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The Cultural Highlights of Japan

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Road Scholar
Program #19725RJ

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16 Days | 15 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active (Variable by Program Date)
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. 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.
Susan from Buffalo, NY Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 10/06/15 - 10/21/15
Interesting and informative trip very much set in the history of Japan during the Edo period. I would have liked a bit more about modern Japan which looks remarkably different from Western societies inspire of its technological advancement.

Jack from Palo Alto, CA Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 10/06/15 - 10/21/15
This brief, two-week tour of Japan offers interesting and diverse encounters with historical (Buddhist, Shinto, samurai, Tokugawa isolation with the West) and aesthetic (cuisine; ceramic, flower arranging and lacquerware crafts; kabuki; tea ceremony; sake) experiences quite different from our European and US backgrounds. We surveyed a safe, clean densely populated country the size of California that is 70% mountains with nearly four times the population of California. Our bus travels through the mountain areas emphasized less foreign-tourist-visited areas near the Sea of Japan and also sampled selected stops in Tokyo and Kyoto. Greater appreciation and understanding of Japan can come to those who read some of the recommended readings by Road Scholar before the trip. Excellent detailed commentary was provided by our Study Leader, Kathleen Aoki, an American married to a Japanese who has lived and worked in Japan for 40 years. This trip might be part of visits to Asia (including perhaps China and India) for those seeking to know more about cultures differing from our own often more limited educational and travel experiences.

Lynda from Olathe, KS Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 10/06/15 - 10/21/15
Interesting trip. A lot of history and varied experiences. Could have seen fewer shrines. Was very active but not streuous.

Raymond from Chestertown, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/06/15 - 10/21/15
An excellent introduction to a fascinating country.

Sheila from Edmonds, WA Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 05/12/15 - 05/27/15
This journey to see Japan's traditional highlights in a well-planned and interesting program is highly recommended. We loved the opportunity to watch craftsmen at work, visit markets, gardens, temples and historic neighborhoods. Our accommodations were comfortable and the educational discussions and events were outstanding. We found the DK guidebook Japan relevant and valuable, and our educator gave us helpful handouts for additional understanding.

Robert from San Rafael, CA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 10/14/14 - 10/29/14
Program is a tremendous tasting menu of all aspects of life in Japan including food, geography, art, crafts, market life assisted by our very capable guides and leaders including Michael McKenna, Yukio-san, and of course Takuya. While there are some changes 2015 vs 2014, I can highly recommend the program with an advisory to make time for Tokyo National Museum and Kyoto National Museum. If shopping, plan on doing so as you go as some items are only available locally. My attendance in October, 2014 feattured excellent weather as well, but always come with waterproofs!

Alice from Saint Paul, MN Number of programs attended: 21
Date attended: 04/15/14 - 04/30/14
As reviewers before me have said, this is a wonderful intro to a most interesting country. We learned a lot, saw a lot, ate a lot and walked a lot. It has whetted my appetite for a return visit.

Joseph from Boca Raton, FL Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 10/29/13 - 11/13/13
We were also on the Oct 29th, 2013 program. Others have provided excellent reviews. I can only add that Japan has a unique culture and history. One should utilized the excellent suggested reading material to prepare for the trip to maximize your understanding of the culture and history while in Japan. I would recommend Totman's book and the DK Eyewitness Japan book.

Nancy from Delanson, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/29/13 - 11/13/13
I thought the trip was a stimulating and broadening experience. Japan is a very nice country -- very clean, the people very honest (I lost my iPhone and it was returned to me), varied in landscape and size of city/village, beautiful. Thank you to Kathleen Aoki and Naomi Addyman for their thoughtfulness, patience with us, knowledge, good planning. The hotels where we stayed were very nice, the food fantastic and varied. I would have liked to learn more about Japanese gardens, and ikebana.

Elissa from Lowell, MA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/29/13 - 11/13/13

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"Crossing the river on foot in Kyoto" Uploaded By: Nancy
"Crossing the river on foot in Kyoto" Uploaded By: Nancy

"Matsumoto Castle" Uploaded By: Nancy

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
14 nights of accommodations
35 meals: 14 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
7 Expert-led lectures
20 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances


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