TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST JAPAN TOURS:
Cathy Hinrichs, Spearfish, SD - "What an inspirational trip I took to the International Quilt Festival in Tokyo with Luana Rubin. Seeing the work of the Japanese quilt arts was a particular thrill. The tours seeing how Obis are made, Indigo dying, riding the bullet train to Nara, the Kimono Museum were highlights of the journey. Even now I pull out the treasures I brought home and remember this trip. Would go again in a heartbeat!"
Kris Jensen, Boulder, Colorado- "From the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival to the world renowned "Symphony of Light" kimono of Itchiku Kubota at the museum near iconic Mount Fuji and so much in between, Craftours provided professional service with a warm personal touch and attentiveness to detail from start to finish; and yet remained gracious, and open to opportunity and serendipity that happened along the way. Words can’t do justice to an experience that went beyond bucket list caliber.
Japan at last. Touring around Tokyo on the dragon bus. The world’s largest city, the ancient and traditional and the ultra modern and futuristic, all layered together: the temples, shrines and torii gates, gingko trees, a traditional Japanese wedding procession passing by at the Meiji shrine, the Blue and White store. In Japan, shopping, like many things, is elevated to an art form.
Departing for Kyoto through the countryside on a legendary bullet train. A great group to adventure with: well-traveled, worldly and devoted to textiles and quilting. My people, not to mention the professional photographer and his wife who were along and provided a world-class remembrance of the trip through the pictures taken and made available, in addition to my own.
Magical Kiyo-mizu temple and pagoda on the hillside above Kyoto. Happening upon a national archery competition at an 800 year old Buddhist temple. The Golden Pavilion.The Kasuga Taisha Shinto shrine in Nara, stood watch over by a 600 year old wisteria. The Japanese reverence for nature.
Returning to Tokyo by way of the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum to see the unforgettable "Symphony of Light" kimono; Kubota’s life’s work. There are no words.
Back in Tokyo to take in the largest show of its kind on the planet: The Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival. Two heavenly days viewing many hundreds of marvelous quilts and their makers, shopping for textiles and kimono and designing a quilt of my own dreams.
Thanks for the memories Craftours..."
Chris Bredwell, Tucson, Arizona - "Local tour guides were exceptional. Their knowledge of Japan (customs, local area, etc.) top notch and entertaining! Accommodations classy."
Nancy Withers, Batavia, Ohio - "Awesome Awesome Awesome"
Paula Von Winckelmann, Paso Robles, California - "This was my first trip to Japan and it was a wonderful introduction to the country and the Japanese people and their culture."
Leah Jordan, Clarksville, Tennessee - "This was a wonderful tour. I would never have gotten to this part of the world without this great tour offering."
Audrey Mantle, Lafayette, California - "The balance of planned activities and free time was good. We were traveling with a very savvy group of women who came up with suggestions - fabric shopping street, Shibori museum, and fabric/craft shop across from our hotel in Kyoto. We found the Gallery of Japanese Arts and Crafts which was wonderful. The day trip to the Kimono Museum and Mt. Fuji was great with a wonderful, typical lunch included. The workshops were well organized, fun and a change of pace from touring. The hotels and included meals were excellent. Our guide in Kyoto (Sunny) was excellent and a delightful person. It was a wonderful first trip to Japan and I thoroughly enjoyed it."
Ann McDevitt, Burlington, Massachusetts - "This is my third tour with this company. It was excellent as usual. I will be signing up for another tour very soon."
Cindy Pomerico, Paso Robles, California - "This was my first trip in a group. I enjoyed it."
Marlene Barkley, El Macero, California - "I loved the Japan tour. Everything went so smoothly due to expert leaders. The hotels were the best."
Ruth McKinney, DeSoto, Texas - "I really enjoyed the entire tour. The quilt show was great. But, the shrines and temples we saw were also fabulous."
Julia Graves, Leesburg, Virginia - "This trip was very professionally run. I loved going to the Tokyo International Quilt Festival - it had been on my bucket list for a long time. The kimono museum was very unique."
Laura Murphy, Thousand Oaks, California - "I really enjoyed the trip! We had a chance to see a lot of fun and interesting sites and Craftours selected excellent guides who made the tour an excellent experience."
Lena Muller, Cornelius, North Carolina - "The trip to Japan was more than I expected. I saw his respectful and friendly the people are. The accommodations and food were excellent. My favorite highlight of the trip was a dinner with a Maiko and Geisha. Our escorts, Sherrill and Sonny were very good in keeping us on track and informative of the Japanese culture."
Grace Brouillette, Banning, California - "The Japan tour was wonderful. The Quilt show was wonderful. The crafts we did were such fun and such good memories. And the trips to the temples, shrines, and museums was a nice compliment to the show. Sherrill our guide was fun and helpful. I even made new friends."
Katherine Cutler, Vernon, Vermont - "This was the best run, most enjoyable tour I have ever joined. It was beyond my expectations and I can't stop telling everyone about it and recommending Craftours to anyone who wants a total travel experience."
Holly Betz, Aliso Viejo, California - "This trip was the perfect combination of introducing us to Japanese culture through shrines, gardens, food, along with an opportunity to experience and practice their unique artistic expression. The hotel accommodations, tour director and our local tour guide were all exceptional."
Peggy Barton, Cornelius, North Carolina - "It was a fabulous trip. I came home with a new appreciation for the friendliness of the Japanese people and the cleanliness of their country. Besides meeting new friends, seeing things I had only read about and eating new foods, I had many experiences I will never forget."
Patty Goddard, Paducah, Kentucky - "I had a great time. I learned a lot and saw many, many beautiful things."
Jean Wright, Washington, DC - "It was a well planned tour with time for quilting, craft workshops and shopping. A great addition would be The Textile Center in Kyoto as they have wonderful pieces for sale."
Janet Houts, Bellevue, ID - "The tour was wonderful! The planned events and hotel accommodations were excellent. We never felt rushed, attended plenty of events and had ample free time."
Heather Pregger, Fort Worth, TX - "It was a wonderful experience! I loved every minute of it. We got to see many beautiful sights and to participate in several craft workshops."
Kathleen Butz, Wytheville, VA - "Travel to Japan is a unique experience. Craftours puts a lot of effort into all the logistics and timeframes needed to pull off such a tour. I enjoyed seeing the wonderful and unique sites we visited and our tour guides were very knowledgeable and spoke very good English. Melissa Sobotka was a delight to travel with and enjoyed getting to know her and her unique quilting style. Will consider taking another tour in the future."
Paula Golden, Blacksburg, VA - "The Craft Tours to Japan was a beautiful introduction to the culture and art of Japan."
Bunnie Jordan, Vienna, VA - "Wonderful tour. Full itinerary. All trips/events went smoothly."
Frances Hafer, Dallas, TX - "Absolutely wonderful experience! I would go back tomorrow if I could. The show was outstanding and well worth the trip itself, but there was a lot to this tour beyond the show and you could tell that there was a lot of care put into the planning."
Marsha Mowery, Fort Worth, CO - "This was one of the best tours I have been on. The guides were fantastic--very informative and helpful. The quilt festival was fabulous and the rest of the tour just icing on the cake."
Natalie Friedman, Lewisville, TX - "As a long-time traveler, compulsive pre-planner, and a control freak, I had some anxiety about giving up all that planning and control for this trip. As it turns out, I didn’t need to worry. Craftours did a wonderful job of doing the planning and worrying for me! It was a very pleasant and enjoyable experience to be able to relax and go with the flow, and still have a great travel adventure!"
Lynda Ryan, Kenosha, WI - "This was a good blending of seeing some of the culture as well as crafts."
Jill Lombard, Carlsbad, CA - "I had a wonderful time."
Karen Jordan, Naperville, IL - "I enjoyed my first trip to Japan with Craftours. It was a good overall introduction to the country."
Patricia Adair, Huntington Beach, CA - "I enjoyed all aspects of this tour culminating with the wonderful Tokyo International Quilt Show."
Patricia White, Calabash, NC - "Very enjoyable tour. The hotels, transportation, tour guides, crafting experiences were great."
Pamela M Gayle, Huntington Beach, CA - "I had a good time. Japan was a beautiful country to visit and something that I wouldn’t have done on my own because of the language difference."
Lynne Cranson, Yuma, AZ - "It was a wonderful experience."
Sandra Fisher, Davis, CA - “This was my first Craftours and I was very impressed. Our schedule was full and active. We were led on a variety of very educational tours daily along with hands-on craft activities. We were able to learn about the culture and the lives of the people. It was physically challenging at times but well worth the effort. I will definitely be going on more Craftours!”
Pat Christenson, Kirkland, WA - “This was a great taste of a small part of Japan. The crafts we did were fun and unique. The Kimonos were amazing. I had a great time.”
Susan Elliott, Panama City, FL - “Our tour in Japan was wonderful! We visited so many places - the temples and shrines and markets often seen in tourist information. Then we had events that made our Craftours unique...a Japanese dinner with Geisha Performance, an Indigo dyeing Workshop, a Kaleidoscope workshop and so many other wonderful events!”
Doni Boyd, Brookings, OR - “CraftTours have the BEST Tours. You can relax knowing that everything has been planned to the max. Alice was a great guide, she can both calm us down and get us going as needed.The craft activities were delightful, the hotels were top-notch. Well Done!”
Jackie Nelson, Greensboro, NC - “Kyoto was amazing!”
Catherine Peterson, Floral Park, NY - “Overall, going to Japan was an enriching experience. The shared experience was one that will not soon be forgotten.”
Mary Anne Ahtye, Novato, CA - “I normally do not spend this amount of money for travel. I did feel that Japan Craftour was of good value and contained many highlight workshops, sights, food experiences, and an awesome guide. Alice was great!”
Shelley Wilson, Murrieta, CA - “Most likely I would never have had the opportunity to visit Japan for the first time if not for the opportunity presented to me to participate in Craftours event.”
Maryanne Dochter, Lititz, PA - “I loved the experience.”
Patricia Wood, Battle Ground, WA - “One of the most outstanding shows I have ever attended!”
Linda Fukunaga, Sequim, WA - “Loved it! Etsuko was a traffic escort. Went specifically for the Quilt Show but loved the tour more Highlight was the Kubota kimono exhibit. Just breathtaking.”
Karen Parkes, Glenolden, PA - “I enjoyed myself. It was my first trip to Japan and Deb haugan and Ekka(Japanese guide) took us everywhere. The international quilt festival was outstanding and I am not a quilter.”
Sher Koglin, Harrison, MI - “I enjoyed the tour. All of the craft making ( fake food, indigo dying, Tea room, and kaleidoscope ) were very enjoyable and fun.”
Mary Ann Hayre, Santa Rosa, CA - “I really enjoyed this tour with its many outstanding crafts and activities. A few, however, were beyond outstanding, specifically the Kaleidoscope workshop (what fun), the Indigo Dyeing workshop, the Tea Ceremony and the Itchiku Kubota Museum with all the wonderful kimonos. I wish we had bullet trains in the US!”
Genelle Voorhees, Santa Rosa, CA - “It was a fun packed tour with crafts and sightseeing.”
Michaela Burgnon, Odenton, MD - “Enjoyed the trip tremendously. The hotels were wonderful. The Japanese tour guide - Etsuko - was knowledgeable and patient. She was a great person. I highly recommend this tour for an overview of Japan's culture. Enjoyed the quilt show too - you did not have to be a quilter to love this trip. So much activity.”
Lynne Creed, North Bend, WA - “It was a wonderful experience. The hotels were excellent and located next to many restaurants and shops. The daily excursions allowed us to see much more than we could have on our own. We didn't have to worry about transportation or tickets or any details at all which made the trip so relaxing. The quilt show was amazing! Also I liked that we could easily choose to skip any activity and go our own way.”
Julie Wickware, Clinton, MI - “The trip was delightful. Learned about the culture of Japan, enjoyed the crafts and friendliness of all.”