- This expedition was inspired by travel writer Don George’s article “Japan’s Past Perfect,” published in the January/February 2012 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
- Stay at Benesse House, designed by acclaimed architect Tadao Ando and set within Naoshima’s island-wide art complex.
- By special permission, enjoy a visit to Kyoto’s Saihoji temple and stroll its otherworldly gardens, carpeted in more than 120 species of moss.
- Immerse yourself in Shikoku’s timeless Iya Valley, dotted with thatched cottages, shrines, and vine bridges.
- Tokyo Extension4 days from $3,490
Post-Trip, 4 Days
With its intriguing intersection of ultra-modernity and time-honored tradition, Tokyo is a fascinating place to explore. Experience the city’s contrasts as you discover celebrated museums, temples, and historic neighborhoods. Sample the local cuisine, and get immersed in the colorful bustle of one of the world’s largest fish markets.
Travel to Tokyo via the high-speed train from Hiroshima. Upon arrival, get acquainted with the city’s celebrated landmarks, including the Imperial Palace, and delve into its cultural heritage at the Edo-Tokyo Museum. The museum brings to life Tokyo’s 400-year history, with exhibits illustrating subjects ranging from Kabuki theater and traditional arts to politics and architecture. Settle into our hotel late this afternoon, and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Explore the Nezu Museum, which features over 7,000 works of calligraphy, painting, sculpture, and ceramics. Visit the museum’s collections and traditional gardens dotted with waterfalls, ponds, and teahouses. Then jump forward in time with a guided tour of the cutting-edge architecture of Tokyo’s Aoyama district. After lunch, try your hand at the art of shodo, a form of Japanese calligraphy, during an interactive class. Later, walk through Tokyo’s fashion-forward Harajuku neighborhood where unorthodox, creative style reigns supreme.
Begin the day at the sprawling Tsukiji fish market, one of the world’s largest. Browse the stalls where over 2,000 tons of seafood is sold daily, and take in the lively bustle. Continue to Kappabashi-dori, also known as “Kitchen Town.” The shops here supply the city’s restaurants with many interesting items, including the plastic display food (sampuru, derived from the English word “sample”). Visit the Akihibara neighborhood, famous for electronics and neon signs, and a center for fans of anime and manga animation. Explore Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s oldest neighborhoods, and the Senso-ji temple, built in the seventh century and now a sizeable complex of shrines, temples, and a pagoda. This evening enjoy a festive farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.