South Korea and Japan Arts and Culture Tour

July 1 - July 12


Many great Japanese ceramic traditions began in Korea. In the 15th and 16th century, Korean ceramics was so highly valued by the Japanese for the quality of their form, glaze, and decoration that Korean potters were forcibly brought back to the northern area of Kyushu Japan during the “pottery wars” of 1592 and 1597. At the time, Korean ceramic technology -- including kiln design and construction -- far surpassed what Japanese potters could produce. The noborigama (chambered climbing kiln) was introduced from Korea to Japan -- via Karatsu -- in the 17th century and forever changed the ceramic landscape. The result is some of Japan’s most famous pottery styles: Arita and Imari porcelains, Karatsu and Hagi tea wares, and Onta folk pottery.

STARworks is excited to host a tour of South Korea and Japan that will trace the cultural and technical connections between two of the world’s most famous ceramic pottery cultures. Your hosts will include Nancy Gottovi, Executive Director of STARworks and a cultural anthropologist who has traveled to South Korea and Japan many times, Mr Oh Hyang Jong, a well known ceramic artist in South Korea, Hitomi Shibata, a ceramic artist living and working in Seagrove, NC from Shigaraki, Japan, and Takuro Shibata, director of STARworks Ceramics and a ceramic artist from Japan.


• 6 days in South Korea and 6 days in Japan -- you will visit two countries in one trip

• 3 days in Seoul, South Korea, visiting the beautiful Samsung Museum, the National Museum of Korea, and some of the many galleries of Insadong.

• Visit World Ceramic Center in Icheon in South Korea

• Visit Gwangju area to see the studios of master potters Oh Hyang Jong, Lee Kang Hyo, and others.

• Visit the famous traditional pottery villages of Karatsu, Arita, Koishiwara and

Onta and learn about some of the world’s most famous pottery traditions

• Visit and have tea with artists in their studios and learn about their work

• Visit galleries and museums in Karatsu, Arita, Koishiwara and Onta

• Stay in a traditional Japanese Onsen ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn with traditional Japanese cuisine.

Price:   $4750 USD


Tour price includes:

  • All hotel accommodations based on double occupancy; single supplement $700

  • Daily breakfast and 2 lunches and 2 dinners

  • Studio visits and informative talks by Korean and Japanese artists, and others

  • Travel from Seoul to Fukuoka (one way) and airport transfers by reserved, shared shuttle

  • Admissions and local transportation (except for some individual free day transportation)

  • Luggage transfers 

Not included:

  • Airfare between the US and Korea and Japan is not included but the price does include one-way airfare between Seoul and Fukuoka.

  • Travel insurance

  • Lunches and dinners except as specified above

  • Price may be adjusted slightly at the time of final payment for currency fluctuation

  • Please contact us for any more details at (910) 428-9001,