Japan, the "Land of the Rising Sun", is the place of the ancient gods and sublime art, but it is also on the cutting edge of dizzying modernity, so if there is one place on the planet where the past meets the future, it is Japan. Japanese culture stretches back for millennia and is steeped in history, yet it adopted the latest modern trends while applying the extraordinary aesthetic principles. The country is a study in contrasts and contradictions: tradition and novelty, the ancient and the modern, the very simple and the highly sophisticated.
During the Sights and Soul Travels' Eternal Land of the Rising Sun tour, we'll experience the most fascinating aspects of the Japanese culture: from a traditional tea ceremony, learning about the flower arrangement art of Ikebana and the art of wearing a kimono to trying our hand at calligraphy, strolling through Zen gardens and staying at a ryokan with its celebrated hot springs. We'll start the tour with an immersion in the old Japanese traditions while staying close to the geisha district of charming Kyoto. While in Matsumoto in the Japanese Alps, we'll have a chance to relax at a traditional ryokan and enjoy its hot springs. Then, we'll experience the highlights of cosmopolitan and dynamic Tokyo, including the Shinto Meiji Shrine, the historic Imperial Palace district, and Tokyo's oldest temple, the Buddhist Asakusa Kannon. We'll travel on a bullet train, soak in the hot springs and dine on one of the world's most unique and exciting cuisines, while enjoying the polite hospitality of the Japanese people.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Old Kyoto ● The Daitokuji Zen Monastery ● Indigo Dye Shops in the Nishijin Textile District ● Kyoto-style Merchant Houses ● Nanzen-ji Temple Complex ● Hogo-In Garden and Villa in the Tenryuji Zen Monastery ● Kyoto's Bamboo Forest ● The Moss Temple Garden ● Matsumoto castle in the Japanese Alps ● Matsumoto Natural Hot Springs ● Tokyo National Museum ● Tokyo's Contemporary Architecture and Trendy Street Life in Omotesando ● The Way of Tea Ceremony ● Meeting with the Calligraphy Master ● Ikebana Art Presentation ● Kimono Demonstration ● The Fire Ceremony and 40 Chanting Monks at a Buddhist Service ● Shabu-shabu Dinner ● Experiencing a Japanese Noodle Shop ● Staying at a Traditional Luxury Ryokan ● Enjoying the Japanese Hot Springs ● Full Japanese Kaiseki, a Ceremonial Multi-course Meal ● A Stroll through Ginza ● Nuno Gallery Presentation by Reiko Sudo ● The Legendary Honmura-an ● A Blessing Ceremony of Ancient, Sacred Music and Dance ● Meeting a Nihonga Artist
Itinerary specifics subject to change.