Japan in Springtime: Art, Temples & Gardens
17 May — 2 Jun 2020 | Tour Director: Richard Farmer
• Be captivated by Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion, whose top floors shimmer with gold leaf, and 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
Richard Farmer, BA, has lived in Japan for the last ten years, where he works leading tours full-time
Depart London Heathrow 1530 on British Airways for overnight flight.
Arrive Tokyo Narita 1105 and transfer to central Tokyo for four nights at Asakusa View Hotel. Some free time and short walking tour of Asakusa.
Morning introductory lecture followed by visit to Tokyo National Museum (Japanese art and Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasure). Afternoon walk through Ueno Park.
Whole day excursion to Kamakura: Engaku-ji, Great Buddha and Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shrine. Free evening.
Morning: Meiji Shrine, Seitoku Memorial Picture Gallery (Meiji Emperor’s Memorial Museum). Afternoon: Ota Memorial Museum of Art. Free evening.
Transfer to Takayama (old town in mountainous countryside) by bullet train for overnight stay in Tanabe Ryokan (traditional inn with hot springs). Afternoon walking tour of Takayama including 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 Hotel. Evening lecture: Kanazawa – From the Maeda Clan to Modern Art.
Kanazawa: Kenroku-en Garden, Ishikawa Dentetsukan (with opportunity to see lacquerware crafts), 21st century Museum of Contemporary Art.
Further visits in Kanazawa including old streets of samurai residences, DT Suzuki Museum (commemorating the Zen master) and Yasue Gold Leaf Museum. Free evening.
Transfer by train to Kyoto for four nights at Royal Park Hotel. Visits to Golden Pavilion and the Ryōan-ji Zen Rock Garden followed by traditional Japanese dinner at Ganko Takasegawa.
Morning lecture: Kyoto – The Heartland of Japanese Culture followed by traditional tea ceremony. Afternoon: Nijō Castle and garden (Tokugawa Shogun’s residence in Kyoto). Free evening.
Morning excursion to 17th century Hikone Castle by Lake Biwa. Afternoon in Shigaraki: potter’s kiln and studio.
Further visits in Kyoto including Tō-ji Temple (9th century sculptural mandala), Fushimi Inari Shrine (torii gates), Sanjūsangen-dō (1001 Kannon statues), Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion). Free evening.
Transfer via Uji Byōdō-in (Phoenix Hall) to Nara, the capital of Japan from 710 to 794, for two nights at Hotel Nikko. Afternoon: Hōryū-ji Temple (c 670 AD) with important early Buddhist art treasures.
Morning lecture: Nara – The First Flourishing of Japanese Buddhism followed by visits to Kōfuku-ji Temple and Tōdai-ji Temple (Great Buddha). Some free time followed by free evening.
Transfer to Tokyo by bullet train for overnight stay at Shiba Park Hotel. Some free time.
Depart Tokyo Narita 1255, arriving Heathrow 1720.
17 May — 2 Jun 2020
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“Richard Farmer is a gem. One of the best guides I have ever come across.”
- ACE customer on 2018 Japan in Autumn: Art, Temples & Gardens tour
Please note that a good level of fitness is required for this tour, as excursions will involve a substantial amount of walking. Participants must be prepared for uneven ground at historical sites. Our visit to Hikone Castle involves a steep climb to reach the castle, but those who prefer to opt out can spend time enjoying the gardens instead. We hope to enjoy temperate weather during this tour.
For customers who wish to make their own travel arrangements, ACE are pleased to be able to offer a flight reduction of:
Cost of £6295 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, twelve lunches, nine dinners with water, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement £860.