Depart on a direct flight from Heathrow.
Arrive Tokyo, private coach to our hotel.
Tokyo: Fukagawa ‘Downtown’ Museum’, with reconstructed streets of the Edo period and the Edo Tokyo Museum.
Bullet train’ north to Hachinohe and the Korekawa Archaeological Museum. Continue train journey to Aomori on the north coast of Honshu. We visit the Jomon period site of Sannai Maruyama, occupied by huntergatherers between c 3900 and 2300 BC.
Drive across the volcanic landscape of Lake Towada: the Oyu stone circles and museum.
Train through the lovely scenery of the Japan Sea coast to Nagaoka and Niigata Prefectural Museum of History, and Umataka Site Museum to see the wonderful Jomon ‘Flame Pottery’.
Drive down the Shinano River, the focus of Simon Kaner’s Project. Najomon Experimental Jomon Museum, high in the mountains at Tsunan; through the Japan Alps to Nagano Prefecture.
Togarashi Jomon site, home of the Tanabatake Venus; the Shakado Jomon site, where over 1100 figurines were discovered, now exhibited in a museum in the midst of Japan’s wine country – and perhaps a glimpse of Mount Fuji. Suwa Grand Shrine complex, focus of the ‘Ombashira’ festival (every 7 years) when huge cedars are felled and ‘ridden’ down the mountains.
Train through the southern Alps to Nara, the ancient Heian capital of Japan. We visit Nara Park to see Todaiji-Temple, the biggest wooden building in the world, dating from the 8th century and Yakushiji-Temple.
Walk part of the Yamanobe-no-michi path, linking ancient temples and shrines along the Nara Plain, or relax if you prefer.
Heijo Palace, imperial palace of the 8th century, now impressively reconstructed, with one of the earliest Japanese gardens, royal tombs and museum.
The chance to learn about water preservation in ancient Japan at the new archaeological museum at Sayamike water reservoir, with a 20m high dam. On to the largest earthen burial mounds in the world at Mozu-furuichi, up to 500m in length.
Kyoto for palaces, gardens, temples and shrines, and an opportunity to try a tea ceremony at the Urasenke Tea Foundation Museum. Free time in Kyoto.
Kyoto and Arashiyama Park natural and historical park - idealised Japanese landscape. Overnight ferry through the Inland Sea to Kyushu.
Drive from Beppu to Yoshinogari, a huge Yayoi period site in Saga; Imari home of Japan’s porcelain production and a chance to see the workshops.
Nagasaki, a rebuilt and bustling commercial city, once the location of the first Dutch trading station in Japan. We see the famous ‘Spectacles Bridge’, and the atomic bomb museum. Train and short ferry ride to Miyajima Island.
Train to Himeji and visit the castle (under restoration but we will see the work in progress). Train to Tokyo.
Fly home from Tokyo.
NB This is our 2013 itinerary it is likely to change in 2014.
- Flights - Scheduled flights London/Tokyo
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach; bullet train, regional train and ferry. Forwarding luggage on several occasions
- Guide Lecturer - Dr Simon Kaner and Dr Werner Steinhaus (Nov 13). Not to be confused with "guest lecturers"! The guide lecturer will be with you from breakfast to supper, and probably even a drink in the bar afterwards. There is the occasional site where they may not be allowed to guide because of local regulations but otherwise the guides are just that. They will have been chosen because of specialist knowledge and their ability to communicate and interest you. After 29 years of making tours worldwide, we are highly appreciative of the attributes of a good guide, and intensely critical of people who do not possess them
- Tour Manager - Gudrun Schmid (Nov 13). We never know how best to call the very special people whom we choose to accompany you on your tour. They are usually employed in this capacity only by us, and have been trained to do things in the Andante way - unobtrusive, friendly and quietly efficient
- Meals - Most lunches included, details tbc. All dinners included except on days 11, 13 and 14. Drinks are not
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips
- Local Guide
- Field Notes
2 nights in a traditional district of Tokyo;
1 night in Aomori; 1 night in Akita or Kazuno;
1 night in Nagaoka;
2 nights nr Suwako;
3 nights in Nara;
2 nights in a city hotel in Kyoto;
1 night on ferry in private cabin with shared facilities;
1 night in Nagasaki;
1 night in Miyajima;
1 night in modern hotel central Tokyo
|Fri 8th - Mon 25th Nov 2013 with Dr Simon Kaner & Werner Steinhaus
|Twin/Doubles: Last few
|Fri 7th - Mon 24th Nov 2014 withTBC