IRC 2024 Study Tour

Monday, October 21, 2024
to Thursday, October 31, 2024
Category: Study Tours

2024 Study Tour, Japan

The International Relations Committee (IRC) of ARLIS/NA is pleased to announce the 2024 Study Tour to Japan, in collaboration with the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (東京文化財研究所, Tōkyō Bunkazai Kenkyū-jo, or “Tobunken”).


Coordinated by the IRC, the 2024 ARLIS/NA Japan Study Tour, the first to Asia, will offer in-depth visits to renowned sites in Tokyo, Kyoto, and elsewhere. A hallmark of IRC Study Tours is behind-the-scenes tours that offer special access to collections as well as generous hospitality by hosts, and this trip promises an abundance of very special opportunities. The dates of the 2024 tour will be October 21-29, with an optional excursion to the island of Naoshima–known for its contemporary art museums–on October 30-31. 

The tour will be limited to 13 ARLIS/NA members. A tentative itinerary and estimated costs follow, so members may begin planning to participate. More information and updated details are forthcoming, as Group Leaders and our Japanese colleagues continue to develop what is sure to be a 素晴らしい日程  (subarashii nittei = fabulous itinerary) for participants!


Please note that some activities may change based on our hosts’ schedules and needs.

Sunday, October 20

  • Arrive in Tokyo 

  • Check in to Tokyo hotel

  • Evening reception or dinner (optional)

Monday, October 21

  • Tobunken (Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)

  • Tokyo National Museum

  • Tokyo University of the Arts and its University Library

Tuesday, October 22

  • National Museum of Western Art

  • International Symposium hosted by Tobunken: 2 speakers from ARLIS/NA, 2 speakers from Japan. Proposal and more information here.

  • Reception

Wednesday, October 23

  • National Diet Library

  • Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and its Art Library

Thursday, October 24

  • Free day in Tokyo

Friday, October 25

  • Waseda University Library and Aizu Yaichi Memorial Museum

  • National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT) and its Art Library

Saturday, October 26

  • Depart Tokyo

  • Travel from Tokyo to Kyoto by bullet train

  • Check in to Kyoto Hotel

  • Free afternoon in Kyoto 

Sunday, October 27

  • Free day in Kyoto, Nara, and/or Osaka

Monday, October 28

  • Nichibunken (International Research Center for Japanese Studies)

  • The Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University

Tuesday, October 29

  • Oiri Ltd. (Conservation studio and bindery)

  • Unsōdō (Publisher)

  • Yamazaki Gallery

  • Closing dinner

Wednesday, October 30

  • Depart Kyoto Hotel

  • Return to North America 

– or –

  • Begin optional excursion to Naoshima:

    • Travel from Kyoto to Takamatsu

    • Check in at Takamatsu hotel

    • Ferry to Naoshima (if time allows) for:

      • Art House Project

      • Ando Museum

Thursday, October 31, 2024 – optional 

  • Benesse Art Site Naoshima sites (exact itinerary to be determined):

    • Chichu Art Museum

    • Lee Ufan Museum

    • Benesse House Museum

    • Hiroshi Sugimoto Gallery

Friday, November 1, 2024 – optional

  • Depart Takamatsu hotel

  • Return to North America

Tour Information

Registration and Deposit

Complete the Expression of Interest Form by July 21 to confirm your availability and indicate your interest in attending the 2024 Japan Study Tour.

Due to equity and space considerations, slots are reserved for ARLIS/NA members only. If interest exceeds capacity, attendees will be selected by random lottery. We estimate that total costs will range between $3,200–$5,400 per person.

Registration will occur in August, with an initial deposit (amount to be determined) expected at that time, to be used toward group activities and local group transportation during the trip.

Cancellation Policy

Deadlines and procedures to be determined.


To be determined.

Flight Arrangements

You are responsible for booking and paying for your own flight. Please note that you should not purchase your ticket until you receive an email from the Group Leaders that you are confirmed as a participant and that the minimum of 10 participants has been reached. ARLIS/NA and the Study Tour organizers are not responsible for travel to and from the Study Tour site, and therefore are not able to issue any refunds for travel for any reason.

Estimated Costs

Estimates are provided to the best of our ability, for planning and information purposes only. Price variations are unpredictable and may be influenced by supply and demand, currency exchange rates, or other factors. 

To help you estimate your costs, a downloadable budget worksheet is coming soon.


A Study Tour is a great opportunity to visit colleagues, their collections, and tour relevant cultural institutions while representing ARLIS/NA and your home institution. Past tours include library visits, business meetings, collections presentations, and are often in conjunction with conferences, symposiums, or colloquiums. Applications for ARLIS/NA Study Tours will be accepted for current ARLIS/NA members working or currently seeking employment as arts information professionals. Spouses, partners, or friends of Study Tour participants are welcome to travel with participants; however, their inclusion in tour activities or special events is very unlikely during the Japan Study Tour.

An agenda is constructed by the tour leaders in conjunction with hosts in the chosen location. All items on the agenda are by formal invitation of the hosts and the following guidelines are recommended for all scheduled activities:

  • Participants are expected to participate in the agenda provided by the host(s) and plan to visit local sites either before or after the Study Tour.

  • Study Tour schedules often begin early in the morning and include multiple visits throughout the entire day. Sometimes meals are included or time is allotted for meals on one’s own. It is important that all participants arrive at designated meeting points on time in order to keep the schedule accurate for all our hosts.

  • As representatives of ARLIS/NA and their institutions, participants should dress in a manner that is appropriate for business and wear comfortable shoes for extensive walking and standing.

  • Please refrain from separating from the group while in transit between tour locations.

  • Our hosts often include their supervising directors, or other VIP administrators, in our meetings and tours.

  • Please be prepared to participate in discussions related to the arts information profession and follow all security rules provided by the host institution when invited to examine collections.

  • Not all items on the agenda will be of interest to everyone in a group, however our hosts will expect the entire group to participate and will plan activities based on our full number.

  • If a participant is unable to attend a scheduled part of the agenda, it is advised that the tour leader be informed before the activity. Participants are also recommended to send a note of regret to the host.

  • Many countries and cultures that we visit are very generous with receptions and souvenir gifts. It is recommended that participants bring business cards, brochures, and/or small hostess gifts that represent their institution. Participants should also plan to send thank you notes or emails after the trip is complete.

Contact the 2024 IRC Study Tour organizers for more information: