.

Overnight Kyoto (B)

Day 9. Wednesday, 15 May Shigaraki

Venutre out of Kyoto by coach to the magnificent Miho Museum, buried deep in the hills of Shigaraki. The pottery town of Shigaraki is nearby and has a well regarded Ceramic Museum as well as a ceramic centre with resident artists. Previous residents have included Mark Mitchell. Spend the rest of the afternoon here, and visit the available studios.

Take lunch at the café in the Exhibition centre. We recommend the ginger drink!

Overnight Kyoto (B)

Day 10. Thursday, 16 May Kyoto to Kanazawa

Take a morning train to Kanazawa, a ceramic centre and home to the Museum of the 21st Century.
Spend today in Kanazawa

Overnight Kanazawa (B)

Day 11. Friday, 17 May Kanazawa

A full day in Kanazawa with the chance to visit local studios.
Overnight Kanazawa (B)

Day 12. Saturday, 18 May Kanazawa to Tokyo

This morning we return to Tokyo on the Bullet train. Take an overnight bag in case our luggage arrives the next day. We arrive at Tokyo station, where we try not to get lost before heading to Roppongi and casing the area rich in gallery experiences.

From here it is a direct metro back to our hotel in Shinjuku.

Overnight Tokyo (B)

Day 13. Sunday, 19 May Tokyo

Our last full day in Japan today will have us in Shibuya and Ginza before we finish with a group dinner at a great restaurant atop a building adjacent to our hotel.

Overnight Tokyo (B, D)

Day 14. Monday, 20 May Depart to Auckland

Please check out by 11am, feel free to catch some last minute shopping in Shinjuku before we head to the airport at 2pm.



  • Flights on Air NZ in Economy
  • 13 nights accommodation in 3 – 4 star accommodation
  • Japan Railpass
  • Ferry to / from Teshima
  • Museum Entrance in Teshima
  • Airport transfers, assistants and guides as per the final itinerary
  • Flight from Tokyo to Takamatsu
  • Breakfasts and dinner on the last night
  • All museum entries as per the final itinerary
  • Your tour escort – Peter and Julie Collis
  • Baggage transfer as per the final itinerary


  • Travel Insurance which is mandatory
  • Any museum entrances not included in the final itinerary
  • Any meals not included in the final itinerary

Minimum : 15 guests
Maximum: 25 guests

Art Tours will offer a $100 cash rebate post tour to any guest who produces a ceramic piece in response to their time in Japan.