Trip Highlights

Trip Highlights

  • Board a bullet train to Kyoto, catching sight of Mount Fuji’s soaring volcanic peak through the window.
  • Capture Tokyo’s buzzing street life and colorful fashion through the lens of your camera.
  • Explore the link between technology and science at the Miraikan Museum museum, and see state-of-the-art cars at Toyota’s City Showcase.
  • Sip tea at a traditional Kyoto teahouse, and release your inner karate kid during a martial arts lesson in Tokyo.



Japan is a country of contrasts, where centuries-old shrines stand next to neon-lit skyscrapers, and the ancient and modern strike a unique balance. Explore the “land of the rising sun” alongside knowledgeable Expedition Leaders and a National Geographic Expert, traveling from futuristic Tokyo to imperial Kyoto and historic Hiroshima.

Days 1-5: Tokyo, Japan

Our adventure begins in Tokyo—one the most heavily populated cities on Earth! Explore the cutting edge of technology at the Miraikan Museum, and see the cars of the future at Toyota’s City Showcase. For a dose of Japanese pop culture, hit the streets of the Akihabara district—a hub of electronics, video games, anime, and manga. We’ll also learn some basic photography skills while in Tokyo, capturing the city’s fascinating contrasts through our camera lenses.

Days 6-9: Kyoto

Hop aboard a bullet train for the ride to Kyoto, once the imperial capital of Japan. Take a meditation class at a Zen temple, followed by a tea ceremony at a traditional teahouse. We then make our way to Kyoto’s famed geisha district, where you might spot a graceful geisha—a traditional Japanese female entertainer—wearing a colorful kimono and distinctive makeup. Later, head to the countryside to practice your landscape photography skills, and soak in an onsen, or hot spring.

Days 10-13: Hiroshima

Travel by train to Hiroshima, where U.S. forces dropped an atomic bomb toward the end of World War II, devastating the city. Hear the stories of survivors of the bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and then pay a visit to the Children’s Peace Monument, which commemorates the child victims of the bombings. We’ll also have time to indulge our taste buds, discovering hidden ramen shops and sampling traditional sweets. Then try your hand at creating these dishes in a Japanese cooking class.

Days 14-15: Tokyo

Back in Tokyo, live out your karate dreams during a lesson with a martial arts master, or take part in a heart-pounding taiko drumming class. Celebrate your Japanese journey with your friends, and bid sayonara to the land of the rising sun.