Private luxury tours in art, architecture & design travel

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Luxury Art & Design Tours

Contemporary Art of Japan
(12 Days)
Tokyo, Kanazawa, Naoshima, Kyoto

Arts & Crafts in England
(8 Days)
London, Cotswolds

Culinary & Art Tour of Spain
(11 Days)
Madrid, San Sebastian, La Rioja, Bilbao, Barcelona

Art & Temples of India
(18 Days)
Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Mumbai (Bombay)

Art, Crafts & Design of Mexico
(9 Days)
Mexico City, Oaxaca

Ceramics Tour of Japan
(15 Days)
Tokyo, Kanazawa & Yamashiro Onsen, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Imari & Arita, Yufuin

Art Tour of Berlin, Prague & Vienna
(9 Days)
Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, Prague, Vienna

Italy for Art Lovers
(13 Days)
Rome, Assisi, Florence, Bologna, Ravenna, Padua, Venice, Milan

Art & Design of Portugal
(9 Days)
Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, Douro Valley

Aboriginal Art & Culture of Australia
(9 Days)
Sydney, Ayers Rock (Uluru), Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land

Art Tour of France
(8 Days)
Paris & Versailles, Cote d'Azur

Art Tour of Switzerland
(8 Days)
Zurich, Winterthur, St. Gallen, Basel, Weil am Rhein, Bern, Geneva

Arts & Crafts of Burma
(9 Days)
Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay

Dutch & Flemish Art Tour
(10 days)
Bruges & Ghent, Brussels & Antwerp, Amsterdam with The Hague & Delft

Culture, Crafts & Cuisine of Ireland
(15 days)
Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Kenmare, Killarney, Co. Clare (Dromoland Castle), Co. Mayo (Ashford Castle)

Arts & Crafts of Morocco
(13 Days)
Casablanca, Fez, Rabat, High Atlas Mountains, Essaouira, Marrakesh

Art & Architecture Tour of South Korea
(8 Days)
Seoul, Jeju Island

The Art of Japan
(13 Days)
Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Yamanaka Onsen, Kyoto

Ceramics Tour of Japan

(15 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Tokyo, Kanazawa & Yamashiro Onsen, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Imari & Arita, Yufuin

This private ceramics tour of Japan features an ideal combination of major cultural sites, interesting smaller towns, and important ceramics destinations. Visit studios and kilns, learn about different types of Japanese ceramics, meet local artists and browse upscale shops. The tour includes private cultural touring with your own guide and driver, accommodation in luxury hotels and ryokan (traditional inns), private airport transfers, internal flights and first-class train travel, luggage transfers, and access to a wide range of unique activities that engage you in real Japanese culture.

Begin in Tokyo, a dynamic city where tradition and modernity co-exist. With your private guide and driver, tour Tokyo's top cultural attractions, museums and galleries, as well as interesting neighborhoods such as Ginza, Harajuku and Aoyama. One day, opt for a private excursion to the pottery town of Mashiko, or continue your Tokyo city touring.

Next, travel by first-class shinkansen (bullet train) to Kanazawa, a cultural gem. One of Japan's wealthiest cities during the feudal era, Kanazawa is known for beautiful gardens, traditional architecture, acclaimed contemporary art and folk art museums, and fresh seafood from the nearby Sea of Japan. With your expert local guide, tour former samurai and geisha neighborhoods. Explore the renowned Kenrokuen Garden, one of the most famous gardens in Japan. Tour fascinating Myoryuji (the Ninja Temple), and visit museums such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art and Ishikawa Museum for Traditional Products and Crafts. Visit a pottery kiln and shops specializing in Kanazawa's celebrated silk, lacquer and gold-leaf products. Also tour the city's enormous central food market, and experience Kanazawa's excellent, refined cuisine at our favorite restaurants. One day, visit Yamashiro Onsen, a historic hot springs town that's renowned for its excellent ceramic shops.

Next, travel by first-class express train to enchanting Kyoto, Japan's heart of culture and tradition. During touring with your private guide and driver, experience the best of this elegant city. Visit important temples and shrines. Gain access to imperial villas such as Katsura Rikyu. Enjoy an exclusive private tea ceremony. Stroll through a bamboo forest. Enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian lunch at a local temple. An appointment will be made to meet with one of Japan's leading ceramics experts. Tour traditional geisha districts such as Gion. Explore antiques districts, and browse our favorite shops for exquisite ceramics, lacquerware and other crafts. One day, enjoy a private excursion to Shiga Prefecture, the home of Shigaraki-yaki pottery. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can also arrange a wide range of other unique activities in Kyoto, such as an exclusive private dinner accompanied by geisha and maiko, private Zen meditation in a local temple, meetings with local craftspeople, ikebana (flower arranging) lessons, a cooking class in a private home, or a visit to a machiya (traditional merchant house).

Continue by train to Fukuoka, on the southern island of Kyushu. During flexible private touring in Saga Prefecture, visit some of the most notable ceramics towns in Japan, such as Arita and Imari, which are synonymous with fine export wares.

Spend two days in Yufuin, an onsen (hot springs) town. Stay in your own traditional Japanese house at a luxury ryokan, and enjoy kaiseki (seasonal tasting menu) meals and soaks in your own private hot springs bath. During private touring in the region, see highlights such as active geothermal pools, traditional villages, crafts workshops, and the nearby town of Beppu, one of Japan's most famous onsen destinations. Another option is seeing the Usuki Stone Buddhas, a collection of 60 ancient sculptures carved into rocky cliffs.

Return to Tokyo for last-minute shopping, dining, and free time to enjoy the city.

Upon request, this tour can be extended with time in Hagi, Kurashiki and Imbe or other ceramics towns.

Itinerary Overview
Day 1 Arrive Tokyo
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights
Day 2

Tokyo
Full-day private tour

Day 3

Tokyo & Mashiko
Full-day private city tour or excursion to Mashiko

Day 4

Tokyo – Kanazawa
Private transfer to train station. First-class bullet train to Kanazawa. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights. Private afternoon city tour

Day 5

Kanazawa
Full-day private tour

Day 6

Kanazawa & Yamashiro Onsen
Private excursion to Yamashiro Onsen and pottery shops

Day 7

Kanazawa – Kyoto
Private transfer to train station. First-class shinkansen train to Kyoto. Private transfer to hotel for 3 nights. Private afternoon city tour

Day 8

Kyoto
Full-day private tour, including appointment with leading pottery expert

Day 9

Kyoto & Shiga
Private excursion to Shiga and/or Kyoto city touring

Day 10

Kyoto – Fukuoka
Private transfer to train station. First-class bullet train to Fukuoka. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights

Day 11

Fukuoka & Saga
Full-day private excursion to Arita and Imari

Day 12

Fukuoka – Yufuin
Private transfer to ryokan for two nights. Afternoon private touring in Yufuin

Day 13

Yufuin & Beppu
Full-day private excursion to Beppu and option to visit the Usuki Stone Buddhas

Day 14

Yufuin – Fukuoka – Tokyo
Private transfer to Fukuoka airport. Flight to Tokyo. Private arrival transfer to hotel for overnight

Day 15

Depart Tokyo
Private transfer to airport


Hotels
Tokyo:

The Peninsula Tokyo, Park Hyatt Tokyo or Aman Tokyo

Kanazawa: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa
Kyoto: The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto or Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Fukuoka: Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Yufuin: Sansou Murata Ryokan

Cost
upon request Per person (double occupancy)