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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.
Gain unique insight into the fascinating culture of Japan on this journey that explores the country’s national identity from samurai traditions to ultramodern cities. Experience energetic Tokyo, iconic Kyoto, the atmospheric Noto Peninsula, the soaring Japanese Alps and more. Appreciate Japan’s engaging, friendly people and savor its cuisine, a delight for the eyes and the stomach.


• Explore Tokyo’s remaining links to historic Edo, seat of power of the Tokugawa Shogunate from the 17th to 19th century.
• In Kyoto, learn about traditional Japanese arts including the intricacies of the tea ceremony, which you learn with a Tea Master.
• Use all your senses to experience the delights of Japan’s culinary traditions from the freshest sushi obtainable through temple vegetarian cuisine to popular izakaya restaurants.

Activity Notes

Participants must handle their own luggage at all times. Walking and standing for up to two miles, three hours per day. Some longer walks are optional.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Tokyo, 3 nights; coach to Matsumoto, 2 nights; coach to Takayama, 1 night; coach to Wajima, 2 nights; coach to Kanazawa, 2 nights; coach to Kyoto, 4 nights; departure.

Date Notes
This program date is optimal for viewing the cherry blossom in the high altitudes (e.g. Matsumoto, Takayama) of Japan.5/31/2016
This date is a Moderate Level departure. The pace of this departure has been relaxed and follows this itinerary: Arrival Tokyo, 3 nights; coach to Matsumoto, 2 nights; coach to Takayama, 2 night; coach to Kanazawa, 2 nights; coach to Kyoto, 5 nights; departure. It has been designed to avoid staying in hotels with futons or restaurants that require sitting on the floor. Where possible coaching is used rather than navigating public transportation. Itinerary Summary: Arrival Tokyo, 3 nights; coach to Matsumoto, 2 nights; coach to Takayama, 2 nights; coach to Kanazawa, 2 nights; coach to Kyoto, 5 nights; departure. Lodging Summary: Tokyo: Hotel in the fashionable Ginza District. Matsumoto: Historic hotel furnished in the Meiji style, near renowned Matsumoto Castle. Takayama: Stylish hotel with city views. Kanazawa: Four-star hotel centrally located. Kyoto: Comfortable hotel. Day 1 Content: Explore Tokyo’s Imperial Palace grounds and the venerable Senso-ji Buddhist temple. Experience Kabuki, a form of Japanese theatre. Day 2 Header: Coach to Matsumoto 2 nights Coach to Takayama 2 nights Day 3 Header: Coach to Kanazawa 2 nights Day 3 Content: See the rustic farmhouses of Shirakawa-go village and enjoy a delicious lunch of handmade soba noodles. Explore the gardens, temples and pleasure quarters of the powerful Kaga clan in Kanazawa. Day 4 Header: Coach to Kyoto 5 nights Departure Day 4 Content: Discover Kyoto’s renowned cultural icons including Shimogamo Shrine and the Daitoku-ji temple complex, learn about artistic customs at the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts and visit Nijo Castle, the only shogunate residence still in existence. Spend time with a Tea Master and enjoy a day trip to Nara.11/1/2016
This program date is optimal for viewing the fall leaves in the low lying areas (e.g. Kanazawa, Kyoto) of Japan.

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


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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