Japan Tour

9th SAORI Worcester Study & Friendship Japan Tour (Osaka and Southwest)

May 14-27th, 2019

Cost: $3,400 

Deposit of $1,000 due on Friday, March 15th

           Balance Due Date is on Friday, April 19th

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

 The price includes lodging (double/multi occupancy), all breakfast, group transportation within Japan, group cultural activities including two dinners & experienced translator/guide/coordinator individual & group agendas

 Tour price does not include cost of airfare or lunches/dinners, since these vary so greatly according to each tour member. We will meet at Kansai airport in Osaka in the afternoon on May 14th (Japan time).


The tour’s focus is to deepen your understanding about SAORI by visiting SAORI studios, meeting weavers and experiencing cultural activities. However, it includes explorations of Osaka, Kyoto, Yufuin, and Himeji. We will visit Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, Japanese gardens, hot springs, sushi restaurants, an Ikat museum and more. Mihoko has been planning and guiding the tour since 2005. Several people had been back to her tour. She will conduct a group check-in meeting almost everyday to share tour members’ needs and experiences, which makes this tour unique. She believes that traveling is a great opportunity for people to grow. Also, she is open to change/add/making options to pursue your personal Japan-related interests. Mihoko does not want the relationship of tour members and her become a mere a service provider and customers. Instead, she wants to invite tour members to contribute to plan/shape the tour experience together.

You will take an adventure into the deep cultural experiences that most visitors without  Japanese guides can’t have such as hot springs bathing  or shopping Kimono at recycling stores. 


 Tentative Itinerary as of 1-28-19

May 14:          Arrival in Osaka, Kansai International Airport. Spending time at                                  SAORInomoristudio which is 5 minutes  walking distance from Weavers’ Condo                   




 May 15:         Meeting tour members,  Weaving at SAORInomori studio[1]with Kenzo, Tour of SAORInomori, Exploring  neighborhood, walking to the station and do window shoppingGroup supper (Sushi? Noodle?)

                          Overnight: SAORInomori  Weavers’ Condo


 May 16:         Visit SAORI Hiroba [2] and another studio for Bengala dye workshop                                 

                        Overnight: SAORInomori  Weavers’ Condo

May 17:          Train ride to Kyoto[3], Exchanging a Japan Rail Pass4 at Kyoto Station.  Explore Kyoto       

                        Overnight: TBD(To be determined)

 May 18:          Visit Nishijin Textile Center (http://nishijin.or.jp/eng/), and artist studios around the area, Explore Kyoto more

                          Overnight: TBD

 May 19:          Explore Kyoto more

                          Overnight: TBD

  May 20:          4.5hour Train Trip west to Kurume5, Kyushu Island (South west of Kyoto). Meeting Kumiko Mawatari who is Mihoko’s friend and a local guide.  Visit the Kurume Ikat Museum and participate a workshop with Kumiko. Hot Spring

                         Overnight: Bridgestone6 member’s guest room

May 21:        Explore Kurume. Train ride to Yufuin

                          Overnight: Flora House7(https://yufuin-flora-house.jimdo.com/)

May 22nd:     Explore Yufuin neighborhood/ Relax with hot spring/ Weaving, flower art,            massage, hiking, Group dinner (Japanese BBQ?) 

                            Overnight: Flora House

May 23rd:      Explore Yufuin and the area (optional trip to Oita or a weaving studio    Patankoya in Takeda, Oita)

                        Overnight: Flora House

 May 24th:     Train ride to Hiroshima. Visit Hiroshima Memorial Museum and Peace Park8 and Miyajima9

                        Overnight: TBD

 May 25th:     Visit Himeji Castle10, Koko-en (Japanese Garden) and SAORI Studio Yuu11 in  Himeji

                        Overnight: TBD

May 26th:      Return to Osaka, Last shopping, Group dinner

                        Overnight: TBD

 May 27th:     Depart Kansai Airport /back to SAORInomori



  1. Kenzo Jo’s studio and SAORI loom factory in Izumi, Osaka.
  2. Headquarters of SAORI’s non-profit organization run by Eiji Jo in Osaka-city, Osaka.
  3. Japan’s ancient capital, and its pre-eminent center of traditional culture.
  4. One week pass for unlimited use of all JR trains except Nozomi (fastest Bullet train)
  5. A city which is famous for the regional ikat dyed weaving Kurume kasuri.
  6. Established company making bicycles and tires
  7. Japanese-style country inn w/exquisite floral greenhouse & volcanic bath.
  8. Built after being dropped atomic bombed during World War?. Museum of the history in the park
  9. Island of the ancient shrine with a Grand Torii Gate partially submerged at high tide
  10. World heritage site
  11. Superb SAORI studio where youth/young adults with various disabilities work

If you are interested in the tour, please let Mihoko knows at saoriworcester@gmail.com ASAP. 


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