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An artistic journey through ancient and modern Japan

JAPAN

WHEN TO GO

SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER

IDEAL LENGTH

17 NIGHTS

FLIGHT FROM LONDON

15 HRS

Home

Japan

An artistic journey through ancient and modern Japan 

Follow in the footsteps of the earliest European visitors to Japan, the Dutch traders who travelled from Nagasaki to pay tribute to the Shogun in Edo, modern Tokyo, accompanied by renowned artists and curators. How did traditional Japanese aesthetics, as expressed through the decorative arts influence Western art? 

 

Enjoy privileged access to temples, museums and artisan studios, observing how ancient design concepts are apparent in contemporary Japanese art and architecture. Explore diverse landscapes over land and sea, from historic craft villages and wild forests to dynamic cities, staying at traditional ryokans, timeless spaces to reflect on this exploration of the ancient and modern.   

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Historic encounters and wild beauty 

Once Japan’s sole ‘window to the outside world', Dejima was an artificial island in Nagasaki Bay where the first encounters with Western traders took place, and private tours of Nagasaki’s museums offer insights into the early relationship between European and Japanese cultures. Explore the aesthetic concepts embodied in traditional ceramics in the renowned town of Arita, with rare opportunities to meet with local artists. 

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A voyage through art and nature 

Continue to Honshu and encounter the powerful atmosphere of Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial. From there, embark on a private yacht voyage of the serene Seto Inland Sea, framed by three of Japan’s main islands. Explore the treasures of the Benesse Art Islands, guided by distinguished curators on intimate visits to key cultural sites including Naoshima’s Art House Project. How do these immersive artistic spaces reflect the traditional principles of Japanese aesthetics?  

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Kyoto's renaissance 

Encounter the artistry and traditions of Kyoto’s finest temples accompanied by renowned experts, unlocking access to artists’ studios and galleries.  Examine contemporary Japanese design on private tours of the innovative Miho Museum and Toyota’s Museum of Art. Do these hyper-modernist structures successfully combine ancient Japanese concepts of beauty with Western forms? How do their collections express the Japanese view of International art? 

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Rustic tranquillity meets urban dynamism 

Next, explore rural Japan in the Kiso Valley, soaking in age-old customs at elegant ryokans. In Kanazawa, learn how cutting-edge art movements and craft traditions have interplayed over the centuries followed by curator-led visits which open doors to extraordinary collections and galleries in Tokyo. In the small rural pottery town of Maishiko, the Museum of Ceramic Art is home to the kiln of Shoji Hamada, one of its founding fathers and most influential potters.  

Kyushu 
Seto Inland Sea
Benesse Art Islands
Kyoto 
Takayama and Kanazawa 
Tokyo and Mashiko

ENLIGHTENED TRAVEL, SHAPED BY YOU

Choose a location anywhere on earth, from the cultural hubs of Europe to the wilds of Patagonia, and share your passions with us. A Guild of experts will add substance and purpose to one-off experiences, shaped by you. The Luminaire shares private access, selects properties of historical or cultural provenance, and creates engaging and accessible ways to participate and learn, for a community of curious minds, young and old.

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