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Japan: Folk Art

Lamps and bridge The spirituality of traditional Japan infuses its architecture & crafted objects. Sculptor & philosopher David Orth, and Steve Adelsman, veteran tour guide, invite you to join them in a search for the core ideas & sensitivities that have energized traditional Japanese craft & building - and much of its contemporary art. David comes not as an academic expert, but as a practicing American artist, long-influenced by Japanese philosophy and an intuitive relationship with Japanese craft. Steve has led tours in Japan since 2002.

Japan Folk Art wood


Our destinations will include art districts, craft studios, museums, and Japanese art supply houses across Japan from Tokyo to Beppu. Our conversations & opportunities to make some art will take you inside the ancient Japanese aesthetic – including wabi-sabi, charmed functionality, crazy wisdom, & experimental self-awareness.


This tour will be guaranteed as soon as eight people commit to participating. The maximum group size will be ten. Planned for early 2018 - dates forthcoming. Please let Steve know of your interest.


This Fully Escorted, Land-Only Tour of Japan* Includes:

  • Calligraphy14 Day Tour - Land-only
  • Lodging (Double or Twin Occupancy, mainly 4-star Hotels) for 13 nights, including breakfast
  • All transportation as required for our itinerary in Japan, including overnight private Deluxe rooms aboard a passenger ferry from Beppu to Osaka, and One-Week Rail Passes, allowing us to ride on the famous Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
  • Daily Included Dinner or Lunch (outstanding quality and variety), with the exception of departure day
  • Entrance fees for all included attractions, and any costs of local guides/artisans
  • Full-time services of Steve Adelsman, Tour Guide, and David Orth, Interpretive Guide
  • CalligraphyThe following places/activities are strong candidates for inclusion in the itinerary; the final choices will be made after we complete our research.
  • Several Museums/Galleries, Shops, and Installations in Tokyo, Hakone, Naoshima, Beppu, Takamatsu, Kurashiki, Mashiko,
    and Kamakura. These will likely include pottery, print-making, bamboo crafts, sculpture, and other folk crafts. We hope to arrange for the group to meet with individual artists.

For more information about David Orth and his background please visit his website:

Anticipated cost is $8,395.00 (Eight Thousand Three Hundred Ninety Five US Dollars) per person, Double or Twin Occupancy. For anyone willing to stay in less fancy hotels for many of the nights the cost will be at least $1,000.00 (One Thousand US Dollars) less per person. Contact Steve for Single Supplement.

If we receive a strong positive response it is possible we could offer this tour as early as March 2018. Of course, we are willing to offer the tour on multiple dates if there is sufficient interest. Feel free to share this offer with anyone you know who might be interested. Please contact Steve at your earliest convenience if you are strongly considering joining us.

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Reserve your spot on the Japan: Traditional Folk Art & Its Spiritual Heart Tour

Register Online
Download Registration Form Here (Acrobat PDF file). Please print out the registration form, fill out the information and mail it to Adventures In Japan.


*Please note: this is a Land-only tour; you are responsible for getting to and from Japan.  Steve (or one of his associates) will meet you as you emerge from Customs at Narita Airport in Tokyo on the Tour Commencement Date.  Flights from North America always depart a day earlier, since you "lose a day" crossing the International Date Line.

If you are considering arriving at Haneda Airport, or have other plans for arriving in Tokyo, please discuss this with Steve as early as possible.  Some flights into Haneda arrive at very inconvenient times (which is probably one reason they are usually cheaper)