Meet the Masters


An Unforgettable Spiritual Trip

Shimane is a place full of mysterious and emotional appeal. The presence of the gods is deeply rooted in the daily lives of its citizens and has dramatically influenced their spirituality. Their sincere hearts and altruistic thinking can be felt in how they approach manufacturing, whether food, sake, or crafts. The Mingei Movement was initially proposed in 1926 by the great thinker Yanagi Muneyoshi and potters Kawai Kanjiro, Hamada Shoji, Bernard Leach, and others. In Shimane, you will find many examples of clean and robust craftsmanship that connect to this movement and seek beauty in everyday life.

Tour Itinerary

Visit Izumo Taisha Shrine, a sacred sake brewery, and a handmade washi (Japanese paper) workshop

Official visit to Izumo Taisha


Over thousands of years, Izumo Taisha Shrine has become one of Japan's most majestic power spots. Said to attract 8 million deities from all over the country, it is one of the most important shrines in Japan, as indicated in Japan's oldest history book, "Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters)." We will formally visit the shrine to pray for good encounters and the safety of travels.

The sake brewery tour and "Kohiru" by Italian chef Fusako Itakura


In a land steeped in mythology, Asahi Shuzo (sake brewery) is a brewery rooted in the local community and brews the sacred sake for Izumo Taisha Shrine. Operated in a structure built in 1926, the brewery listens to the voices of nature's microorganisms while brewing sake with sincerity. Eriko Terada, born in the brewery and in charge of sake brewing, will lead us on a brewery tour and prepare a "Kohiru" in a special room with a sense of history. Enjoy stylish Italian cuisine prepared by chef Fusako Itakura, using local high-quality ingredients and folk-art dishware paired with sake from the brewery. Itakura learned local cuisine while living in Italy but has a deep knowledge of Shimane's ingredients.

Tour of Abe Eishiro Memorial Museum and handmade Washi workshop


The making of paper in this region is so historic that it is recorded in the Shosoin documents created at Todaiji Temple during the Nara period (710-784). In 1931, Muneyoshi Yanagi, who advocated the folk art movement, praised Izumo washi as "This is the Japanese paper!" This led to the birth of a beautiful washi named "Izumo Mingei Paper. The tour will take you to the memorial hall of Abe Eishiro, who contributed to the popularity of handmade washi. We will visit a handmade washi workshop where the traditional techniques are still being handed down today. Upon request, you can try making washi.

Experience Mingei Tea Ceremony at Shinichiro Abe's Residence


In Matsue, a castle town steeped in history and culture, you will enjoy local seafood served on unique dishware created by a ceramic artist associated with the inn. The karesansui-style garden with the lake as its backdrop is highly rated annually by the American magazine, "The Journal of Japanese Gardens." Many writers and artists loved the garden, and their works grace the interior of the ryokan.


Long-established Onsen-ryokan

Visit a Mingei workshop. Experience the Mankusen Shrine ritual

Lunch at Shokusai Nakashima


A gem of Japanese restaurants, Shokusai Nakashima is quietly nestled in the charming town of Matsue. Its chef, Ichiro Nakajima, has a long career in Japanese cuisine and is highly acclaimed. You will be impressed with his lean choices and quality ingredients. Surrounded by the sea, mountains, and lakes, you will enjoy the seasonal bounty of this rich natural environment.

Visit Shussaiori Tatano Studio


does all these processes by hand. The traditional method of fermenting and dyeing indigo takes a lot of time and effort, but the deep and unique texture woven by nature is exceptional. Visitors can order scarves and textiles personalized with their choice of indigo colors and patterns, consulting with the makers.

Visit Shussai-gama (Shussai kiln)


Shussai-gama was established in 1947 by five local passionate young men. Influenced by William Morris, the leader of the Arts and Crafts Movement, they sought guidance from Muneyoshi Yanagi and other leading members of the Mingei movement. The characteristics of Shussai Kiln pottery are dignified and nostalgic as it colors our daily lives and enriches our hearts. Mr. Makoto Tadano, the representative of the kiln, will demonstrate how it is fired several times a year, including the large six-cell climbing kiln.

Teatime at Tatano House

You will enjoy teatime using Mingei-inspired pottery at the private residence of Mr. Makoto Tatano, who is the Mingei pottery kiln "Shussai-gama" representative. You will relax in an atmosphere typical of Shimane.

Special prayer service at Mankusen Shrine


It is said that once a year, the gods gather in Izumo from all over Japan and make a final stop at Mankusen Shrine. They hold a divine council and banquet before departing for their respective hometowns. At this shrine, which is a fitting place to conclude your trip, participants will experience special prayer services. (Tying a knot, Tamagushi worship, and ceremonial feast.) While expressing gratitude for encounters and safe travels.


Trip Details

Meet the Masters

Limited to one group per day

2 persons/group 1 days + 1 night


1 breakfast + 1 KOHIRU and 1 lunch + 1 dinner Transportation and pick-up by private car included *Airfare is not included. The price shown is for a group of 4. Please inquire about the price for 2~3 persons.

Inquiries and Applications

Organized by:General Incorporated Association Expe
Supported by: Inbound Tourism Research Institute, Inc.
Planning and Production: shokolatt