Silk Study Tour to Japan
May 18-28, 2011

Glennis Dolce
562-201-0622Find us on Facebook
Dear Friends,

Last year I had the pleasure of taking this tour as a participant at the invitation of Maggie Backman, the 2009 tour coordinator and organizer.  As a member of the Silk Experience teaching group and dyer of silk, the trip expanded my knowledge of this most fascinating fiber.  It also provided me with a wellspring of new ideas and inspirations, which continue to provoke my work and further my desire to learn more about Japan and its arts and crafts. 
Our Japanese coordinator for the Silk Study Tour is Hirata-san. Hirata-san makes this trip a special treat as he too, learns and shares his family history.  His great grandfather owned and ran their own filature mill in the mid to late 1800's and his grandfather was sent to New York at the turn of the century to be educated and from there, serve the family's thriving silk export business. Hirata-san is an invaluable coordinator and his extra attention to detail makes this trip extremely pleasurable.
It is with great delight that I accepted Maggie's request to lead this upcoming tour and provide this experience to a new group of silk aficionados. Our desire remains to foster a continuous thread of communication and education with Japanese silk masters, educators, and artisans that will lead each of us into a new fiber future. In this way, we continue to offer future exchanges of silk information and provide teaching and marketing opportunities on both sides

 Silk Study Tour Cost
-cash/check discount tour price $4500.00
-credit/debit tour price $4725.00
This Silk Study Tour is limited to 18-20 participants.  The variable cost reflected above allows you to choose your most convenient form of payment. MC, VISA, and AMEX are accepted.
What the tour price includes:
-Roundtrip flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) airiports.
-9 nights at hotels (double occupancy) with breakfasts included.
-Museum fees, class fees and supplies.
-Private chartered bus transportation for the entire tour.
-Return trip to Tokyo Narita Airport from Ginza district via hotel shuttle.
-Full course Japanese traditional dinner one night while at Isobe Gardens. 
-Some supplemental fees.
What the tour price does not include:
-Flight costs to and from Los Angeles, possible hotel charge in
-Los Angeles (night before departure or after return).
-Meals other than those specified above.
-Insurances, passport charges, and public transportation (outside the tour- i.e. optional choice trip to Kamakura) are not included.
Please be aware that for all tour participants from North America, this tour departs from and returns to Los Angeles, CA. Travel and medical insurance, which is most necessary will be required for all participants of this tour. Participants from other parts of the globe will meet with us at Tokyo Narita Airport. IACE (below) will be our coordinating travel agent for the tour and can see that you are booked on flights that will assure a smooth meet up with the group upon your arrival in Tokyo.
Tour Extension:
If desired, you can make arrangements to extend your trip beyond our Silk Study Tour.  Our expert tour agent specializes in travel to Japan and will be happy to work with you to facilitate your plans.  They will also be happy to quote you prices for any travel and medical insurance.
IACE (International Association for Cultural Exchange) Travel
18531 South Western Avenue
Gardena, CA 90248-3830
(310) 323-5551   contact: Hogara Kotani

Silk Study Tour Itinerary Schedule- May 18-28, 2011
May 18 (Wednesday)
Tour officially begins at Los Angeles Airport (LAX). A non-stop flight to Tokyo (Narita NRT) will depart approximately 2 PM.  (Airline yet to be determined)
May 19 (Thursday)
The ten hour flight means arrival in Japan later that same day, due to crossing the International Date Line.  Following our arrival in the late afternoon, we will take a hotel shuttle to the nearby Narita Hilton Hotel for one night of R & R.   
May 19 (Friday)
Early the next morning our magic chartered coach will whisk us away on a relaxing 2 hour trip to visit the Koyota sericulture farm, one of the few remaining sericulture farms in Japan. There we will witness the fascinating nurturing of the silkworms in a traditional Japanese cocoon house and meet the delightful Koyota-san and his wife.  Following lunch, a short coach bus ride takes us to the Museum of Fiber and Technology on the campus of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. This gem of a textile museum with its wealth of information concerning Japan's 'golden years of silk production is truly exceptional.  Later, a short trip takes us to the city of Tachikawa and the Tachikawa Palace (American style) Hotel for a two nights stay.
May 20 (Saturday)
Following a  quick 10 minute trip by our special coach, we will disembark at the Metropolitan Research Institute in Tachikawa, where we will meet and work with a very exceptional group of ladies for the day. Under the guidance of these delightful volunteer ladies of the Tama Silk Life 21 group we see the degumming of cocoons, make our own mawata squares, spin silk from mawata by hand/machine and finally spin filament silk directly from cocoons. This promises to be very special 'silk day' for all concerned. We will have a free evening to explore the city or simply rest up at the hotel, following our busy day with the Tama group.
May 21 (Sunday)
After an early morning departure from Tachikawa, our magic bus will travel 1.5 hours to the famous Ichiku Kubota museum in the shadows of  Mt. Fuji. This museum's collection of the famous kimonos by revered designer Ichiku Kubota is an exceptional experience for all of us silk and textile aficionados. Following lunch, our magic coach takes us to our next adventure...this time to meet and explore the home and studio of  Fumiko Sato, a master indigo dyer.  This delightful artisan will demonstrate traditional indigo dyeing and stretch your textile mind to its limit.  Another long coach trip to the village of Annaka will give us time to contemplate our days adventures. At Annaka we will stay for three nights at the charming and restful Isobe Gardens, a Japanese/American Inn complete with traditional hot spring baths and the surroundings of a lovely river and quiet village.
May 22 (Monday)
Our 6th day of adventure will take us on a short 40 minute drive to the delightful Gumma Silk Center for a half day workshop involving silk weaving and katazome (your choice) with our knowledgeable instructors and volunteer helpers. There will be time to roam freely throughout their informative silk museum and educational center. Upon returning to the Isobe Garden Inn we will have free time to wander along the river near our hotel and rest up for a traditional full course Japanese dinner- another highlight of the trip. There will be time, following the scrumptious Japanese meal, to soak in the amazing hot springs baths!
May 23 (Tuesday)
Just 15 minutes from Isobe by our magic coach, we will tour the Usui mechanized filature mill (one of the few remaining filature mills in Japan) located in the middle of a beautiful valley, with bursting mulberry groves. The fascinating mill tour is conducted by the delightful mill manager and is the last stop of our journey into the world of silk production.  The mill's small store has some manufactured Gumma silk products to purchase, where we have time to ask questions about the production of the silk filaments and their uses. Back to Annaka where the late afternoon and evening can be spent enjoying the quiet surroundings, the special Annaka hospitality and those spectacular hot spring baths!
May 24, 25, 26 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
We will wistfully say goodbye to our hosts in Annaka and head for the bright lights of Tokyo and its famous Ginza district.  But before we arrive we have a couple of surprises along the way!  Perhaps a dyer, a weaver, or some newly discovered artisan looking to reach out and share their textile talent with us.  (We like to leave some time for the unexpected!)  Arriving in Tokyo we will stay at the comfortable Western style Ginza Washington Hotel, centrally located in the fabulous Ginza district where you will enjoy two days of exploring the city on your own or in small groups.  The Ginza is the epitome of shopping in Japan, featuring anything and everything from lowbrow to high class. Short walking distances to many Tokyo sites and adventures await you there. An optional side trip to Kamakura on Friday for those interested in seeing this delightful historical city with hundreds of temples, fantastic shopping, and the famous Daibutsu (Great Buddah) on the shores of Sagami Bay. The side tour to Kamakura returns to the Ginza for our last night in Japan.
May 27 (Saturday)
We grudgingly depart for Narita via airport shuttle bus from the Ginza hotel in mid morning for our flight back to the US arriving at LAX in the 28th of May.
(Some specific details may change as needed as the tour draws near and you will be advised as they develop.)


Early registration and payment schedule:

A $400 tour deposit is required to secure your reservation on this tour.  You will be contacted upon receipt of your deposit to confirm your reservation.  Up to 5 wait-listed reservations will be accepted. You will be advised immediately if you are wait-listed.  

Payment in full must be submitted by
Feb. 10, 2011 and partial payments may be made up to this date.

Cancellations up to Jan. 15, 2011 will receive a $300 deposit refund.

After Feb. 15, 2011 the following cancellation fees will apply:
-30% of the tour price  31 to 59 days before departure*.
-50% of the tour price 8 to 30 days before departure*.
*cancellation must be received in writing.
-No refunds 7 days or less before departure.

In the event of cancellation by the tour operator, all payments received from tour participants will be refunded within 5 days of cancellation.

Payment types accepted:
-cash/check discount tour price $4500.00
-credit/debit tour price $4725.00

We hope you will join us in Japan next year!  Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.
Glennis Dolce

In This Issue
Tour Cost
Tour Itinerary
Registration and payment
Quick Links
(email me!)

silk label
Glennis Dolce 
-tour coordinator


Takuo Hirata
-tour manager


Maggie Backman
- advisor


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