• Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion, whose top floors shimmer with gold leaf, will captivate us alongside the Silver Pavilion, once the retirement villa of a 13th century shogun
• Absorb the enchanting atmosphere of mountain-based Takayama, a World Heritage site containing a beautifully preserved old town
• The historical city of Kanazawa welcomes us with its traditional samurai residences and enthralling museums
Depart Heathrow 1530 on British Airways for overnight flight.
Arrive Tokyo Narita 1105 and transfer to central Tokyo for four nights at Via Asakusa View Hotel. Walking tour of Asakusa.
Morning: introductory lecture followed by Tokyo National Museum (Japanese art and the Gallery of Horyu ji Treasure). Afternoon visit to Ueno Park. Free evening.
Kamakura: Engakuji (one of Kamakura’s five major Rinzai Zen temples), Meigetsuin Temple, Zeniarai Benten shrine, Great Buddha, Hase-dera (Buddhist temple), Tsurugaoka Hachimangū shrine, Tōkei-ji temple.
Morning: Meiji Shrine, Seitoku Kinen Kaigakan (Meiji Emperor’s Memorial Museum). Afternoon: Ota Memorial Museum and Edo Tokyo Museum. Free evening.
Transfer to Takayama for overnight stay in Tanabe Ryokan (traditional inn located in the city’s old town). Visit Takayama Jinya (Edo period).
Morning in Shirakawa-go (World Heritage site) including gassho-zukuri farmhouses and museum. Afternoon: transfer to Kanazawa for three nights at Daiwa Roynet Kanazawa.
Whole day in Kanazawa: Kenroku-en garden, old streets of samurai residences, Suzuki Daisetsu Museum (commemorating the Zen master) and the 21st Century Museum of Modern Art.
Further visits in Kanazawa including local craft and laquer workshops. Free evening.
Travel to Kyoto: Golden Pavilion and Ryoan ji Golden Zen Rock Garden. Traditional Japanese dinner at Ganko Takasegawa. Four nights in Kyoto at Royal Park Hotel.
Morning lecture: Kyoto: The Cultural Capital of Japan followed by traditional tea ceremony and Chiso Kimono Gallery. Visit Nijo Castle and garden (Tokugawa Shogun’s residence in Kyoto). Free evening.
Morning excursion to 17th century Hikone Castle by Lake Biwa. Afternoon in Shigaraki: kiln and workshop of a potter.
Further visits in Kyoto including Silver Pavilion, Sanjūsangen-dō (1001 Kannon statues), Tō-ji temple (9th century sculptural mandala) and Fushimi Inari Shrine (torii gates). Free evening.
Morning: travel by coach via Uji Byodoin (Phoenix Hall) to Nara, the capital of Japan from 710 to 794, for two nights at Hotel Nikko. Afternoon: Hōryū-ji temple (circa 670 AD) with important treasures of early Buddhist art.
Morning lecture: History, Politics, Religion and Art of the Nara Period followed by Tōdai-ji Temple with the Great Buddha and Treasure Halls, Kasuga Grand Shrine, and Kōfuku-ji temple. Free evening.
Transfer to Tokyo. Free afternoon and overnight stay in Tokyo at Shiba Park Hotel. Farewell dinner.
Depart Tokyo Narita 1115, arriving Heathrow 1500.