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, Kanazawa, and Nara. Your 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; the city’s oldest temple; 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 Ashi Lake cruise. 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 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 samurai warriors’ residences. The journey ends with three nights in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural center. Highlights here include the beloved Golden Pavilion temple; Ryoan-ji temple with its acclaimed Zen garden; and the famed geisha district. In nearby Nara, Japan’s 8th-century capital, visit renowned shrines and Nara Park where deer roam free. Discover cosmopolitan Hiroshima, the city reborn from World War II’s atomic destruction, on an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension.
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Tokyo, Japan
Day 2: Arrive 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/Nara
Day 12: Kyoto
Day 13: Depart Kyoto for U.S.
**Itinerary and pricing subject to change until brochure publication**
Steven Ericson specializes in the history of Japan with a focus on the country's modern transformation. His research centers on government financial and industrial policies and their economic and social effects in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He is the author of The Sound of the Whistle: Railroads and the State in Meiji Japan (Harvard, 1996) and co-editor of The Treaty of Portsmouth and Its Legacies (University Press of New England, 2008). He is currently writing a book on the Japanese financial reform of the early 1880s.