Kyoto, Japan

The Quiet Garden: An Artist’s Journey to Kyoto

Program Overview

Program Dates: May 2022*

Check back soon for updates


Book Independently with your own group* Contact us to schedule your private departure

Kyoto holds the shimmering skyline of a modern city and tender glimpses of traditional Japan. The serene architecture of temples and the low rooflines of the old quarter blend with natural foliage that inspires and replenishes your creative spirit.

Dream and create with the local artists and community members on this AIP journey to Kyoto. Japan's former capital is a global maker city, full of artistry and heritage. You’ll experience Kyoto’s traditional architecture, fashion, food and lifestyle in workshops and tours led by local guides and teachers.

On this journey, we will study a variety of artistic forms (both traditional and modern), get to know the artists who practice them, and reflect on how art functions in communities culturally, socially and economically. Along the way, we’ll take group excursions to appreciate various communities in the region and take in the splendor of the surrounding landscape. All the while we will build a community of fellow travellers who are developing skills as they see Kyoto together.

Trip Highlights

– Residence at a lovely historic building in Kyoto, a traditional Japanese city 

– Insider tours of local artist studio's, museums, workshops and galleries

– Exposure to historic works of art and architecture 

– Workshops and discussions with contemporary artists and designers 

– Daytime excursion to local cities.

– Shopping in fashionable districts and local markets

– Hands on workshops with local artisans in various traditional crafts

– Visit other local maker villages and sanctuaries 

– Guided tours of Kyoto culture and architecture 

– Studio, maker space and exhibition opportunities in the city center 

– Mindfulness experiences to recharge your creative spirit

– Culinary experiences with local chefs 

– Specially curated presentations and experiences by trip leaders and locals

– One-on-one critiques, presentations and lectures to inspire you on your creative journey

Japanese Calligraphy
Japanese Interior

Our Japanese Community

Immerse in the hospitality and traditions of Japan in a welcoming environment of art, craft, and culture.

Suggested Reading:



The Inland Sea,

Donald Richie


The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan,

Ivan Morris


The Sound of Waves,

Yukio Mishima


Japanese Gardens: Tranquility, Simplicity, Harmony,

Geeta K. Mehta and Kimie Tada

Image by Daniel Schludi

Japan is the most intoxicating place for me. The Japanese culture fascinates me: the food, the dress, the manners and the traditions. It’s the travel experience that has moved me the most.


Roman Coppola

Image by Ryan Rios

What's Included?

Our Team: the AIP team is there for you through the entire experience, including travel guides and an interpreter

Food and Drinks: all meals served at the hotel and vetted local eateries, including arrival and final celebration dinners; on travel days, you may dine independently


Accommodations: residence at a traditional property in Kyoto


Ground Transportation: private airport transfers


Activities: guided experiences, events and workshops; day trips to local villages 


Creative Presentations: lectures, critiques and workshops by AIP leaders and local instructors, fees and supplies included


Peace of Mind: international health insurance is provided for all of our participants


Note: Flight not included in price.

The instruction shows the way and the method. The vision is the work of one who has wished to see. (Japanese proverb)
Image by Aya Salman

Artistic Focus

Study contemporary and traditional methods of drawing, painting, writing and other art forms in Kyoto. Make art each day, guided by intellectual and skill-building principles. You may take a class, or work independently on your own projects. 


Ikebana lessons include: 

– Japanese Flower Arranging

– Macha Making

– Kabuki Theatre

– Pottery

– Kimono

– Matcha Tea Ceremony Class

– Yuzen dyeing

– Woodblock Printing

– Roketsu Dyeing Workshop

– Calligraphy

– Incense Listening

– Japanese Garden Design


The focus of the trip is being in the moment and enjoying your time while learning and connecting to the world. Return home with a body of work produced, and broadened cultural perspective.

Image by Chris Barbalis

Program Itinerary

Day 1

– Arrivals in Tokyo and transport to Kyoto residence 

– Welcome reception and celebration dinner

– Included meals: dinner


Day 2

– A day of exploration into the traditions of your new home for two weeks 

– Explore the city of Kyoto on a private walking tour led by a local expert

 – Meet with your creative group to discuss goals for your immersion experience

– Included meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 3, 4 & 5

– Communal breakfast, lunch and dinner, exchanging ideas and excitement with other guests

– Workshops in artisan craft, art and culture with time to work, or use the time for relaxation

– Meet for an aperitif followed by dinner

– Included meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


 Day 6

– Travel to local towns for guided tours of local artist studios and an insider's perspective on the city and its surroundings

– Shopping excursions and museum visits

– Included meals: breakfast 

 Day 7

– Community time

– Mid program celebration dinner

– Included meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 8

– Visit the Miho Museum, designed by architect I.M. Pei

– Included meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 9

– Spend the day relaxing and reflecting

– Included meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 10

– Journey to nearby city to explore art and culture 

– Included meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 11 & 12

– Workshops, art making and living well

– Spend the day relaxing, reflecting and attending workshops 

– Included meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 13

– Explore local museums

– Farewell dinner 

– Included meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 14

– Departures at leisure or take group transport back to Tokyo airport in the morning.

– Included meals: breakfast

Note: This schedule including dates is subject to change due to local weather, force majeure or new opportunities that better suit the needs of the group.

Suggested Reading:

“The present is outside of time.”

― H. E. Davey, The Japanese Way of the Artist: Living the Japanese Arts & Ways, Brush Meditation, The Japanese Way of the Flower


The Japanese Garden, 

The Japanese Garden, 

by Sophie Walker


I think I will be able to, in the end, rise above the clouds and climb the stairs to Heaven, and I will look down on my beautiful life.

Yayoi Kusama


Forget yourself. Become one with eternity. Become part of your environment.

Yayoi Kusama

Image by Simon Goetz

Trip Details and Pricing


*Rooms are all shared

Airfare to Tokyo, Japan is not included.

PRICE: $3900 USD

Image by Sen Lee