Travel-Learn Program

Insider’s Japan

When: September 04, 2017 - September 16, 2017 (iCal)



“There was the consistent opportunity to gain insight and appreciate the culture of Japan...”


Our journey takes us to Tokyo and Kyoto, with opportunities to engage in daily local life, and to understand the history and rich traditions; later, we will explore the cities of Takayama and Kanazwa. We begin in Tokyo, touring the Shinto Meiji Shrine and historic Imperial Palace, followed by visits to Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and Mt Fuji. After an overnight stay at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, we will journey to Takayama to explore the ancient sites and followed by a sake tasting. In Kanazawa, we will stroll through the famed Kenrokuen Garden and visit the Kutani Ceramics Museum, displaying its unique art of gold-leaf technology. Our voyage concludes in historic Kyoto, with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and a cycling tour of the city. An optional post-tour extension to Hiroshima is available.


Activity Level: Very Active


Brochure & Registration Form


Featuring Faculty Host
Professor Lewis Edgers



Price From: $6,291
Includes land and air from Boston; per person, based on double occupancy.
Itinerary and price are tentative and subject to change.

To avoid the disappointment of a sold out program, Register Now!


Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at or 617-627-5323.


Day 1: Depart U.S. for Tokyo, Japan

Day 2: Arrive Tokyo
Arriving in Japan’s capital this evening, we will transfer to our hotel and meet with our Travel Director for a briefing.

Day 3: Tokyo
Today, we’ll explore this amazing city that covers a staggering 840 square miles. Our stops include some of Tokyo’s top sights, such as the Shinto Meiji Shrine, a peaceful enclave of temples and gardens, and the historic Imperial Palace, home of the Imperial Family. Next stop is Tokyo’s oldest temple, Buddhist Asakusa Kannon, followed by the Nakamise Shopping arcade. The afternoon is at leisure, and tonight our welcome dinner is at a local restaurant.


Day 4: Tokyo
The schedule today includes a visit to the gallery of preeminent calligrapher Koshun Masunaga, to learn about this ancient art of artistic writing and browse the collection. Next is a motorcoach tour of Ginza, Tokyo’s famed shopping, dining, and entertainment district and which boasts the most expensive real estate in all Japan. The remainder of the day is free for exploring Ginza. Our Travel Director will advise the best way to return to the hotel.

Day 5: Tokyo/Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park/Hakone
Today, we head to the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, where Mt. Fuji has sat dormant for over three centuries. Our coach ride (weather permitting) with breathtaking panoramic views is followed by a leisurely cruise on Ashi Lake. Leaving the park, we will share a Japanese-style Kaiseki dinner in Hakone before spending the night at our traditional ryokan lodgings there.

Day 6: Hakone/Takayama
Today, we travel by bullet train and Wide View Hida express train to the mountain town of Takayama, with its castle and historic buildings. Our explorations here center on three narrow streets in the San-machi-suji district. A sake tasting here is followed by free time to visit local shops that sell the region’s lacquerware and yew carvings.

Day 7: Takayama/Shirakawago/Kanazawa
Early this morning, we visit the riverside Miyagawa Morning Market, where stalls sell fresh flowers, fruit, and vegetables. Then, we depart for Shirakawago Gassho-zukuri Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose residents work together to preserve the Gassho-style architecture unique to this region. Our next stop is Miboro, the largest dam constructed with “rock-fill technology” of stones and clay. Late this afternoon, we’ll reach the castle town of Kanazawa, a coastal city that survived the ravages of World War II.

Day 8: Kanazawa
Today features the renowned Kenrokuen Garden, a national landmark. We’ll also see Ishikawa Gate, the only remaining section of the town’s original castle; Hakukokan, a museum celebrating the art and craft of gold leaf technology; and the Higashi Chayagai teahouse and geisha area. Our last stop is the Nagamachi Samurai district, where the ruling family’s samurai warriors lived.

Day 9: Kanazawa/Kyoto
This morning, we’ll board a train to Kyoto, formerly Japan’s Imperial Capital and now the country’s cultural and artistic center. With numerous temples, hundreds of shrines, artful gardens, and historic architecture, Kyoto embodies Japan’s rich culture and complex history. Upon arrival we’ll visit Kyoto National Museum, a premier institution featuring pre-modern Japanese and Asian art and artifacts, then continue on to Unrakugama, a workshop specializing in prized Kiyomizu pottery.

Day 10: Kyoto
Today, we’ll explore the highlights of Kyoto, which was spared destruction during World War II. Our first stop is at Ryoan-ji Temple, to see the dry garden of sand and rocks (kare-sansui). Next is Kinkaku-ji, the lakeside Temple of the Golden Pavilion, followed by the ostentatious Nijo Castle, where the shogun asserted control over the city and its people. The day ends with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, a historic, ritualized ceremony of form, grace, and spirituality. Dinner tonight is on our own.

Day 11: Kyoto
Our full-day excursion today is to the ancient city of Nara, Japan’s first capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with temples and shrines among the oldest wooden buildings in the world. Our schedule includes the magnificent Buddhist temple Todai-ji; the Shinto Kasuga Shrine, with stone lanterns; and sacred deer that run free.

Day 12: Kyoto
Today, we have the option of riding bicycles on level ground at a leisurely pace through Kyoto, seeing its gardens and temples. Visits include the Heian Jingu Shinto shrine; Nishiki Market, or “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” where foodstuffs of all kinds are sold; and Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district. Alternately, a walking tour of the same sites with the travel director is also an option. This afternoon is free for exploration, and tonight we will celebrate our journey over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 13: Depart Kyoto for U.S.
This morning, a motorcoach will take us to Osaka for return flights to the United States.


*Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change