Finding Artistry in the Everyday: Exclusive New Japan Tours

Artisans of Leisure Japan

Leading luxury tour operator Artisans of Leisure announces two new comprehensive tours designed for travelers who want an in-depth exploration of traditional art, craft and design in Japan: The Art of Japan and Ceramics Tour of Japan. Artisans of Leisure is known for its private, customized Japan tours, all of which are designed by in-house Japan experts who have spent years living and traveling in Japan.

“There is perhaps no better way to experience Japan’s rich history and culture than through its traditional crafts,” said Ashley Isaacs Ganz, founder and CEO of Artisans of Leisure. “These new tours offer many wonderful and exclusive ways for our travelers to interact with Japanese craftspeople and learn about their handiwork, the materials they use, the techniques they employ and the history of their crafts, which often have been produced by the same family for generations. This realm is often hidden or difficult to access, even for Japanese people. We offer a truly insider way to learn about Japanese crafts and their unique expressions of traditional Japanese culture.”

Artisans of Leisure’s tours connect travelers with master craftspeople across Japan, including specialists in nearly every type of craft, such as ceramics, lacquerware, textiles, metalware, woodwork, ikebana (flower arranging), dolls, washi (paper), blown and cut glass, enamelwork, calligraphy, gold leaf, bonsai, paper umbrellas, bamboo baskets, geta (sandals), hair accessories, paints, tea ceremony tools, kimonos, indigo, incense, gardens, woodblock prints, wood sculpture, fans, folding screens, armor, swords, paper lanterns, masks, tatami and silk.

These new Artisans of Leisure tours include exclusive art, architecture and craft experiences such as:

  • One-on-one meetings with Living National Treasures, who are renowned for their contributions to the preservation of Japan’s traditions and mastery of particular crafts, such as ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, metalware and woodwork
  • Behind-the-scenes appointments at the studios of Japan’s most renowned master artisans to watch them make bamboo baskets, paper umbrellas, geta sandals, geisha hair accessories, natural paints, tea ceremony tools, lacquerware, washi paper, kimonos, gold-leaf products and pottery
  • Private excursions to off-the-beaten-track towns and villages across Japan that are renowned for the production of traditional crafts and pottery, such as Imari, Arita, Mashiko, Imbe, Beppu, Wajima, Yamashiro Onsen and Yamanaka Onsen
  • Private hands-on traditional crafts lessons to learn the skills and techniques to make gold leaf, pottery, washi paper, incense, indigo-dyed textiles, manga and anime, lacquerware and bonsai
  • Curator-led private tours of museums and private collections in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa and other destinations, according to the art interests of each traveler
  • Architecture tours including machiya (traditional merchant houses), samurai estates, tea houses, private homes and contemporary buildings
  • Exclusive meetings with scholars, collectors, dealers, masters and other renowned experts in pottery, garden design, swords and other Japanese traditional arts
  • Specialized insider shopping focused on specific crafts and traditional arts, including visits to favorite boutiques and galleries, upscale department stores, antiques markets and flea markets
  • Learning about the crafts and rituals closely linked to food and drink in Japan, including the aesthetic philosophy behind serving pieces and food presentation
  • Full coordination of all cultural touring and logistics, as well as insider recommendations from Artisans of Leisure Japan experts

All Artisans of Leisure Japan tours are private and highly personalized and include expert guides and Japan’s best luxury hotels and ryokan (traditional inns). View Artisans of Leisure’s Japan tours.

For more information, call 1 (800) 214-8144 or 1 (212) 243-3239 or visit

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