Japan Tour

7th SAORI Weaving Study & Friendship Tour

May 26th (Fri.) -June 8 (Thu.), 2017

Cost: $3400 ($100 off if you pay cash or a check) 

  includes all lodging, group transportation within Japan,one-week Japan Rail Pass, all breakfasts, group cultural activities & the experienced translator/tour coordinator who organize from personal interests to group agendas.

!Tour price does not include cost of airfare or individual lunches/dinners, since these vary so greatly according to each tour members.

The Tour’s focus is learning SAORI Weaving &  meeting people connected to SAORI in its nation of origin. It includes explorations of Osaka, Kyoto, Yufuin, and Himeji. You will take an adventure into the deep cultural experiences that most visitors without Japanese guides can’t have such as hot spring bathing or shopping Kimono at recycling stores. All accommodation is not 5 star hotels but it’s comfortable  with taste of Japanese style of living.  Mihoko also introduces her personal friends who helps the tour locally.  As a friendship tour you will weave inter relationship with other tour companion as well as people you meet in Japan. Mihoko facilitates check-up meetings in a group to share your experiences and thoughts which would be reflected to itineraries throughout the tour.

I am not a travel agent so please take care of your own travel insurance if you need.



Here is the google link for pictures of the previous tour 2015.


If you have any questions or if you are interested in, please contact Mihoko.  Please read the FAQ and the tentative itinerary above before you ask any questions.

The deadline for the deposit $1000 to save your slot is March 1st. The balance due date is May 1st. The cancellation fee may apply after May 2nd.


My Thoughts on Saori Study/Friendship Japan Tour 2015 by Liz Henry update 6/23/15

A significant highlight of the tour for me was at the Saorinormori Studio in Izumi, Osaka.  There, I met the founder of SAORI Weaving, Misao Jo.  1969 was the year Misao started SAORI.  She was in tune with spirit of that time in her freestyle weaving.   I had read about her, seen her video, and then like a natural, divine progression of events, I met her in person.  Advanced in years she still goes to the studio with the help of her son, Kenzo Jo.  It was so wonderful to meet and sit with her at table.   I remember some spider plant babies growing in a small bowl of water on the table as if they were future weavers being nurtured by Misao herself.  I wove a small piece at the studio that I later entered in Saori Worcester’s Exhibition;  “Loom in Essence”, at the Sprinkler Factory Gallery in Worcester.July 2015.

Touring the SAORInomori factory allowed us to see the looms being built, yarns being prepared for warps and more.  We visited three other Saori Studios/Shops and each had its own personality.  Mr. Jo was just taking down an exhibition of his weavings at his Studio and a new exhibit was going up.  I noticed natural branches being used to hang some bags.   I found out later it was the Wisteria vine.

I feel affirmed in my quest to continue weaving and bring SAORI to others.

My Japan Tour experience was awesome and fulfilling.  I loved the accommodations including sleeping on futons and tatami mats, Japanese breakfasts, and communal style living.  I enjoyed sharing.  It seemed the true way to live.  Letting go of self and immersion into a group experience were at once inspiring, challenging and enriching.  A feeling of being one with others, despite differences, made me realize we can get along in the world if we try.  Of course personalities are what makes us unique and we each have gifts to offer.

Mihoko’s gift of leadership made the tour a unique and very special experience.  She was open to all views and accommodated everyone whether it was diet and physical needs or personal interests.  I would love to go again only I would not want to deprive another the chance to experience it.  The small size group of ten was manageable and so we had chances to get to know one another, another highlight of the tour.

The public bath on a rainy night in Osaka (Izumi?) was one of my highlights. Mihoko explained the process this experience would require of us.  It was a culture shock I quickly had to get over if I wanted to enjoy it.  The bliss of being in the hot baths while feeling the light mist and rain falling right before us in the outside area a of the baths is etched in my mind, like a gift from God, falling from the sky.  This experience helped me unwind from the long flight that was hard on my back.  After some time sleeping and sitting on tatami mats, and using some unique Japanese toilets, my back troubles went away!

Every day brought new experiences.  Traveling by foot, taxi, bus and train brought many opportunities to converse with others and observe the Japanese way of life.

Whether it was visiting a Saori Studio, a temple, a restaurant, garden, or little shop along the way or we never lacked for adventure.

Visiting Yufuin in the south brought many chances to walk, to find a post office, a place to eat, to see the Great Cedar Shrine, do some shopping or just take in the village scenery.  The Flora House had special treats for us like making pressed flower pictures and book marks, weaving time if we wanted,  and  fresh greens from their greenhouses for breakfast  We could see the smoking hot springs in the distance from our loft in the Flora House.

The rice fields were being prepared for planting.  We were lucky to see some rice plants that had just been planted.   Mt Yufu was a chance to go hiking for Annie and me.  She made it to the top while I trailed happily behind her.

Mihoko arranged for us to experience many different experiences.  Shibori dyeing and being dressed in kimono for traditional tea ceremony were some of my favories.

The Inari Shrine in Kyoto was amazing with its endless Torii gates leading up the mountain.   Words cannot express the wonder of this place.   It is a very old Shinto Shrine dedicated to the fox.  Popular on the tourist trail, it is still very special.  Some of us went with Mihoko to view her former residence, not far from the Inari Shrine.  Her residence had been demolished and rebuilt into a modern home.  The house next to it was a twin to her old house, a classic style Japanese home.  We met some of her old neighbors and were treated  to Japanese hospitality.

The Buddhist temples were amazing with their Zen Gardens made of sand, rocks and pine trees.  We saw local floral designers creating a special show of Ikebana through out a temple area for a weekend celebration and had tea in one of the temple buildings.

I am very grateful to Mihoko, for this experience.  Words cannot express my gratitude and joy in being part of her tour.

Thank you so much,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *