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: $5,691 * 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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Louisa McDonald

Louisa McDonald

Sep 26 - Oct 8, 2015

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.

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 Japanese film culture, Jonathan's research profile extends to avant-garde art and digital technology on the one hand and to film's intersections with literature and history on the other. He is interested in how Japanese arts both express and question dominant culture. In the mid 1990s, Jonathan co-curated JPEX: Japanese Experimental Film, 1955-now, the most extensive program of Japanese experimental film to tour outside Japan. Jonathan has also 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.