Explore Japan in depth during visits to many of the country's highlights, plus off-the-beaten-path excursions to learn about its rich traditions.

Starting at: $5,891 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto  Daibutsu or "Great Buddha" in Nara, Japan  An artisan at work  Mt. Fuji  Young Geishas offer a picturesque pose against sake barrels  Entrance to Nijo Castle (detail), Kyoto  Nijo Castle Garden, Kyoto  Ryoan-ji Zen Garden, Kyoto  The Todaiji Temple, Nara  The historic houses of Shirakawa-go

Eternal Japan

13 days from $5,891 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Explore Japan in depth during visits to many of the country's highlights, plus off-the-beaten-path excursions to learn about its rich traditions.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This Smithsonian Journeys trip exceeded my expectations. The quality of leadership and their narratives, the hotels, and local guides make my trip rich beyond words. Thank you Smithsonian for a special life experience.

- Cheryl B.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Apr 1 - 13, 2017 Departure
Louisa McDonald

Louisa McDonald

Aya Louisa McDonald, is an Associate Professor of Art History and Chair of the Art Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas specializing in Japanese art . She received her Ph.D. in East Asian Art from Stanford University and did post-graduate studies in Japanese art history at Tokyo University. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the gender distinctions in medieval Japanese narrative scroll painting. After a post-doc at Harvard University, where she was an Associate in Research at the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies, she taught in New England before joining the faculty at UNLV. Louisa’s scholarly interests range widely from French Japonisme to modern and contemporary Japanese art. Currently, her research is focused on the relationship between art and war, particularly the World War II war art of the Japanese artist Fujita Tsuguharu (1886-1968). She is co-editor of Art and War in Japan and its Empire: 1931-1960, an anthology of art historical essays, including her own, published in 2012 by Brill (Leiden) in the Japanese Visual Culture Series.

Apr 15 - 27, 2017 Departure
James McClain

James McClain

James McClain received his Ph.D. from Yale University and has taught Japanese and Korean history at Brown University for nearly 25 years. He first visited Japan and Korea on a lark immediately after receiving his B.A. at the University of Michigan; the jaunt turned into a lifelong commitment to better understand these two compelling cultures and their interrelationships. McClain is the author of an award-winning book on Kanazawa: A Castle Town in Seventeenth-Century Japan (Yale University Press, 1982), and more recently a 700-page textbook, Japan: a Modern History, published in 2001 by W.W. Norton. He has further co-edited two volumes on Japanese cities, Edo and Osaka, in addition to articles in important venues. His research has won support over the years from the Japan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Apr 19 - May 1, 2017 Departure
William Farrell

William Farrell

Bill Farrell’s connections with Japan began in 1968. During the next 47 years Bill resided in or traveled regularly to Japan. Bill has seen Japan from many perspectives, initially serving two tours as a military officer then as Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo. His relationship with Japan continued as Chairman of a consulting company focused on Asia and as Chairman and Board member of the National Association of Japan-America Societies. As an Advanced Research Fellow, Harvard University, he joined a select group of private sector, government, and academic fellows conducting research into Japan related matters.

In recognition of these and other Japan associated efforts promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding, in 2012, the Government of Japan on behalf of the Emperor, bestowed the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon. Bill Farrell holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Michigan.

May 10 - 22, 2017 Departure
Jonathan Hall

Jonathan Hall

Jonathan M. Hall is a film researcher and curator in Media Studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California. An expert in East Asian film cultures, Jonathan's research profile extends to avant-garde art and digital technologies. In 2004-2005, Jonathan co-curated “JPEX: Japanese Experimental Film, 1955-now,” the most extensive program of Japanese experimental film to tour outside Japan; he has also served as Festival Fellow for the Cinema/Pacific Festival where he curated a program on sound in recent Japanese cinema.  His published articles and forthcoming book include writing on kabuki dance, Japanese postwar photography, and mid-20th century avant-garde film.  Jonathan has previously taught at the University of Chicago, the University of California, and the National University of Fine Arts and Music in Tokyo. He pursued his graduate work simultaneously at the University of Tokyo and the University of California Santa Cruz.

Sep 16 - 28, 2017 Departure
Lee Makela

Lee Makela

Lee Makela is Associate Professor of East Asian History, Emeritus, at Cleveland State University.  His academic interests include traditional urban architecture, garden design, and contemporary popular culture.  Beginning while a Fulbright Scholar in Japan in 1979, he amassed an extensive image collection which allowed him to develop a wide range of illustrated online educational materials.  His "Teaching and Learning About Japan" web site was honored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and he received an Excellence in Teaching Award from CSU in 2001.  Lee has served as study leader on numerous Smithsonian-sponsored Japan tours since 1980.
 

Oct 4 - 16, 2017 Departure
Carol Morland

Carol Morland

Carol Morland is a Japanese art historian, with special expertise in the painting of the Edo period. She has taught courses in East and Southeast Asian art at the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, Nanzan University (Nagoya, Japan), Temple University Japan (Tokyo), and the University of Hawaii. In addition, Carol has been an editor for Orientations in Hong Kong and has translated Japanese articles for that magazine and other publications. Most recently, she was an assistant curator at the Honolulu Museum of Art, where she focused on the museum’s collection of ukiyo-e. Carol holds an M.A. in Japanese Studies and a Ph.D. in Japanese art history from the University of Michigan. She has two decades of experience living, working, and studying in Japan and China. Current research topics include the changing concepts of Japanese portraiture in the early modern period and the rise of amateur painting circles in the Nagoya area during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Oct 23 - Nov 4, 2017 Departure
Constantine Vaporis

Constantine Vaporis

Constantine N. Vaporis is a Professor of History and Founding Director of Asian Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Though his research focuses on the Edo period, Professor Vaporis is deeply interested in the entire range of Japanese history and teaches his courses from an East Asian or comparative context. Author of Breaking Barriers: Travel and the State in Early Modern Japan; Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo and the Culture of Early Modern Japan; Voices of the Shogun's Age: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life in Tokugawa, Japan, 1603-1868 and (pre-press) Sword and Brush: Portraits of Samurai Life in Tokugawa Japan, he also remains fascinated by contemporary Japan. He has received numerous fellowships for research in Japanese history including a Fulbright Scholar's Award and an NEH Fellowship for College Teachers. Having received his Ph.D. from Princeton's East Asian Studies department, he began teaching at UMBC in 1989, has had visiting appointments at The Johns Hopkins University and University of Pennsylvania, and was recently appointed the 2013-2016 UMBC Presidential Research Professor. He frequently conducts workshops in Japanese history for teachers and museum docents as well as three-day courses on contemporary Japanese and Asian history for various U.S. government agencies. Vaporis first traveled to Japan in 1978, and has continued to travel there almost yearly. He has lived in a number of different cities across the country--Tokyo, Kyoto, Kochi, Hiroshima--for a total of roughly seven years.