Travel by public transit; stairs and escalators. Walking up 5 miles throughout the day and standing. Shoes must be removed multiple times. Sitting on low chairs in tatami room.
At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers a variety of traditional Japanese and Western breakfast items.
We will walk from the hotel with our Group Leader and take the subway from Ginza to the Asakusa neighborhood. There, we walk to a small local Shinto shrine and gather in a private room. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. The high-speed Shinkansen “bullet train" we will use to transfer between some cities can reach speeds of nearly 200 miles (320 kilometres) per hour. A number of meals will be on your own to enjoy the cuisine of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. After Orientation, we will meet a neighborhood resident who will give us a demonstration of ikebana, which illustrates how Shinto beliefs converged with the introduction of Buddhism from China, forming the basis of the Japanese psyche. We will set out and walk through Asakusa, where residents take pride in being “edokko” — people of Edo, the pre-modern name for Japan.
Arriving at the workshop home of a local couple, we will participate in a hands on sushi-making class then have what we’ve made for lunch.
After lunch, we will walk down “Kitchen Street” Kappabashi, to see stores for knives, Japanese tableware, and “sampuru” plastic food samples. We will then be met by rickshaws and ride through the streets of to Sensoji, the city’s oldest and busiest temple. At Sensoji Temple, we will learn about Buddhism in the daily lives of Japanese people. We will return to the hotel by subway and have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
We will meet in the lobby and walk from the hotel to a casual Japanese “izakaya” (tavern) for a family-style meal of small plates with a variety of foods and beverage choices of beer, wine, soft drinks, tea.
Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is at leisure.