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Insider’s Japan III 2024

September 07 - 19, 2024
Length: 13 days
Region(s): 
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It’s a land of delicate art and bustling commerce, of rich traditions and dizzying modernity; a jumble of sights, sounds, and tastes that for visitors are truly foreign – and truly fascinating. This well-crafted tour features the highlights of Tokyo and Kyoto, engages us in local life, and takes us off the beaten path to the lovely historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa.

Operated by Odysseys Unlimited

Tour Highlights

  • During a three-night stay, see Tokyo’s important sites, including the Imperial Palace District and gardens, the Meiji Shrine, and the Tokyo National Museum.
  • Visit the gallery of a preeminent calligrapher and observe her as she works.
  • Marvel at views of iconic Mt. Fuji and take a cruise on scenic Ashi Lake at Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. 
  • Spend a night at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, enjoying a Japanese-style Kaiseki dinner.
  • Stroll along the streets of historic Takayama with its 16th-century castle and attractive old-style buildings dating to the Edo Period (1600–1868).
  • Attend a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. 
  • Take a hands-on cooking class with a local chef.
  • Tour a sake brewery, sampling this national beverage and learning about the unique traditional brewing methods.  
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago Gassho-zukuri Village, featuring the unique Gassho architectural style.
  • Explore culturally rich Kanazawa, including renowned Kenrokuen Garden and the Higashi Chayagai teahouse and geisha area.
  • Tour a gold leaf museum and Kutani Kosen Kiln, where artists fashion the prized pottery.  
  • Experience Kyoto, a city that embodies Japan’s rich culture and complex history.
  • See Kyoto’s lakeside Temple of the Golden Pavilion, one of Japan’s most famous buildings.
  • Tour extravagant Nijo-jo Castle, where shoguns once resided; the important Buddhist temple, Sanjyusangendo Hall; and the Fushimi Inari Shrine with its many red torii gates.
  • Discover Hiroshima, the modern, cosmopolitan city reborn from the atomic destruction of World War II, on an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension.

If you would like to view a digital copy of this trip’s brochure, please click on the words “Digital Brochure” under Additional Resources (follows directly below Itinerary at a Glance) on this webpage.


* Cal lecturer’s participation cannot be guaranteed and is contingent upon a minimum number of paying travelers.

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