• arts of japan, 2017
  • arts of japan, 2017
  • arts of japan, 2017
  • arts of japan, 2017

Arts of Japan, 2017

WHEN: 20 September - 9 October, 2017

WHERE: Kyoto to Tokyo, Japan

COST: *From $AUD8750+ see details below. Book Now

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Exploring the Outrageous Contemporary through to Traditional Zen Art in Japan

with Bruce McWhinney

This 3 week tour has been designed to take us into the very heart of Japan's art – to explore the diverse aspects of the country and its people through their food and aesthetics: its stunning natural beauty and heritage, the continuing traditions, design and architecture, old and new.

  • Led by internationally well known ceramic artist and painter plus teacher of ceramics, art and design, Bruce McWhinney
  • Stay in a traditional Ryokan and top quality boutique hotels in great locations
  • Small group tour
  • Assisted by a professional local guide and translator
  • Visit artists in their studios and art communities
  • Explore art exhibitions, galleries and architecture
  • Walk through gardens that will soothe and inspire
  • Experience a Tea Ceremony
  • Eat delicious local food
" My love of ceramics and art first brought me to Japan in 2005. I was struck by the extraordinary nature of a place so different, so connected to itself.  I have returned many times bringing students and art lovers to experience the richness of this vibrant culture. By tracing the journey of ceramics and art through their history it took me to many less travelled places. Japan continues to enrich my arts practice and life." - Bruce McWhinney

Take a glimpse into our programme details below and contact us for further information>>

20th  - 25th September Kyoto and surrounds.

Mysterious Temples, Gardens, Museums, Galleries and Shops

Over the next five days during our stay in Kyoto we will explore art near and far (via train), contemporary and traditional.  Kiyomisu Dera, the exquisite wooden temple in Higashiyama - the old area of Kyoto with it's winding lanes, numerous little shops and eateries. Maruyama Park to Shijo Dori the main department store street. A Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art.  Heian Shrine. A beautiful garden walk around a small lake. Raku Museum, learning and understanding about the Tea Ceremony. Bizen, the oldest pottery town, 1000 years of continuous woodfire production - a museum, gallery and a visit to a studio here too. A visit to a hidden mountain temple with ancient forests and super contemporary sculpture park outside the traditional town of Nara which is well known for it's Todaidji Temple - the biggest wooden temple in Japan. 

20th -25th September: Arrive in Osaka - transfer to Kyoto - New Miyako Hotel.

21st: Maruyama Park to Kiyomisu Dera- Gojo Zaka, Kawai Museum optional no entrance fee—Welcome Dinner

22nd: Shigaraki - Culture Park, Studio Visit to Tani or Kohyama Yasuhisa.

23rd:  Kyoto Temples and Gardens - Ryoanji, Ginkakuji 

24th: Nara - Murouji - Art Forest Sculpture park, Todaiji Temple, Hyogo Museum of Ceramic Art

25th: Kyoto free day- Shopping arcades, Shijo Dori, Gion Geisha District

26th - 28th Kurashiki and surrounds.

We will be travelling to Kurashiki via Bizen and visiting studios, galleries

Kurashiki is located in Okayama Prefecture, not far from the prefectural capital of Okayama City. Kurashiki has a preserved canal area that dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867), when the city served as an important rice distribution center. Many of Kurashiki's former storehouses have been converted into museums, boutiques and cafes. The Ohara Museum is the most impressive of Kurashiki's museums, exhibiting a large collection of works by famous Western artists.

26th: Staying at Kurashiki Kokusai Hotel - Kurashiki

27th: Day in Kurashiki old town Ohara Museum — free day

28th - 30th September Takamatsu and surrounds.

Art Villages, Izakaya Bars and Noodles

28th Takamatsu. Today we are travelling by train over the inland sea to Takamatsu. Our home for the next few days and famous as the stone sculpture capital of Shikoku. Visit the museum/studio of Noguchi Isamu, considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Walk through Mure the stone carving village to the museum,  see Shikoku Mura, a re-created traditional village of Shikoku. Take lunch at a traditional restaurant, this area is famous for its Udon noodles. Takamatsu has covered arcades with lots of Izakaya Bars. A visit to Ritsurin, a famous garden, which belonged to the summer residence of the local Daimyo - famous for his cruelty but well connected to the Tokagawa ruling class. We will visit Naoshima which is an island devoted to art with spectacular sculptural installations dotted over it plus Chichu Museum and Benesse House. A ferry trip to Honmura, art village. 

28th- Ritsurin Garden in late Arvo

: Naoshima all day

30th. Noguchi Museum Shikoku Mura- noodle lunch (not included)- free arvo

1st - 4th October Takamatsu to Hagi via Hiroshima

Experience Traditional Japan

Green Tea and Tatami Mats in Hagi, best known for its nicely preserved former castle town and its local Hagiyaki Pottery which ranks among Japan's finest.

1st October:  Travelling in the morning via Hiroshima to visit the peace park. Arriving in afternoon to stay in Senshunraku, ryokan

2nd October: Visit studio of Kaneta Masanao.

3rd October: Takamatsu to Fukuoka  later morning train - free arvo for shopping  - river food markets

3rd - 6th Fukuoka and surrounds

Fukuoka's open air food stands (Yatai) and some very important porcelain and mountain villages.

3rd October: Free afternoon to shop

3rd October:Onta and Koishiwara Mountain Villages - Mingei Icons ( use local bus from Hita Station)

4th October:   Visiting Onta and Koishiwara Mountain Villages - Mingei Icons ( use local bus from Hita Station)

5th October: Bus to Imari Porcelain Village and Nakazato Takashi Studio Karatsu or similar

6th - 9th October Tokyo

Vibrant Tokyo staying in super cool Shibuya.

These last days in Japan will be filled with visits to some of the more cutting edge galleries and museums, street art fashion and funky Tokyo plus crafts and textiles. Roppongi to search out Mori Art Tower, National Art Centre, Design 21 21 and others, time permitting. The most modern museums - Kaikai Kiki Gallery, by Takashi Murakami. Ueno Museum district for the National Museum - Hokusai Drawings and Textiles and Crafts, Kiyosumi Museum (dependant on the exhibitions). Harajuku and the outrageous street fashion districts plus the Design Festa.

6th October: Arriving Tokyo and take in the super cool environment

7th October:   Roppongi Art Museums - Mori Tower, National At Centre, Suntory or Design 21 21

8th October:  Kiyosumi Modern art Museum - Harajuku Design Festa Okonomiyaki Lunch ( cost not included)

9th October:  Free morning then transfer to Tokyo Airport - Narita.

" I’ve been on several tours to Japan with Bruce McWhinney. He took us into the studios of great artists, to see ancient pottery towns in the mountains, amazing art islands, and incredible museums and galleries in Tokyo. Japan is a brilliant destination for anyone interested in the arts, food, and good design, it is everywhere, but travelling with Bruce was a privilege."- Christine Wallace
" This nation of Japan is steeped in fascinating history but unafraid of the future."- Bruce McWhinney

*Pre arrival payment. Updated March 2017.

Based on Exchange rate at March 2017.  Grab the Early Bird rate !

Early Bird $8750
From  1st April 2017 $9550
Single supplement $ 1050

*Payment on arrival.

Additional cash payment on arrival to tour guide of 30,000 YEN (equals approx. $AUD 350 at time of publishing)

Single supplement. The Create Escape does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a guarantee of a single room a single supplement is payable but note that our accommodation in Hagi has limited single occupancy available.

Recent work

See some examples of recent work by Bruce McWhinney below and for more information you can visit his website by clicking here>>



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