17 Day Japan Cultural Arts Tour
This tour is designed to experience the many rich aspects of Japanese Culture. In Japan life is art! The attention to beauty and detail can be readily seen in everything from their hand-embroidered kimonos and the perfect make-up and clothes of the Geisha to their majestic shrines and temples and ...Read Full Description
- Japan; Kyoto, Japan; Los Angeles, California, United States; Osaka, Japan; Tokyo, Japan
- Trip Length:
- 17 days
- Best Time to Go:
- Recommended for:
Infants (under 2)
Children (2 - 5)
Children (6 - 8)
Children (9 - 11)
Children (12 - 14)
Children (15 - 17)
Adults (18 - 20)
Adults (25 - 29)
Family Trip, Group Retreat, Spiritual Journey
Detailed Trip Description
This tour is designed to experience the many rich aspects of Japanese Culture. In Japan life is art! The attention to beauty and detail can be readily seen in everything from their hand-embroidered kimonos and the perfect make-up and clothes of the Geisha to their majestic shrines and temples and the perfectly sculpted bonsai tree. Love of the arts (dance, forms of drama, puppetry, painting sculpture, etc. etc) and love of nature pervades the culture. A picture which is a simple print it may well have 12-15 steps involved in the process. The Japanese have even turned folding paper into an art-form (Origami). When you walk into a Japanese home or shop you can tell that careful thought has gone into the placement of every piece of furniture, every piece of art hanging on the wall Even the meals are displayed to be visually beautiful as well as delicious. We invite you to join us on this unique exploration into the inside of incredible center of art and culture - Japan!
Day 1 - Los Angeles
Today you will board a plane for your flight to Los Angeles. There your international guide will meet you and we will transfer you to your airport hotel in Los Angeles.
After you are settled we will have a reception in Prof. Wulle-Dugan's room to give you an overview regarding this unique tour of Japan. We will have an expert on Japan there to both give you some interesting facts and insights as well as answer your questions. We will also be serving some taste treats, wine and if you like, sake! We want you to get a good rest because tomorrow your adventure begins!
Day 2 - On the Plane
Today we will transfer you to the airport for your Singapore air flight directly to Tokyo. Singapore Airlines is one of the world's best with the most incredible service.They go out of their make to make the flights pleasant. The adventure begins!
Day 3 - Tokyo
Welcome to Tokyo.
You will arrive at Narita airport. We will be transferred to our hotel in Tokyo.
Day 4 - Tokyo
We have purposely selected your hotel to be near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. This is an excellent location in Tokyo and allows for us to be able to do some walking tours in the area. We will take you to see the moat, through some of the parks, a national Japanese cemetary and some selected areas within the Imperial Palace. We cannot visit much of the Palace, as it is still inhabited by the Emperor. Nevertheless, there are many interesting sites. We will have lunch in the area. Then we will proceed to the southwestern side of the Palace. West of the Imperial Palace is a beautiful Japanese garden/park. Then we will take you to the Takarazuka (All-Female Revues in Japan) The revues are elaborately costumed, flamboyant, and extravagant in execution.
Day 5 - Tokyo
Today we will take you to the Ueno area of Tokyo. We will go to the Tokyo National Museum which has a wonderful array of exhibits including some marvelous Shogun costumes. There is also an Asian exhibits building which has excellent exhibit representing all of Asia.
After lunch we will take you to the Kabukiza, which is the main Kabuki theatre in Tokyo. This is a wonderful theater to experience quality Kabuki theatre. They perform throughout the day, however, the performance is broken down into segments (between 1 -2 hours typically). This way you can enjoy the theatre for as short or long as you want. You can also rent a headset which provides live narration and notes to enrich the experience. B, L
Evening: Kabukiza (a performance of Kabuki theatre at this excellent National Kabuki theatre).
Day 6 - Tokyo
Free day in Tokyo. This is your chance to shop till you drop. B.
Day 7 - Japan
Today you will be taken on a full day tour of Hakone and Mount Fuji. You will stay in the Hakone area. B.
Day 8 - Kyoto
You will take the bullet train to Kyoto (about 3 hours).
There your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.
Once you are settled you can visit the Nishijin Textile Center on Horikowa Dori. We will explore the many different techniques which they use to modify textiles. If it is available at that time we will also experience a kimono fashion show. If possible, some of you may be able to be dressed in a 12-layer kimono. They have an entire room of small looms. You can weave a small sample cloth. One of the highlights of this visit is the Kimono Fashion Show.
Then we will have a special treat: a visit to the Tsuruya-Yoshinobu Confectionery, where you will be able to taste the extraordinary confectionery items made before your very eyes. On the Second floor the tea garden and tea salon are divine! B, L.
Day 9 - Kyoto
The day will begin with a visit to the Design Center/personal home of Mr. Hirotaka Asano, the owner of Oriraku Asano, whose company is famous for making the Obi. At this site you will see some of the most amazing valuable collections including brushes, samples of ancient cloths, papers as well as learn about the amount of research that goes into making the best designs for their Obis. You will also be able to see several of their beautiful Obis. Later we will visit the Shosuikaku, Nishijin-ori Museum of Art. They have their own private museum and factory. You can see the progression of Japanese textiles from the hand looms to the Jacquard machines and even see modern machines in action. Then we will take you to the Kiryou-kan studio, which is owned and operated by two embroidery artists who are national treasures! They are husband and wife and they are both very famous embroidery artists - Toshiaki and Sumie Nagakusa. You will be able to see up close their incredible artistry and possibly speak to one or both of them and ask questions (if they are not available an assistant will assist you). B, L.
Day 10 - Kyoto
Arts, Crafts and Antiques
The day will begin with a visit to the Fureaikan Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts. You will see many fine examples of the finest of Japanese embroidery. While we are in the area, we can take you for a brief visit to the Municipal Museum of Art and the Kyoto Museum of Modern Art. Afterwards you will be taken to the Kodai Yuzen museum and Gallery. You will go through the museum, examine the ancient textiles, and view the workers who are stencil-painting the kimonos. Then we will take you to the Yuzen Museum, which has many wonderful displays of kimonos and other garments. There is also a 15 minute educational film on the art and process of Yuzen dyeing. You will learn about the whole process of Yuzen dyeing and how they make the fabrics color fast and stunningly beautiful. You can then try your hand at Yuzen dyeing. We will also take you to Sensho Ichikawa, which is a private house which specializes in Yuzen Dyeing. B, L.
Day 11 - Kyoto
Today you will visit the beautiful Kiyomizu Temple. This lovely hillside Temple has many beautiful buildings and gardens as well as a lovely view of the city. You will also be able to drink from the pure mountain spring water and observe a Japanese cultural experience. We will also take you down a traditional street where you can enjoy a teahouse and some tasty treats. After lunch, we will take you to the famous Gion area, where the Geishas and Meikos are found. We will have a traditional Japanese Tea.Ceremony. The rest of the time is free.
Day 12 - Kyoto
Then you will be taken to the Golden Pavillion, which is beautiful building on a lake and surrounded by beautiful grounds.
Day 13-14 - Kyoto
Free Days (Classes available. You can study the Japanese arts. We will present you a list of options later.
(NOTE: As we do not know which classes you might want and costs vary, the classes are not included in the tour price. These are quite reasonable). B.
Koya-San, Arima Springs and Spa area.
(NOTE: These options will add an additional cost).
Day 15 - Osaka
Today you will be driven early in the morning to Nara. Feed the deer. Then you will be taken to the beautiful temple named Todai-ji., which is home to the Daibutsu, the largest Buddha statue in Japan and one of the largest in the world, the Daibutsu-den is said to be the largest wooden building in the world. It's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The giant front gate, Nandai-mon, is guarded by two fierce, awe-inspiring protectors. (It's also swarmed by deer, To the right of the entrance to the Daibutsu-den is a statue of the Yakushi Nyorai. Though a bit scary-looking on first glance, it's actually a Buddha of medicine and healing. Touching a part of the Yakushi Nyorai and then the corresponding part of your own body is said to heal any ailments you have there.
Then we will take you to Osaka and transfer you to you hotel.
Day 16 - Osaka
In the morning we will take you to one of the most famous sake breweries.
We will take you to the National Theatre in Osaka for a demonstration of the BunRaku puppetry, You will observe a master puppeteer demonstration, including seeing the components of the Bunraku puppet and the two assistant puppeteers for the fluidity of movement.
Day 17 - Osaka
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the USA with many incredible lifetime memories!
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