Kyoto Artistry in Depth (AID) NOVEMBER 5 - NOVEMBER 15 2011

Many of you may know me from our travels together as your tour leader, cultural historian, and art specialist, or from a desire to join my travels, or from the love of art and friendship we share.

A long union with Japan has enabled me to open doors for individuals, groups, museum benefactors, art collectors, and cultural organizations, to the country's treasures. My clients include world-class institutions such as the Royal Academy of Arts, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Institute of Chicago, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Tate Museum; and I have served as study leader for Esprit Travel for Honolulu Academy of Art, Smithsonian Museum, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Oakland Museum of Art.

Furthermore, Japan has served as a departure point for me to engage in extensive travel, research and encounters with Western and Asian art. I am expanding travel programs to include South Korea, China, within the United States (including Los Angeles) and to Europe. I hope you'll join me for some adventures in the near future!

As you know, a devastating earthquake and tsunamis struck the Kanto and Northern Japan region on March 11, 2011. The Japanese people are determined to put all their efforts into recovery and this November, Esprit Travel and I will be working together to do our part to help with the recovery of Japan.

If you love Japan and you want to help the country recover from the terrible disaster, you might consider visiting Kyoto with me to enjoy the stunning gardens, the art, the food, the beautiful homes and everything else that Kyoto has to offer.

For the first time in many years, Esprit Travel is offering a journey available to the general public with a focus on the arts of Kyoto. Kyoto Artistry in Depth (Kyoto AID) will be offered this November 5-15 and a portion of the proceeds will go towards supporting recovery efforts in Japan.

Although the trip is already filling fast, I wanted to let you know in hopes you'll join me in the recovery efforts.

We know that many people saw weeks of news coverage about the damage to Japan and the situation at the Fukushima complex. But, many are not aware of how quickly life in Japan has returned to normal. Most of Japan, including the entire country west of Tokyo, was physically untouched by the disasters. In Kyoto, and other parts of western Japan, everyday life has proceeded as usual.

Japan was struck with a devastating blow to their country, their economy, their land and their people, and their tourism industry as well has suffered considerably, with hotels in areas of the country totally unaffected by the disasters empty; restaurants empty; the nightlife on the tourist streets slow and the flights empty.

Yet everywhere I go, I hear the happy echo of "Thank you for coming" in a particular sing-song intonation that anyone who has heard in a Japanese restaurant or shop cannot forget. A thank you that is deep and heartfelt.

It's been over six months now since the events that devastated Japan and the coast of Tohoku transpired. I am so grateful to the many clients and friends who stepped forward to see if I was safe at the time of the earthquake, and if my Japanese friends and colleagues were safe from the devastation, as well as get involved with relief efforts occurring throughout the world. I hope that you will be as equally generous in helping me to spread the news about the special tour that I am leading as another way to assist the people of Japan.

Kyoto Artistry in Depth NOVEMBER 5 - NOVEMBER 15 2011

Full itinerary can be viewed at

Tour Highlights:

-Learn about the aesthetic of Japanese arts and fine crafts, from traditional to contemporary
-Enjoy thought-provoking introductions to Buddhism and Shintoism, through private meetings with priests and monks in their temples or shrines
-Enter the studios of revered artists and craftsmen, the sensei who carry forward Japan's rich artistic heritage
-Meet masters of tea ceremony, flower arranging, music and more
-Visit selected galleries and museums, including the Miho Museum
-Spend time in exquisitely maintained gardens
-Stroll through typical neighborhoods
-Sample local, seasonal cuisine

Price: $4995

Tour Price Includes:
-Nine nights accommodations in Mitsui Garden Sanjo, double occupancy.
-Daily breakfast and additional meals as indicated.
-Round-trip airport transfers by reserved, shared van shuttle.
-Informative commentary by me as your tour leader, providing interpreting between Japanese and English, and using a unique radio headset system where appropriate.
-Admissions and local transportation
-Single supplement upon request.
-Price may be adjusted at the time of final payment for currency fluctuation.

For any questions about the trip, please contact me at And, as always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to explore the pursuit of experiencing art in Japan, Korea, China, or anywhere else in the world.

With all good wishes and looking forward to traveling with you!

Anne Alene
Art Encounters