15 – 29 November 2022

This textile and stitching tour to Japan is proposed by Opulent Journeys, an Australian travel company specialised in Cultural and Craft tours. Their diversified programs combine great destinations, quality accommodations, inclusive sightseeing, and great dining experiences to ensure all travellers receive an exceptional experience at a great value. Please explore their website for more information. 

The Japan Textile & Stitching Tour 2022 is designed by Jane MacDonald, led by Yves Al-Ghazi (French & English speaking) with the company of an expert Japanese & English speaking tour guide. The tour is focusing on sashiko, kogin, chiku-chiku, and indigo dyeing with visits to many textile related towns and establishments along the way.


Your Tour Leader:


Yves first became interested in Japanese textiles in 2017 while working closely with Jane MacDonald of BeBe Bold in Australia. Having worked previously as a research scientist on cotton plants, Yves has had a long-term interest in textile production, right down to how material is grown from seed. Yves was inspired to start BeBe Bold in France in 2018 catering to European interest in Japanese Textile.



  • Explore Hirosaki, home of Kogin and learn all about kogin-zashi
  • In Yuza, we learn traditional sashiko techniques from a very talented group of inspirational teachers
  • Enjoy a class with Akiko Ike in Niigata and learn Chiku Chiku style of Stitching
  • Visit Arimatsu for shibori dyeing
  • In Takayama, home of Hida sashiko, discover beautiful old fabrics and samples of sashiko and boro
  • Visit the famous needle shop, Nomura Tailor for fabric shopping and wonder around the aromatic Nishiki Market in Kyoto
  • Visit the original Blue and White shop and the Quilt Party shop of famous Yoko Saito






  • ACCOMMODATION:14 night’s twin share accommodation at well-appointed hotels 
  • TRANSPORT:14 Day Japan Rail Pass (ordinary class), return tickets on local train Meitetsu Nagoya-Arimatsu, and private chartered coach during tour as stated in the itinerary
  • TOURS:Workshops and entrance fees as stated in the itinerary
  • GUIDE: An English-speaking guide and Yves will translate in French during tour
  • LUGGAGE TRANSFER:Luggage transfer service (one piece per person) Tokyo-Sakata-Takayama-Kyoto-Tokyo
  • MEALS:Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: breakfast, L: lunch, D: dinner)



  • International flights to Japan
  • Gratuities to guide &/or driver
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned above




Day 1 Tue 15 November: Arrive Tokyo

Make your own way to hotel in Tokyo for check-in.

Tonight gather together for dinner and meet your fellow quilters. (D)


Day 2 Wed 16 November: Tokyo - Hirosaki

After breakfast, we travel by Shinkansen to Hirosaki.

Hirosaki is an ancient castle town in the southern part of Aomori prefecture. The city is famous throughout Japan for being the biggest producer of apples in Japan. The city offers a wealth of exciting experiences and traditional crafts.

On arrival we will visit Hirosaki Castle and the Samurai District. We will have the opportunity to dis


cover the rich culture of Aomori Prefecture at the Tsugaru-han Neputa Village museum. The museum-village is divided into different cultural attractions that highlight the traditions of the region. (B) 


Day 3 Thu 17 November: Hirosaki

Hirosaki is the home of Kogin and is also famous for its apples so we might still be able to taste some.

Here we will learn all about kogin-zashi.

In the afternoon, Yves takes you to explore the town and its craft shops. (B)


Day 4 Fri 18 November: Hirosaki - Yamagata 

 After breakfast we travel to Yamagata Prefecture, en route, we visit the Old Aoyama House.

We will check in our hotel in Sakata and have some free time to explore the town on your own before enjoying our dinner at hotel. (B, D)



Day 5 Sat 19 November: Yamagata

Today we travel to the small town called Yuza, where we will learn traditional sashiko techniques from a very talented group of inspirational teachers.We attend a sashiko workshop with renowned teacher Reiko Domon and members of the Yuza sashiko group. 

Return to hotel in Sakata for overnight. (B L D)


Day 6 Sun 20 November: Yamagata - Naruko Onsen - Niigata

Kokeshi are traditional wooden dolls in Japan so we are going to make a special visit to the Japan Kokeshi Museum near the charming town of Naruko Onsen to find out more about these iconic wooden treasures.kokeshi-dolls.png


Perched above the famous Naruko Gorge, this lovingly-curated museum is located in one of Japan's most picturesque areas. The area and nearby town of Naruko Onsen is a breath of fresh air from Japan's bustling cities - think lush green forests, crystal clear rivers rushing through ravines, and pretty towns filled with delicious regional food, hot springs and precious local crafts.

Arrive in Niigata and check into our hotel. (B) 


Day 7 Mon 21 November: Niigata

Today we enjoy a class with Akiko Ike and learn her wonderful Chiku Chiku style of stitching which is free form, uncomplicated and very enjoyable to do. (B, L)


Day 8 Tue 22 November: Niigata - Arimatsu - Takayama

After breakfast, we travel by Bullet Train to Arimatsu – the centre of Shibori dyeing dating back to the early 17th century. We’ll visit the Narumi Tie-Dyeing Museum and participate in a Shibori-dyeing workshop.

Later we catch a train to Takayama. (B)


Day 9 Wed 23 November: Takayama

Today Yves takes you to find Jane's favourite spots to discover beautiful old fabrics and samples of sashiko and boro. 

Followed by a walking tour through Takayama Old Town, the Kusakabe Folkcraft Museum, and Takayama Jinya. Many of the old town streets are perfect for browsing and date from the Edo Period. 

Tonight we enjoy the famous Hida beef dinner. (B, D)


Day 10 Thu 24 November: Takayama - Shirakawa-go - Kyoto

After breakfast, we travel by coach through the remote mountains of Honshu to visit the UNESCO listed Shirakawa-go Village, famous for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. We’ll walk through quaint cottages, water wheels and paddy fields.

We will visit the Gokayama Japanese Paper Village, here you not only admire and buy washi and washi-made items, but you can make washi yourself.

We catch later train to Kyoto. (B)


Day 11 Fri 25 November: Kyoto - Nara - Kyoto

A day trip by coach to Nara, the ancient capital of Japan, where we first visit Todaiji Temple, with the world’s largest bronze statue of Buddha. There’s time to see the deer in Nara Park, and visit Kasuga Shrine Treasure House before Yves takes you to the hidden Sashiko shop. (B)


Day 12 Sat 26 November: Kyoto - Tokyo


 We start the day with a stroll along peaceful Philosopher’s Walk followed by the visit to Nishiki Food Market.

After lunch we’ll make a stop to browse through the shops at the Shinkyogoku Shopping Street visit the 400 year-old Misuyabari Needle Store and the iconic Nomura Tailor, filled with 3 floors of everything for last-minute fabric shopping. 

We’ll end our day with a walk through Kyoto’s best known Geisha quarter – Gion District.

Later, we catch a train from Kyoto to Tokyo. (B) 


Day 13 Sun 27 November Tokyo

Today we will visit a shop called “Quilt Party” a favourite for fans of Yoko Saito’s  applique work and then enjoy a popular hands-on Temari Ball making workshop with Temaricious.It is a brand of naturally dyed thread and Japanese folk art of Temari since 2014. The threads are dyed with plants that are found corner of everyday life. The plants or weeds, in another words, are collected in various locations in Japan.  (B)


Day 14Mon 28 NovemberTokyo

 A free morning to explore Tokyo on your own. In the afternoon, we wander through the busy Asakusa district and visit the Senso-ji Temple and interesting specialized shops. A great place to find hand made Japanese scissors.

We conclude our last day in Tokyo with a stop at the original and quirky Blue and White shop with its interesting blue and white handmade crafts, which are always a treat to see.

This evening we will share our farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D) 


Day 15Tue29 NovemberDepart Tokyo

Our tour ends after breakfast.



Tour price (Land only, AUD):

Per person in twin share: $7,995.00 - approximately 5078**€

Single room supplement:$920.00 - approximately 584**€

Tour deposit per person: $800.00 - approximately 508**€


*Tour starts and finishes in Tokyo

** *Prices may change depending on currency rates. Payments will be made in Australian dollars by bank transfer. The conditions of sale will be attached to the registration form. 

 Please note: Registration are made with Opulent Journey, payments by international bank transfer in Australia (possibilities to pay in Euros)

To receive a registration form including conditions for sale (available in English or French) please contact us 

To contact Opulent Journeys Pty Ltd Trading as Opulent Journeys ABN 95 603 945 982

Melbourne Office: Suite 310, 365 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Sydney Office: Suite 505, 275 Alfred Street, North Sydney NSW 2060

Tel:+61 1300 219 885 (AU) /+64 0800 456 219 (NZ)

 Opulent Journeys Pty Ltd Trading as Opulent Journeys ABN 95 603 945 982