Designer Maker Morgan Wills has long had a fascination for all things Japan – its people, culture, food, fabric, craft and particularly all things ‘kawaii’ (cute).
Morgan has spent the last thirteen years running the Crafty Squirrel – her studio shop located in the Victorian regional city of Ballarat after she and her family made the tree change from inner city Melbourne.
Part of her business planning and dreaming always included traveling to source new products for her store and in 2017 she decided to share her favourite parts of Japan with fellow crafters, the Crafty Squirrel Tokyo tour was born.
Fast forward to 2024 and the Crafty Squirrel Japan Tours of Tokyo in April each year & Kyoto in October have been a complete success!
Running over 10 to 12 days the intimate tours made up of 12 creative women - include lots of craft workshops like sashiko stitching, shibori/indigo dyeing, saori weaving, washi paper making, book binding, ikebana, furoshiki, temari, yubinuki, box making, cooking and more plus visits to different craft fairs and markets, fabric town, some of Morgan’s favourite craft shops and a bit of fossicking at some fabulous antique/flea markets.
The tours are ideal for first time visitors who love getting crafty and making things or those that love Japanese crafts and want to enjoy a more focused trip. Individual travellers and friends are welcome to travel together.
Morgan’s aim is to give you a taste of what is on offer “craft wise” in this fabulous country. No matter what your interest, you’re sure to find something you can’t go home without!
Bookings are now open for the next tours in 2024 and beyond - Kyoto 13 to 22 October 2024 (limited spots left) & Tokyo in April 2025 - please enquire directly for more details and to go on the waiting list or see Workshops/Retreats in our online shop for bookings.
We have also expanded our love for Japan and Japanese crafts and now run japanese themed craft retreats and workshops in Australia. The next craft retreat in Hobart will run from 31 July to 5 August and is now taking bookings.
In 2025 we are very excited to be co-hosting our first ever textiles tour of India from the 22 Jan to 4 Feb. Please get in touch to obtain the itinerary and booking form (limited spaces available).
For more information about tours, retreats & workshops (and to be added to the waitlists) – please get in touch either in store or by email - email@example.com.
Thanks for a great trip. I had way too much fun and really enjoyed shopping and crafting with our group. You put so much work into it and I really appreciate what you did. I’m already looking forward to going back one day.
Gail – May 2017
Oh my gosh – it was SO much fun! We had the most wonderful time and we saw SOOO much that we could never, ever have seen unless on this well-organized tour. It was the trip of a lifetime, and a major bucket-list item for me. I hope I can go again one day!
Fiona – October 2017
This tour was the best week of my life! I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and for making the trip so enjoyable. Your focus on ensuring the tour was as wonderful as it was is to be commended and your patience in dealing with us deserves a gold medal! I don’t have enough good words to say about you and this tour!
Clare – April 2018
Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me fall in love with Japan, for the lifelong friendships I’ve made and the amazing memories I will always carry with me.
Sharon – April 2018
If you’re contemplating one of these tours, don’t hesitate! Exquisitely planned; every detail considered, and packed with interesting and exciting day tours (and food). Best thing you’ll ever do .... book now!!
Vicki – April 2019
Morgan thank you so much for the wonderful “crafty” tour to Kyoto in May 2023. For anyone wanting to join Morgan for future tours I wholeheartedly recommend it. Fabulous accommodation, excellent hands on projects, enough free time to do your own exploring and nothing left to chance. Morgan’s eye for detail and professional manner meant this tour was worry free and full of enjoyment. Thanks Morgan
Maree – May 2023