Opulent Journeys

Ceramic Tour to Japan

25 June - 06 July 2017

From (AUD)


12 DAY

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)

Tour Highlights
  • 5 day workshop in Mashiko, one of Japan's foremost pottery
  • 6 day in Kyoto, Japan’s history and cultural capital 
  • Explore the combination of major cultural sites, and art museums that trace the evolution of pottery from its ancient roots
  • Visit studios & artisans, antique shops specializing in pottery and much more


Dates & Prices

Tour Prices                                    


Per person twin share (Land Only)*       $3,150
Single room supplement** $540
Airfare from Australia with Qantas $1,100

*Land Only: Tour starts in Mashiko and finishes in Kyoto.

**Single rooms in Japan: Most hotels in Japan have single rooms which are smaller rooms with a single bed and private facilities. The single supplement is based on a single room. If you wish to have more space we offer a single supplement for a double room for sole use, additional cost will apply please contact us.

About your tour leader - Marian Howell

The tour will be led by the well-known Australian Ceramicist, Marian Howell who will provide expert commentary on ceramics during the tour. Marian is a past president of the Australian Ceramics Association, a former Head of Ceramics at the National Art School and is currently Head of the Ceramics Design Studio, Sydney. Marian's passion for Ceramics and more than 35 years' experience as a Ceramicist and Teacher will enable her to explain and discuss the Ceramics you see and experience.


About Mashiko

Mashiko is located in the south-eastern part of Tochigi, and belongs to the Prefectural Nature Park which is situated in the northernmost part of the Kanto Plain. The town is known as a production centre of pottery in Japan and also in the world. In the middle of the 19th century, Keizaburo Otsuka found potter's clay at Ohtsu-sawa and built a kiln to bake it, which was the origin of Mashiko ceramics. Later at the beginning of the 20th century, a ceramist, Shoji Hamada, built a kiln in Mashiko. Since then the number of potters there has been increasing, and it now amounts to more than 380. Ceramics fairs are held every spring and autumn, and about 300,000 visitors in spring and 170,000 visitors in autumn attend. In Ceramic-Art-Messe Mashiko, a theme park of pottery, you can enjoy the exhibition of works by Shoji Hamada and others. You can find the works of modern ceramists, too. There is a pottery studio at the site where you can try your hand at making pottery and painting it yourself. In Mashiko Sanko-kan, a reference collection museum of Hamada, not only his ceramic works, the kiln with stepped chambers he used, and the house he lived in, but also craftwork made in his lifetime and a collection of works by his associates are on display.

What's Included
  • 6 nights accommodation in Mashiko
  • 5 workshops at Mashiko Tougei Studios 
  • 5 nights at well-located hotel in Kyoto
  • Admissions as stated in the itinerary
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Coach, trains and Shinkansen (bullet train) in Japan

Not included:

  • Arrival and departure transfer
  • Travel insurance
  • Porterages & gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned above


To enquire or book this tour, please contact

Phone: 1300 219 885            Email: enquiries@opulentjourneys.com.au

Please Click Here to download the tour details.

As all our tours are bespoke, we aim to provide a seamless, individual service to you. We are aware you may have many questions about the tour and individual flights, and are very happy to assist, so please contact us directly. Once your booking form is completed, we will be in contact with you.


Make your own arrangement to Mashiko, where you will meet the group at hotel.

5 workshops at Mashiko Tougei Club in Mashiko, famous for its many pottery production and Mashiko-yaki (Mashiko-style pottery). Make your own pottery, use as much clay as you want during workshops, and then pick your favourite one to have fired.

(Meals: B)

This morning we take bus from Mashiko Station to Utsunomiya Station, from where travel by Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto via Tokyo. Upon arrival in Kyoto, change to a local train to our hotel.  

(Meals: B)

Today’s tour starts at the Philosopher’s Walk, a scenic walk along a cherry-tree-lined canal connecting three of Kyoto's great temples. We will visit Ginkakuji, also known as the Silver Pavilion, and the lovely Honen-in Temple nearby. Located near Nanzen-ji Temple, is the Nomura Art Museum with a wide collection of scrolls, paintings, implements used in tea ceremonies and ceramics, an interesting break from temple hopping.

(Meals: B)

Today we will visit a few potters in the Kiyomizu potting district. We will visit the Kawai Kanjiro Museum and the Kondo Yuzo Museum, shopping in the many stores that line the road to Kiyomizu Temple.

(Meals: B)

Today we will visit the Raku Museum. Then comes the well-known Kyoto National Museum, where we can trace the evolution of pottery from its ancient roots to its modern forms. Next we visit some antique shops specializing in pottery in the antique district of Shinmonzen.

(Meals: B)

After breakfast, we visit the aesthetic Kyoto Machiya townhouse area and discover the charm of strolling on the streets in the centre of Kyoto. Experience a Green Tea Ceremony and visit Gion, a traditional place of feasts and entertainment, where geisha have been entertaining people since the Edo period. Enjoy the farewell dinner tonight.

(Meals: B,D)

Our tour concludes today. You will make your own way to the airport for your onward flight.

(Meals: B)

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