Eternal Japan

Go off the beaten path and explore Japan in depth, learning about its rich traditions as you take part in a traditional tea ceremony, meet with a preeminent calligrapher, and stroll through Miyakawacho, a geisha neighborhood.

Starting at: $5,591 * Including airfare, airline taxes & departure fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Daibutsu or "Great Buddha" in Nara, Japan  An artisan at work  Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Gate  Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion  Mt. Fuji  Nara's Daibutsu Todai-ji  Young Geishas offer a picturesque pose against sake barrels  The historic houses of Shirakawa-go

Tour Details



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.


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Peter Duus

Peter Duus

Apr 23 - May 5, 2016

Peter Duus, Emeritus Professor of History at Stanford University, is a distinguished historian of modern Japan. He has also taught at Washington University, Harvard University, and Claremont Graduate School, and he has been active in promoting the study of Japan at the pre-collegiate level. In 2012 the Japanese government awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun for his contribution to U.S.-Japan understanding. He is the author of two widely used textbooks on Japanese history, and his other published work has ranged widely, from Japan’s party politics to its cartoon art and its response to natural disasters. His latest book, Rediscovering America, focuses on Japanese views of the United States during the twentieth century. He has spent more than ten of the last fifty years living in Japan witnessing the dramatic changes the country has undergone since its recovery from World War II. An ardent traveler, he has visited nearly every prefecture in Japan, and he spends several months every year in the beautiful old capital Kyoto. He delights in sharing his knowledge with tour groups. After lecturing to the young for so many years, he says, he enjoys talking to adults, whether the subject is Japanese history, Japanese culture or Japanese cuisine.

Jonathan Hall

Jonathan Hall

May 14 - 26, 2016

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.

Lee Makela

Lee Makela

Oct 1 - 13, 2016

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.