From historic castle towns to the dazzle of downtown Tokyo, experience the essence of Japan past and present, delving into art, cuisine, and spiritual traditions in great cities and stunning rural areas.

Starting at: $7,784 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Monk at Buddhist shrine in Kyoto
 The Higashiyama District in Kyoto
 Evening panorama of Tokyo
 The Tokyo-Edo Museum
 The Shinto Meiji Shrine, Tokyo
 Asakusa Kannon, or Sensoji Temple, Tokyo
 Tokyo's Ginza district
 Mt. Fuji and Ashi Lake
 The iconic Mt. Fuji
 Old Town, Takayama
 The historic houses of Shirakawa-go
 The art of gold leaf, Kanazawa. Credit: Courtesy Japan Tourism Bureau
 The art of calligraphy
 The art of the Japanese tea ceremony
 Traditional sushi platter
 Sushi-making lesson
 Traditional kimonos
 Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto
 Entrance to Nijo Castle (detail), Kyoto
 Nijo Castle Garden, Kyoto
 Ryoan-ji Zen Garden, Kyoto
 Kofuku-ji Temple, Nara
 Todai-ji Temple, Nara
 Buddha at Todai-ji Temple, Nara

Eternal Japan

13 days from $7,784 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

From historic castle towns to the dazzle of downtown Tokyo, experience the essence of Japan past and present, delving into art, cuisine, and spiritual traditions in great cities and stunning rural areas.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


Hard to top this trip! It was well planned and the opportunity to see smaller cities such as Takayama made this trip very special. There was no way could we have seen, experienced and learned so very much about this country on our own … especially over a limited number of days! Very good value. This was our second Smithsonian journey and, as we experienced with our first, excellent arrangements, enrichment program, and educational impact. This was simply an outstanding introduction to Japanese culture; it topped our expectations.

- Suzanne and Peter C.

This was a top quality tour! Fabulous rooms, and delicious meals. The best part though is the exceptional tour guides and experts that took us on this amazing journey through Japan. I learned so much and felt completely cared for from them as we traveled from one city to the next. I would recommend traveling with Smithsonian to all my friends and family without hesitation!

- Carol M.

This tour really gave us insights into the culture and language of Japan we couldn't have gotten any other way. 

- Nicky S.

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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*Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

This modern hotel is centrally located in Tokyo and sits close to the city’s popular Ginza area. Hotel facilities and amenities include several restaurants, a bar, fitness center, sauna, salon, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, and dry cleaning and laundry service. Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms have a private bath with hairdryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone

Number of nights: 3

Hakone Setsugetsuka (ryokan)

Kanagawa, Japan

Setsugetsuka sits just a minute’s walk away from Gora Station in the small hot springs town of Hakone. This traditional ryokan offers a Japanese-style lodging experience where guests can enjoy a dip in the public outdoor onsen bath; dine upon fresh, local Japanese food at dinner; and experience sleeping in a Japanese-style room with private bathroom.  Water is pulled from two private springs, and the ryokan offers traditional décor and a tranquil atmosphere for our one-night stay.   Air-conditioned guest rooms offer private bath with hair dryer, tea-making facilities, and TV.  Per Japanese tradition, shoes must be removed in bedrooms at this ryokan.  

Number of nights: 1

Hida Hotel Plaza Takayama

Takayama, Japan

Centrally located near the railway station and a five-minute walk from Miyagawa morning market, the 283-room Hida Hotel Plaza Takayama features several restaurants, lounges, and a sake bar; beauty salon; gift shop; indoor swimming pool, spa, and sauna; Internet access; and a roof-top pool with commanding views of the northern Japanese Alps. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, refrigerator, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Nikko Kanazawa

Kanazawa, Japan

Conveniently located within walking distance of some of Kanazawa's most popular sights, the 260-room Nikko Kanazawa combines a refined European atmosphere with the beauty of the four seasons. Hotel amenities include several restaurants, lounges, and bars; and an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, and Jacuzzi. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, Internet access, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

The Thousand Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan

Just opened in the summer of 2019, The Thousand Kyoto offers an elegant and contemporary stay in the heart of Kyoto. With soaring interior spaces, understated yet sophisticated décor, and a variety of amenities, The Thousand Kyoto ranks as a perfect place from which to explore this fascinating city. The hotel boasts a Japanese restaurant, an Italian restaurant, a tea room with tea-infused cocktails, fitness center, spa with a range of treatments (for a fee), complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee). Air-conditioned guest rooms are designed according to a minimalist Japanese aesthetic and have private bath with hair dryer, tea-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

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