Cultural Treasures of Japan
Immerse yourself in the ancient and modern cultures of Japan. Experience the electric city of Tokyo, where Yanaka Ginza, the "shitamachi" of the city's old town, serves as a window to Tokyo's past and top-of-the-world views from Tokyo Tower give way to cosmopolitan vistas. Take part in a peaceful and meditative tea ceremony, and stand before the famous Senso-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon in Asakusa. Explore the lakeside resort of Hakone and cruise the waters of Lake Ashi. Board the Hakone Ropeway for goliath views of Mt. Fuji, and tour Matsumoto Castle, the "Crow Castle." In the Japanese Alps, enjoy Hida beef and sake at a local brewery, and marvel at the gassho-zukuri-style homes of Shirakawa-go. Visit Kanazawa's Omicho market, Kenroku garden and the Samurai district. Partake in a gold leaf class.
Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan and a marvel to behold. Absorb the beauty of Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, whose top two floors are covered with gold leaf. Explore Kyoto's Nijo Castle, home of the first Shogun. Take a lesson in the art of stenciling. Board the Shinkansen "bullet" train to travel to Hiroshima where you'll visit Miyajima, "Shrine Island" and the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Finally, sit down to a special farewell dinner in Kyoto that features a Geisha show.