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JAPAN

The Cultural Highlights of Japan

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Road Scholar
Program #19725RJ
16 Days | 15 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Your one piece of main luggage (a medium suitcase no larger than 25in x 18in x11in) should have wheels for easy navigation through train stations and public transport. We recommend good quality comfortable shoes/boots that are suitable for walking.

Itinerary for Oct 14 — Oct 29, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Tuesday, October 14 - Depart the USA
Evening: Depart on overnight flights from the USA.

Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: The Yaesu Terminal Hotel is a modern, comfortable business hotel located in the busy and popular Marunouchi district, only a 3-minute walk from Tokyo station and surrounded by shops and restaurants. In common with many Japanese city hotels, the rooms are a good deal smaller than you may be accustomed to. However, the location is second to none in terms of accessibility and convenience.

Contact info:
Yaesu 1-5-14
Chuo-Ku
Tokyo, 103-0028 Japan
phone: +81 -3-3281-3771
web: www.yth.jp/english/index.html

Room amenities: Western-style rooms with air-conditioning, High-Speed Wireless Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, tea making facility, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer. Non-smoking rooms are available

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar; WiFi Internet access in lobby, concierge desk and laundry service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Contact Program Provider
Contact Program Provider for Rates and Reservations.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Wednesday, October 15 - Arrivals / Welcome and Program Overview
Note: Allow 2 hours for a road or rail / taxi transfer from Narita Airport to the hotel in Tokyo. If arriving independently, take a 55 minute journey on the Narita Express, a 7 minute walk through Tokyo station with luggage, and a 3-minute walk to the hotel.

Afternoon: Arrivals at Narita Airport, Tokyo's international airport. Travel to the program hotel in central Tokyo.

Dinner: An initial program briefing is held over our first meal of the program.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Yaesu Terminal Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: The Yaesu Terminal Hotel is a modern, comfortable business hotel located in the busy and popular Marunouchi district, only a 3-minute walk from Tokyo station and surrounded by shops and restaurants. In common with many Japanese city hotels, the rooms are a good deal smaller than you may be accustomed to. However, the location is second to none in terms of accessibility and convenience.

Contact info:
Yaesu 1-5-14
Chuo-Ku
Tokyo, 103-0028 Japan
phone: +81 -3-3281-3771
web: www.yth.jp/english/index.html

Room amenities: Western-style rooms with air-conditioning, High-Speed Wireless Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, tea making facility, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer. Non-smoking rooms are available

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar; WiFi Internet access in lobby, concierge desk and laundry service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Contact Program Provider
Contact Program Provider for Rates and Reservations.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Three: Thursday, October 16 - Edo – the City of the Shogun
Note: A 1.5 mile walk through the grounds of the Imperial Palace East gardens and Yasukuni Shrine. In the afternoon, a 15-minute transfer is followed by approximately 0.5 mile walk around the Edo Tokyo museum. The return journey to the vicinity of the hotel is 20 minutes via public transport and walking.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Begin with an exploration of the Imperial Palace East gardens, the site of the Shogun’s castle, with your Study Leader. Following this, walk on through stimulating Yasukuni Shrine.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: A guided visit to the excellent Edo-Tokyo museum, which describes well the built environment and life from the Edo period through to post-war Tokyo. Following this, we return to Ginza, once the site of shogun’s treasury and now the premier shopping district of Japan. Ginza has a plethora of upmarket and smaller shops to browse through before returning to our hotel.

Dinner: In a lively izakaya restaurant, a popular choice for most Japanese. The large and varied menu caters to everyone's tastes.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Yaesu Terminal Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: The Yaesu Terminal Hotel is a modern, comfortable business hotel located in the busy and popular Marunouchi district, only a 3-minute walk from Tokyo station and surrounded by shops and restaurants. In common with many Japanese city hotels, the rooms are a good deal smaller than you may be accustomed to. However, the location is second to none in terms of accessibility and convenience.

Contact info:
Yaesu 1-5-14
Chuo-Ku
Tokyo, 103-0028 Japan
phone: +81 -3-3281-3771
web: www.yth.jp/english/index.html

Room amenities: Western-style rooms with air-conditioning, High-Speed Wireless Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, tea making facility, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer. Non-smoking rooms are available

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar; WiFi Internet access in lobby, concierge desk and laundry service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Contact Program Provider
Contact Program Provider for Rates and Reservations.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Four: Friday, October 17 - Edo – the City of the Townspeople
Note: Approximately 2.5 miles of gentle strolling and 1hr of assorted rail and subway transfers enable us to explore Tokyo today.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We start the day in Asakusa. This area has long been famous for its Senso-ji temple, which we visit together. The surrounding streets provide a sense of the local culture still connected to its Edo and early Tokyo roots. Afterwards we transfer to the charming neighbourhood of Yanaka. A quiet quarter with winding streets and narrow alleyways, local shops and an intimate feel, Yanaka provides perhaps the closest approximation to how life once was in downtown Edo through to the pre-war years of Tokyo.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: From here we stroll on to Ueno Park. This public park is famous for housing many of Tokyo's museums and participants are given free time to explore these and other attractions in the area. It is a straightforward journey on the Yamanote train line back to the vicinity of the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Yaesu Terminal Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: The Yaesu Terminal Hotel is a modern, comfortable business hotel located in the busy and popular Marunouchi district, only a 3-minute walk from Tokyo station and surrounded by shops and restaurants. In common with many Japanese city hotels, the rooms are a good deal smaller than you may be accustomed to. However, the location is second to none in terms of accessibility and convenience.

Contact info:
Yaesu 1-5-14
Chuo-Ku
Tokyo, 103-0028 Japan
phone: +81 -3-3281-3771
web: www.yth.jp/english/index.html

Room amenities: Western-style rooms with air-conditioning, High-Speed Wireless Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, tea making facility, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer. Non-smoking rooms are available

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar; WiFi Internet access in lobby, concierge desk and laundry service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Contact Program Provider
Contact Program Provider for Rates and Reservations.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Five: Saturday, October 18 - Japanese Buddhism - Meditative and Militant
Note: Approx 1.5 miles easy strolling while exploring the attractions of Kamakura and Kita-Kamakura. 2 hour return rail journey to Kamakura, or 3 hour coach journey, depending on number of participants (train being the sensible and quicker option with a small number). 0.5 hour journey on the Enoden Electric Railway.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: A day away from the capital for a trip to the coast. We journey to Kamakura, the first Samurai capital of Japan founded by the Minamoto Clan. Zen Buddhism, which was brought to Japan along with Tea by the monk Eisai, became intimately related to the Samurai. It first found prominence at Kamakura and many serene Zen temples dot this pleasant seaside town. At any time of the year, the temples are a profusion of seasonal flowers and foliage.

Lunch: Your choice to explore the quaint local restaurants and cafes the Hase area of Kamakura has to offer.

Afternoon: View the Daibutsu, one of Japan's most famous Buddha statues and spend some time soaking up the serene atmosphere. On our return journey, we visit Hase-dera Temple, with an impressive view over Kamakura Bay, and take a short ride on the narrow-gauge Enoden Railway, weaving its way through Kamakura’s suburbs and along the coast, before returning to Tokyo.

Dinner: With help from your Study Leader, choose from a variety of local and international eateries.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Yaesu Terminal Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: A historically significant building dating back more than 100 years to the Meiji Era, the Hotel Kagetsu is also conveniently located for access to Matsumoto Castle, one of only four castles in Japan to be designated national treasures. For a truly local experience, take advantage of the Japanese-style public baths, filled with “Fukashi” water from the Japan Alps.

Contact info:
Ote 4-8-9
Matsumoto, Japan
phone: +81 263 32 0114
web: hotel-kagetsu.jp/englishtop.html

Room amenities: Rooms are furnished in the Meiji style, using Matsumoto folk craft furniture and have air-conditioning, data port for High-Speed Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, tea making facility, iron (on request), in-room safe, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, coffee shop, Internet access, concierge desk, laundry service, large Japanese-style public baths, coin laundry (until 9pm), computer in lobby for guest use.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Sunday, October 19 - Japanese Feudal Castle Towns
Note: 3.5 hour coach transfer to Matsumoto. Total walking 1.5 miles to explore Matsumoto Castle and surrounds. The castle interior contains some very steep flights of steps and polished wooden floors.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Depart Tokyo and travel into the heart of central Japan to Matsumoto, a pleasant regional city surrounded by the Japan Alps. As we travel, explore the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate through a lecture delivered by your study leader.

Lunch: Learn about miso production and enjoy a delicious lunch at a traditional manufacturer of this tasty Japanese essential foodstuff.

Afternoon: A guided tour of the castle and its surroundings, one of only four castles in Japan that are listed as national treasures.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure

Lodging: Hotel Kagetsu

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: A historically significant building dating back more than 100 years to the Meiji Era, the Hotel Kagetsu is also conveniently located for access to Matsumoto Castle, one of only four castles in Japan to be designated national treasures. For a truly local experience, take advantage of the Japanese-style public baths, filled with “Fukashi” water from the Japan Alps.

Contact info:
Ote 4-8-9
Matsumoto, Japan
phone: +81 263 32 0114
web: hotel-kagetsu.jp/englishtop.html

Room amenities: Rooms are furnished in the Meiji style, using Matsumoto folk craft furniture and have air-conditioning, data port for High-Speed Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, tea making facility, iron (on request), in-room safe, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, coffee shop, Internet access, concierge desk, laundry service, large Japanese-style public baths, coin laundry (until 9pm), computer in lobby for guest use.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Monday, October 20 - The Nakasendo Way
Note: 2 hr return train or coach trip to Narai, depending on number of participants (train being the sensible option with a small number). 1.5 miles strolling around Narai and Kiso Hirasawa. Sitting on the floor on tatami mats for lunch.

Breakfast: Western or Japanese breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: A full-day excursion travels to Narai, one of the best-preserved post towns of the old Nakasendo Highway. Lying at the foot of the difficult Torii Pass (4200 feet), Narai prospered from the travelers who would rest there in order to prepare for the difficult journey ahead. View the distinctive wooden houses with their overhanging roofs and the many well-preserved features of an old post town.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue to Kiso-Hirasawa, a center for hand-crafted, high quality lacquer ware. Visit the home and workshop of Suyama-san, one of the top lacquer craftsmen of Japan, to learn about the painstaking process of his exquisite art.

Dinner: Your choice to explore local dining.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hotel Kagetsu

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in the heart of historic Takayama, a short walk from the many attractions of this compact city.

Contact info:
6-6 Hananosato Machi
Takayama
Gifu, NA 506-0026 Japan
phone: +81 -577-37-2000
web: http://www.bestwestern.co.jp/english/takayama/

Room amenities: TV, Satellite TV, Telephone, Wireless Internet, Tea Set, Refrigerator, Hair Dryer, Trouser Presser, Desk Lamp, Iron, Humidifier, Individual Temperature Control, Soap, Body Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothbrush, Razor, Shower Cap, Brush, Towel, Bath Towel, Slippers, Pajamas

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Lounge, Conference Room, Sauna, Non Smoking Rooms, Vending Machines, Computers, Fax, Internet Access, Room Service, Massage Service, Wake-Up Call,

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Tuesday, October 21 - Japanese Regional Architecture and Sake Brewing
Note: 2.5 hour motor coach transfer to Takayama. Leisurely walking of approximately 2 miles around the sights of Takayama.

Breakfast: Western or Japanese breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Depart Matsumoto and drive through the spectacular scenery of Japan’s Central Alps to Takayama, also known as ‘Little Kyoto’ by the locals. This compact, delightful town is explored on foot with your Study Leader.

Lunch: In a local restaurant - an involved experience.

Afternoon: Take in the picturesque Sanmachi district of town, where the streets are lined with many beautifully-preserved traditional shops, inns, restaurants, cafés, private homes and museums. Sample a glass or two of the very palatable sake in one of the many breweries. This is followed with a visit to the Jinya, the local governor’s buildings of the Tokugawa Shogunate, providing a fascinating look at period regional architecture.

Dinner: Enjoy a traditional Japanese-style dinner at the hotel, featuring the local specialty, Hida Wagyu beef.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Best Western Hotel Takayama

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Kanazawa New Grand Hotel is a centrally-located, modern, Western-style hotel within easy walking distance to the main areas of Kanazawa.

Contact info:
1-50 Takaoka Machi
Ishikawa-Ken
Kanazawa, Japan
phone: +81 076 233 1311
web: www.new-grand.co.jp/

Room amenities: Western-style rooms with air-conditioning, WiFi & LAN Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, Japanese tea making facility, in-room safe, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, cafe, bar, coffee shop, room service, concierge desk, business services, gift shop and laundry service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Wednesday, October 22 - Small-Scale Agriculture and Rural Ecology In Japa...
Note: 1hr coach journey to Shirakawago. Approx 1 mile gentle strolling around the area of Shirakawago. 75 minute onward coach journey to Kanazawa. Approx 1 mile stroll around old geisha quarters of Kanazawa. Sitting on tatami mats on the floor for lunch.

Breakfast: Japanese breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Depart by motorcoach to Kanazawa, arriving at the end of the afternoon. En route, visit rustic Shirakawa-go, a village situated in the midst of remote mountain countryside. Shirakawa-go is famous for its Gassho-zukuri, large, A-framed thatched farmhouses. Almost one hundred of these farmhouses stand amid vegetable plots and paddy fields. Take a leisurely stroll through this timeless village, where motorized vehicles are not permitted.

Lunch: In a Gassho-zukuri, contemplate the ingenuity and scale of the architecture as you enjoy local specialty food.

Afternoon: Rejoining our bus we head for Kanazawa. Spared from large scale bombing during the Pacific War, Kanazawa retains much of its distinct charm. We explore the former Geisha quarters before checking into our hotel.

Dinner: Kaga cuisine, well known throughout Japan, is the feature of tonight’s evening meal.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Kanazawa New Grand Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Kanazawa New Grand Hotel is a centrally-located, modern, Western-style hotel within easy walking distance to the main areas of Kanazawa.

Contact info:
1-50 Takaoka Machi
Ishikawa-Ken
Kanazawa, Japan
phone: +81 076 233 1311
web: www.new-grand.co.jp/

Room amenities: Western-style rooms with air-conditioning, WiFi & LAN Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, Japanese tea making facility, in-room safe, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, cafe, bar, coffee shop, room service, concierge desk, business services, gift shop and laundry service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Thursday, October 23 - The Samurai and Edo Period Lifestyle
Note: Approx 1.5 miles leisurely walking around the main sights of Kanazawa.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: In the Edo Period, Kanazawa flourished economically and culturally under the powerful Kaga Clan. With the exception of the Shogun’s family, the Kaga Clan was the wealthiest family, with a worth of more than one million koku - one koku was defined as enough rice to feed one person for a year. The city’s glorious past is still palpable in its samurai quarters, former pleasure quarters and temples. The Kenrokuen Gardens and the imposing, recreated castle buildings, which we walk through this morning, attest to the power of the Clan’s wealth and evoke their grand lifestyle.

Lunch: Your choice to explore independent dining options in the local food market.

Afternoon: Wander the lively and warren-like central food market. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore independently. Places of interest include the Samurai Quarter or, for a change of pace, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is an acclaimed, ultra-modern structure that is as much an attraction as the art housed inside.

Dinner: With help from your Study Leader, choose from a variety of local and international eateries.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Kanazawa New Grand Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Kanazawa New Grand Hotel is a centrally-located, modern, Western-style hotel within easy walking distance to the main areas of Kanazawa.

Contact info:
1-50 Takaoka Machi
Ishikawa-Ken
Kanazawa, Japan
phone: +81 076 233 1311
web: www.new-grand.co.jp/

Room amenities: Western-style rooms with air-conditioning, WiFi & LAN Internet access, cable / satellite television, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, radio, Japanese tea making facility, in-room safe, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, cafe, bar, coffee shop, room service, concierge desk, business services, gift shop and laundry service.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eleven: Friday, October 24 - Rural Decline and Depopulation in Japan
Note: 2 hrs transfer by coach to Wajima. Approx 1.5 mile stroll around the morning market and lacquerware museum. 3 hr return journey via the coastal route to Kanazawa.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: An excursion by motorcoach explores the Noto Peninsula - far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life and a distinct change in pace. The terraced rice fields leading down to the sea are an engaging landscape typical of this little-visited area of rural Japan. Experience the bustling morning market in the town of Wajima and learn about local lacquer ware craft through a visit to a small workshop. For those who wish, an opportunity to try your hand at this attractive craft.

Lunch: Enjoy the freshest of seafood that is featured in an excellent lunch of regional cuisine.

Afternoon: Return to Kanazawa via the scenic Kongo coast. En route, discuss the concerns of rural Japan and the challenges faced by the depopulation of remote areas.

Dinner: At a nearby restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Kanazawa New Grand Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: A truly excellently located 3-star hotel in central Kyoto. Within easy walking distance of two main subway stations, the Gimmond is an ideal base from which to explore this fascinating city. Choice of Japanese or Western-style breakfast.

Contact info:
Takakura-Oike-dori
Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto, 604-8105 Japan
phone: +81 -75-221-4111
web: www.gimmond.co.jp/kyoto/english/e_index.html

Room amenities: Refrigerator, Remote control, Colour TV, Alarm clock, Hanging closet, Night wear 'Yukata', Hair dryer, Towels, Shampoo, Toothbrush, In-room japanese tea set, High Speed wireless and cable Internet

Facility amenities: 24 Hour Front Desk, Safe deposit box at reception, Once daily maid service, Laundry service, Xeroxcopy, fax service, Coin operated Internet at Lobby, Free WiFi Access in Lobby, Italian Restaurant, Japanese Restaurant.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact Program Provider
Contact Program Provider for more information


Day Twelve: Saturday, October 25 - At the Shogun's Court
Note: 3.5 hour motor coach or express train transfer to Kyoto. Approx 1 mile walking around Ni-jo Castle and adjacent gardens.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to Kyoto by motorcoach or express train, depending on numbers.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We visit Nijo-jo castle, the only Shogun residence still in existence, for a chance to learn about the daily life at the Shogun’s court. Then, take in the serenity of one of the exquisite gardens of Kyoto.

Dinner: Venture to a lively izakaya restaurant, a popular choice for most Japanese. The large and varied menu caters to everyone's tastes.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hotel Gimmond

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: A truly excellently located 3-star hotel in central Kyoto. Within easy walking distance of two main subway stations, the Gimmond is an ideal base from which to explore this fascinating city. Choice of Japanese or Western-style breakfast.

Contact info:
Takakura-Oike-dori
Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto, 604-8105 Japan
phone: +81 -75-221-4111
web: www.gimmond.co.jp/kyoto/english/e_index.html

Room amenities: Refrigerator, Remote control, Colour TV, Alarm clock, Hanging closet, Night wear 'Yukata', Hair dryer, Towels, Shampoo, Toothbrush, In-room japanese tea set, High Speed wireless and cable Internet

Facility amenities: 24 Hour Front Desk, Safe deposit box at reception, Once daily maid service, Laundry service, Xeroxcopy, fax service, Coin operated Internet at Lobby, Free WiFi Access in Lobby, Italian Restaurant, Japanese Restaurant.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact Program Provider
Contact Program Provider for more information


Day Thirteen: Sunday, October 26 - Making A Cup Of Tea and Humanity
Note: Approx 1.5 mile walk around the Golden Temple Pavilion and Daitokuji Temple Complex. Sit on tatami mats on the floor for lunch. In the afternoon, sit on either tatami mats or small chairs on the floor while participating in the tea ceremony. Note that space is limited at the tea room, and that large groups will be split into two, reversing the daily itinerary.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We start the day with a visit to the Golden Pavilion. Probably the most recognizable structure in Japan, it was built by 3rd Ashikaga Shogun Yoshimitsu as a lavish retirement villa. The Ashikaga Clan overthrew the Minamoto Shogunate in Kamakura in 1336 and returned the capital to Kyoto. Yoshimitsu supported the arts, particularly Noh Theater, which flourished at the Golden Pavilion. Continue on to explore the massive, 56-acre Daitoku-ji temple complex associated with Sen-no-Rikyu, the ultimate master of the tea ceremony. Explore the meaning of Zen buddhist rock gardens and the origins of some notable Japanese architectural features.

Lunch: At a Shojin Ryori, or temple vegetarian restaurant in the complex.

Afternoon: To round off the main theme of today, experience the Tea Ceremony in the informative and enthralling company of a Tea Master. Delve into the ceremony, a delightful and deeply meaningful practice far from the rigid image it often has, and also make tea for each other.

Dinner: Your choice to choose among Kyoto’s abundant, small restaurants. Your Study Leader will provide suggestions and help with reservations.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hotel Gimmond

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: A truly excellently located 3-star hotel in central Kyoto. Within easy walking distance of two main subway stations, the Gimmond is an ideal base from which to explore this fascinating city. Choice of Japanese or Western-style breakfast.

Contact info:
Takakura-Oike-dori
Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto, 604-8105 Japan
phone: +81 -75-221-4111
web: www.gimmond.co.jp/kyoto/english/e_index.html

Room amenities: Refrigerator, Remote control, Colour TV, Alarm clock, Hanging closet, Night wear 'Yukata', Hair dryer, Towels, Shampoo, Toothbrush, In-room japanese tea set, High Speed wireless and cable Internet

Facility amenities: 24 Hour Front Desk, Safe deposit box at reception, Once daily maid service, Laundry service, Xeroxcopy, fax service, Coin operated Internet at Lobby, Free WiFi Access in Lobby, Italian Restaurant, Japanese Restaurant.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact Program Provider
Contact Program Provider for more information


Day Fourteen: Monday, October 27 - Ashikaga Yoshimasa and Japanese Arts
Note: A total of 2 miles leisurely walking around the Higashiyama area of Kyoto during the day. Various transfers by public transport. 1 additional mile walk in the evening.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Delve into Kyoto’s history and culture with an introduction to the city’s splendid artisan crafts at the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Arts. Then walk to nearby Heian Jingu, a vast Shinto shrine complex that was modeled on an ancient imperial palace. Next stop is Ginkaku-ji temple (Silver Pavilion) built by the 8th Ashikaga Shogun Yoshimasa. Like his grandfather, Yoshimitsu, Yoshimasa was a great patron of the arts but a poor governor of the nation. While Kyoto was engulfed in the internecine and destructive Onin Wars, the Higashiyama culture began and flourished at Ginkaku-ji. Based largely on the ideals and aesthetics of Zen Buddhism and the concept of wabi-sabi, which can be translated as beauty in simplicity, Higashiyama culture centered on the development of the Japanese tea ceremony, ikebana flower arranging, Noh drama, and sumi-e ink painting.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue with a short stroll down the philosopher’s path to Nanzen-ji Temple, before returning to the hotel via the bustling Nishiki market.

Dinner: In a discreet restaurant in the Pontocho area of Kyoto.

Evening: Take an evening stroll around the exclusive Gion district of Kyoto with your Study Leader. Here, with some luck, you might spot a Geisha scurrying between appointments.

Lodging: Hotel Gimmond

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: A truly excellently located 3-star hotel in central Kyoto. Within easy walking distance of two main subway stations, the Gimmond is an ideal base from which to explore this fascinating city. Choice of Japanese or Western-style breakfast.

Contact info:
Takakura-Oike-dori
Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto, 604-8105 Japan
phone: +81 -75-221-4111
web: www.gimmond.co.jp/kyoto/english/e_index.html

Room amenities: Refrigerator, Remote control, Colour TV, Alarm clock, Hanging closet, Night wear 'Yukata', Hair dryer, Towels, Shampoo, Toothbrush, In-room japanese tea set, High Speed wireless and cable Internet

Facility amenities: 24 Hour Front Desk, Safe deposit box at reception, Once daily maid service, Laundry service, Xeroxcopy, fax service, Coin operated Internet at Lobby, Free WiFi Access in Lobby, Italian Restaurant, Japanese Restaurant.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact Program Provider
Contact Program Provider for more information


Day Fifteen: Tuesday, October 28 - The Mystery of Noh
Note: Short transfer to lecture in the morning.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Learn the traditions and symbolism of Noh theatre during a lecture and demonstration from one of its leading Western students.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time to explore independently.

Dinner: Celebrate your journey and review the highlights at a farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hotel Gimmond

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Sixteen: Wednesday, October 29 - Departures
Note: Approx 2.5 hour transfer by road to Kansai International Airport.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Afternoon: Departures to the USA from Kansai International Airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
14 nights of accommodations
35 meals: 14 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
21 Field trips
4 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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