Silk Study Tour to Japan
May 2015

Glennis Dolce 
562-201-0622Find us on Facebook
silkstudytour@shiborigirlstudios.com
SSK tour banner image
Welcome!
(irrashaimase!)
Dear Friends,

Those of you receiving this first notice have been on "the list" waiting for information on signing up for the 2015 Silk Study Tour.  Enrollment is limited to 18 and we will keep a short wait-list when it fills. (From experience, we know that life sometimes throws us a curve and cancellations do happen.)  

We are now ready to accept deposits to confirm your reservation in the 2015 Silk Study Tour.  We expect this Silk Study tour to fill quickly as we have quite a list of interested parties since the previous tours in 2011 and 2013. We are sending this announcement out first, to those of you who have requested to be on "the list" before opening it up to the public at large (if needed).  Expected /planned dates at this time are 5/19/2015-5/30/2015 (10 nights). 

Who goes on the Silk Study Tour to Japan?   Artists, makers, educators, life-long learners, writers, textilians, historians, Japanophiles, and those wanting to learn more deeply about silk.  Are you such a person?    


We are still detailing site visits and refining the 2015 itinerary and as usual new things crop to see even after we arrive in Japan, but for the most part everything is set. The itinerary can be seen at the link in the right hand column above.  The sericulture farm visit will go on as planned through the generous help of the Tama Silk Life 21 group and the gracious hospitality of aging Koyata san and his wife (well into his 90's now!).  We are eternally in their debt for providing us with such an intimate view into their life and sericulture history. 

2013 group visits the sericulture farm

As you know, for the last 4 years I have had the pleasure of coordinating this 10 day tour and again am looking forward to doing the same for the upcoming Silk Study Tour for 2015.  As a member of the Silk Experience teaching group, dyer of silk and shibori enthusiast, 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 Japan-side coordinator for the Silk Study Tour is Hirata-san. Hirata-san makes this trip a special treat as he shares his own family history and connection to Japan's silk trade.  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 was with great delight that I accepted Maggie Backman's request to take over this tour project and provide this experience to a new group of silk aficionados every other year. Maggie is still an acting advisor for the tour and may also join us. In this fourth excursion of the Silk Study Tour, 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 $5600.00 USD
-credit/debit tour price $5825.00 USD

The 2015 tour price is holding steady at 2013 levels. Although we gain a slight benefit with a strong dollar against a weaker yen, Japan has had a sales tax increase as of April this year that pretty much evens out our expenses overall. Still, we believe that this tour reflects a very good value as we strive to create the ultimate "Silk Experience"!

on the bus
view from our chartered coach
**NOTE** as this cost is being projected out over a year in advance, and is based on a Yen to Dollar exchange that falls in a range of 90-100 per $1.
Thirty days before departure we will assess the exchange rates and notify you of any surcharge or refunds that may be due.  Last time the strong dollar allowed us to give extra honorarium to the artists and groups that facilitate such a wonderful experience for us.  
 
This Silk Study Tour is limited to 18 participants.  The variable cost reflected above allows you to choose your most convenient form of payment. MC, VISA, and AMEX are accepted. We prefer personal or cashiers checks so as to avoid any extra charges.
 
What the tour price includes: 
  • Roundtrip flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) airiports.10 nights at hotels (double occupancy) with breakfasts included. 
  • Museum fees, any class fees and supplies.
  • Private chartered bus transportation for the majority of the tour and ground transportation costs for the group to specified group trips while in Tokyo. 
  • Return trip to Tokyo Narita Airport from Ginza district via hotel shuttle.
  • Full course Japanese traditional dinner one night while at the tradition Japanese spa resort hotel (ryokan).
  • 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 or Yokohama) are not included. 

Other:

Please be aware that for all tour participants from North America, this tour departs from and returns to Los Angeles, CA. Please let me know if you desire to leave from another US location and we will help coordinate that if possible.  

 

Participants from other parts of the globe will meet with us at Tokyo Narita Airport. IACE 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.

Land only for participants outside the US is $4600 USD (CC $4830 USD).

 

Travel and medical insurance, which is most necessary for the well being of the tour as a whole, will be required for all participants of this tour.

For the benefit of the tour as a whole, we reserve the right to accept or reject any person as a tour participant, and or remove from the tour any participant whose conduct is deemed incompatible with the interests of the other participants. 

 

While we do have a chartered bus whisking us to our various locations, there is considerable walking to be done (Japan is very much a walking country). You will be responsible for handling your own luggage as well so please be aware of the physical aspects of this tour and your ability to participate accordingly. 

 

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.
 

 


Silk Study Tour Itinerary Schedule- May 2015 
group dinner Japanese style!
 
This next Silk Study Tour 2015 may include but not necessarily be limited to the following sites and activities (full and detailed itinerary is in the link in the sidebar):
  • a visit to a traditional sericulture farm
  • a visit with an indigo dyer 
  • entrance into the beautiful museum of Ichiku Kubota
  • a night at a resort hotel overlooking Kawaguchi Lake
  • tour of the Silk Museum in Yokohama
  • several nights at a resort spa ryokan (inn) with traditional Japanese baths and a lovely traditional Japanese dinner
  • three nights in Tokyo Ginza area with free time to visit museums,shop and a day side trip to Kamakuraa nd Yokohama-optional
  • visit to view a working silk filature mill
  • a stop at a kimono museum (if open)
  • a visit to an obi weaver
  • a visit to Tomioka Silk Mill (new World Cultural Heritage site)
  • a stop at a textile museum
  • visit the Amuse Boro Museum in Tokyo
  • and any added invitations we may receive and accept!  

 

Please note- exact itinerary is subject to change.

Each place we go we have visited personally beforehand and selected on the basis of how we feel it fits into the purpose of the tour.  


Early registration and payment schedule:

 A $500 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, 2015 and partial payments may be made up to this date. For reservations made after this date, full payment is due at time of booking. 

If the remaining balance is not made by the required date, we reserve the right to cancel your reservation.

Cancellations up to December 1, 2014 will receive a $200 deposit refund (forfeit $300-no exception).

Cancellation and any changes due to natural disaster, weather, war, civil unrest,and order of government and immigration regulations applies regular rules below. In such an unlikely occurrence we will do everything possible to minimize the penalties stated below. 
In the case of voluntary cancellation for any reason the following rules apply: 

After Feb. 15, 2015 the following cancellation fees will apply:
-30% of the tour price  31 to 59 days before departure*.
-50% of the tour price 12 to 30 days before departure*.
*cancellation must be received in writing.
-No refunds 11 days or less before departure.

If unexpected personal situations occur during the trip,any extra cost for additional arrangements will be the individual tour participant's responsibility. Please be sure your travel insurance covers your individual needs.  

12 participants are needed to guarantee the tour. In the event the tour does not receive the required number of participants (unlikely) by January 10, 2015 all monies will be refunded. 

We hope you will join us in Japan next year! As always, it is our desire to provide you with a safe, enjoyable, and educational visit to Japan. Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.
 
Sincerely,
 
Glennis Dolce
email silkstudytour@shiborigirlstudios.com
562-201-0622

In This Issue
Tour Cost
Tour Itinerary
Registration and payment
Quick Links

Registration form

2015 Tour Itinerary
Questions?
(email me!)


Glennis Dolce 
-tour coordinator

USA
562-201-0622
silkstudytour@shiborigirlstudios.com

Takuo Hirata
-tour manager

Japan   












   



















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