14 Days | 31 October – 13 November, 2018.

$AUD7986 per person, joining in Osaka, concluding in Osaka.


14 Days | 31 October – 13 November, 2018.

$AUD7986 per person, joining in Osaka, concluding in Osaka.

Join Valerie Kirk and explore the diversity of textiles and ancient crafts found in Japan.

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 contemporary art spaces, glorious scenery, magnificent ancient buildings – temples, palaces, shrines and more. As Valerie says, “Japan offers a mesmerising and highly personal experience for everyone.”

Program Overview

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 with the option to depart from Osaka.

Tokyo Extension :  $897 AUD per person twin share. Single room supplement : $343.00 AUD.

Our Pre-Tour Tokyo program over two nights/three days is a great introduction to this amazing city. We include textile related activities including shopping and a talk by Nuno designers.

Dates and Cost

14 days| 31 October -13 November 2018 | $7986.00AUD per person twin share. Single room supplement: $1050.00AUD

Joining in Osaka, concluding in Osaka. Minimum 10 people, maximum 16 people.

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


  • A total of 14 (or 16) days in total.
  • All accommodation, land transport and our amazing local guide.
  • All breakfasts, some lunches and dinners.
  • Three hands on 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.


Day 01: Wed 31 October – Arrive Osaka

Arrive at your respective time and transfer to our accommodation for tonight. This is a meet-up day and there are no planned activities.

Day 02: Thu 01 Nov – Osaka to Nagoya

Osaka Japan
Saori Weaver

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.

Day 03-06: Sat 03 Nov – Tue 06 Nov – 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 workshop on Yuzen Dyeing – Painting with Stencils.

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.

Day 07-11: Wed 07 06 –Sun 11 Nov – 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, outstanding handwoven fabric for kimono using natural dyes, Jacquard and takabata looms. 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 ikat and kasuri.

Day 12: Sun 12 Nov – Japanese Mountains and Valleys

Indigo dyer in japan
Indigo Dyeing

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!

Day 13: Tue 13 Nov: Bizen-Osaka

Today, on our journey back to Osaka we travel via Bizen, one of Japan’s most ancient and famous ceramic centres best known for wood-fired articles. Here, we visit one or two potters to learn about this unique skill and process. Arrive Osaka for our last night in Japan.

Day 14: Wed 14 Nov: Depart Osaka.

At the appropriate time you will be transferred to Osaka airport for your onward flight.

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 lodges.
  • A single room can be requested for the hotel nights at an additional fee of $1050 (except at the Japanese lodges for two nights).
  • Prices are in Australian dollars.
  • All breakfasts, some lunches and dinners.
  • 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 Tour Escort and Guest Lecturer, Valerie Kirk.
  • Services of well-qualified English speaking local guides.
  • Entrance fees to museums, galleries, and attractions included and mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Additional visits and visit to other attractions are at traveller’s expense.
  • Comprehensive information kits.

Items Not Included are:

International airfares, airport and government taxes, visa fees; 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.


Dining on our programs are an enjoyable experience as we explore regional delicacies and patronise some of the best restaurants and local cafes. We don’t include all meals, as we prefer our guests to have as wide a choice as possible.

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 have excellent prices for all. We can assist with your flights at attractive prices. Stopovers enroute are possible. So too are upgrades to Business Class and Premium Economy. Call us to discuss options.

Our Style

Valerie’s trips 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, great dining opportunities from exquisite restaurants to quaint local cafes. 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.

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.

Additional Travel

If you would like to travel on to other regions of Japan, or Asia please let us know, so we can develop an individual travel program for you. We have designed exciting itineraries for our clients throughout the region for many years.


Email to: robert@intent.id.au to send an inquiry. Or, click here and download our Reservation Form.

To secure your place, please email your intention to join Valerie in Japan. 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 $500 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, air tickets and 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
Valerie Kirk

Valerie Kirk, respected Tapestry Weaver and former Head of Textiles at the 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 textile focused tours. You will be in capable and informed hands.