The History and Culture of Japan04 - 17 September, 2022

Trip Dates:
04 - 17 September, 2022
Trip Price: £4980 not including international flights. Dates and Prices to be confirmed for 2022
Single Room Supplement: £1360
Trip Length: 13 days

This visit has been designed to examine the fascinating art and culture of Japan, from its beginnings during the Nara period, through the rise and fall of the Shoguns into an era of modernisation and economic power.Accompanied by Professor Lewis, explore the country's cultural heritage as it is reflected in the tranquility of the Shinto, the great castles of the Samurai culture, the distinct architecture of the Edo period and today's modern way of life that exists in the skyscrapers of Shinjuku.

Learn more of the delicate technique of the fine arts, the expressive drama of the Kabuki Theatre and the exquisite elegance of the tea ceremony.Begin the journey with a three night stay in Tokyo where the time has been carefully scheduled to include such well-known sights as the Imperial Palace, but also to get off the beaten track a little and venture through "shitamachi", a part of the city where the glorious past of the Edo culture still lives on. Enjoy a full day excursion to the small town of Nikko and visit the intricately carved Tōshō-gū Shrine complex, and the Rinnō-ji Temple and the Furtarasan Shrine, a Shinto place of worship. Depart Tokyo and drive to the sacred Shinto shrine at Kamakura before travelling on to Hakone beautifully situated near the foot of Mt Fuji. 

Travel on Japan’s iconic Bullet Train to Hiroshima and visit the Atomic Dome and Memorial Peace Park, a thought provoking testament to the horrors of nuclear annihilation. Continue by boat to the exquisitely beautiful island of Miyajima where the party will spend one night amidst the elegant surroundings of a traditional ryokan.  Once the day visitors have returned to the mainland, Miyajima is a tranquil island and a lovely place to stroll around in the evening working up an appetite for a sumptuous kaiseki meal, with dozens of tiny dishes beautifully served at the ryokan.

The journey finishes with four nights in Kyoto, a marvellous cornucopia of Japanese culture, history and tradition.

This journey is open the Alumni of Oxford and Cambridge Universities and their family and friends. Please note that Distant Horizons has sole responsibility for the operation of this tour. The participating University has no direct control over the operation of any tours.


Maximum Party Size: 20

Trip Leader: Professor Jay Lewis

Professor James B Lewis is Associate Professor at the University of Oxford. His courses include an introduction to Japan and Korean history. His particular research interests are the cultural, economic and social histories of premodern Japan and Korea  and the history of Korean-Japanese relations prior to 1850.

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The History and Culture of Japan Trip Comments:

'I thought the balance of content between ancient and modern art and culture was excellent and I can hardly find a single thing to suggest any material change’
‘My wife was delighted by the care taken and the quality of the vegetarian meals. Never before as she had such experience on holiday.'
'The programme was well balanced and gave us a taste of what Japan has to offer. Thank you for all your hard work in helping us to combine these two experiences. This truly was an epic holiday for us!.
‘Our local guides were very experienced and hard working and very willing to help with individual queries and needs.