[Clayart] Elite Travel and Tour Company

sharonia628 via Clayart clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
Wed Oct 28 18:25:04 EDT 2015

Hello all,
I just got back from a 9 day ceramic tour of Kyoto, led by Elite Travel and
Tour Company. This is a small company dedicated to promoting the art of
Japan. I believe they do 3 tours a year: ceramics, fiber, and arts and
It was my first trip to Japan - I've dreamed of it for 20 years and it was
the trip of a lifetime. Due, in great part to the organization and tour
leaders of this company.
We stayed in a wonderful hotel, right in the Central Kyoto and every day we
were taken to potters' studios, temples, tea ceremonies, craft exhibitions,
tours of various parts of Kyoto. There were trips to Tamba, Bizen and
Shigaraki, there were discussions with the wonderful potters and tea and
sweets and gifts given. Robert Yellin, who is a connoisseur of Japanese
pottery, took us to museums (including the fabulous new Sagawa museum
dedicated to Raku Kichizaemon IV). We saw such wonderful pots! Many meals
were included, including a Kaiseki lunch, a lunch by the monks of a temple,
several fabulous dinners.
The tour guide, Keiko, was with us the whole time and was an absolute
sweetheart: patient, kind, knowledgable, organized.
It took me a whole week after getting back to come back to earth - I really
felt I had been to another planet.

I do wonder how so many wood firing potters manage to fire these incredible
anagama and norigama kilns without even using cones, much less pyrometers,
and certainly not kiln computers.  The tenmoku glazes were incredible!

I signed on to this tour after I saw an ad in Ceramics monthly - it seemed
perfect for what I wanted - it was a small group of 11 people from USA
mainland, Honolulu and Australia.  I thought more people should know about
this tour company, I can't praise it enough.

Sharon Miranda

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