Discover the essence of Japan—from Mt. Fuji, Kanazawa, and Kyoto to Tokyo—and discover a land of sublime art, unsurpassed natural beauty, and fascinating traditions as well as bustling modernity.

Starting at: $6,757 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto  Buddha at Todai-ji Temple  The iconic Mt. Fuji  Traditional kimonos  Entrance to Nijo Castle (detail), Kyoto  Nijo Castle Garden, Kyoto  Ryoan-ji Zen Garden, Kyoto  Todaiji Temple, Nara  The historic houses of Shirakawa-go  An artisan at work  Traditional sushi platter  Sushi-making lesson

Eternal Japan

13 days from $6,757 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Discover the essence of Japan—from Mt. Fuji, Kanazawa, and Kyoto to Tokyo—and discover a land of sublime art, unsurpassed natural beauty, and fascinating traditions as well as bustling modernity.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


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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.

Eternal Japan is a fabulous overview of Japanese culture, with plenty of hands-on experiences and marvelous experts and guides from Smithsonian.

- Kathy, A.


See All Journeys Dispatches ››


May 13 - 25, 2019 Departure; Aug 28 - Sep 9, 2019 Departure; Sep 16 - 28, 2019 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.

Oct 7 - 19, 2019 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 9 - 21, 2019 Departure
Robert Foster

Robert Foster

After receiving a B.A. in History from Kenyon College in Ohio, Foster pursued graduate work at Harvard University, where he earned his Master's degree in East Asia Studies (1990) and his Ph.D. in Chinese History (1997), during which time he was an exchange student at Peking University (1990-1991). Since 1997, he has been a member of the faculty of the Department of History at Berea College, where he created the Asian Studies program. Although his courses at Berea focus on Chinese and Japanese history, Foster has also developed a broader understanding of the cultural interactions throughout East Asia and between China and Central Asia. Foster has been a participant in National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes on the Silk Road sponsored by the East-West Center in Hawaii and seminars on modern China at the Salzburg Seminar in Austria. Foster has worked to make Chinese culture more accessible to a Western audience. He has translated key Classical Chinese texts, has written on China's relation to the Silk Road, on Confucian philosophy, and on the modern use of Confucian imagery in the PRC and Japan. Recognizing the value of directly engaging Asian cultures, he has taken student and faculty groups to the Peoples' Republic of China and Japan. He has served as Smithsonian Lecturer in China and has led workshops on Asia with organizations as diverse as the U.S. military and secondary school educators in Kentucky.

Oct 23 - Nov 4, 2019 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.