It’s a fascinating land of delicate art and bustling commerce, of rich traditions and dizzying modernity – all revealed on this well-crafted 13-day small group tour, limited to 24 travelers. See Tokyo and Kyoto’s highlights, engage in local life, and head off the beaten path to the lovely historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa. The journey begins with three nights in amazing Tokyo, where, along with time to explore independently, touring includes a preeminent calligrapher’s gallery, the imposing Imperial Palace, tranquil Meiji Shrine, the famed Ginza district, and the impressive Tokyo National Museum. Japan’s pastoral side is on tap next in stunning Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park with majestic Mt. Fuji and a scenic cruise on Ashi Lake. After overnighting at a traditional ryokan inn, board an express train to Takayama in the Japanese Alps to explore this ancient town during a two-night sojourn. A traditional tea ceremony and a cooking class offer opportunities to experience Japanese culture firsthand. Visit historic Shirakawago Village, a UNESCO site. Reaching culturally rich Kanazawa for a two-night stay, tour famed Kenrokuen Garden, visit a gold leaf museum, and see the Higashi Chayagai teahouse area. The journey ends with three nights in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural center. Among many highlights here: the beloved Golden Pavilion temple, Ryoan-ji temple with its acclaimed Zen garden, and the extravagant 17th-century Nijo-jo Castle. Visit the otherworldly Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the important Fushimi Inari shrine, and Nishiki Market, “Kyoto’s Kitchen.” Discover cosmopolitan Hiroshima, reborn from its atomic destruction, with an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension.
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Tokyo, Japan
Day 2: Arrive in Tokyo
Day 3: Tokyo
Day 4: Tokyo
Day 5: Tokyo/Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park/Hakone
Day 6: Hakone/Takayama
Day 7: Takayama
Day 8: Takayama/Shirakawago/Kanazawa
Day 9: Kanazawa
Day 10: Kanazawa/Kyoto
Day 11: Kyoto
Day 12: Kyoto
Day 13: Depart Kyoto for U.S.
Dennis Washburn is the Burlington Northern Professor in Asian Studies. During his career at Dartmouth, he has served as chair for Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and for the program in Comparative Literature, as House Professor for the Living/Learning Communities, and as Associate Dean of the Faculty for Interdisciplinary and International Programs. He has taught a wide range of courses in language, Japanese and comparative literature, and film, and is a recipient of the Jerome Goldman award for distinguished teaching. In 2004 he received the Japan Foreign Minister’s Citation for contributions to the promotion of cross-cultural understanding .
His research covers both classic and modern subjects. Author of The Dilemma of the Modern in Japanese Fiction and Translating Mount Fuji: Modern Japanese Fiction and The Ethics of Identity, he has also edited several volumes, including The Affect of Difference: Representations of Race in Asian Empire. An active translator, his recent works include Mizukami Tsutomu’s The Temple of the Wild Geese, for which he was awarded the US-Japan Friendship Commission Prize, Tsushima Yuko’s Laughing Wolf, and a new translation and critical edition of the Japanese classic, The Tale of Genji.