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

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

Discover the essence of Japan—from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji, Kanazawa, and Kyoto—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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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.


See All Journeys Dispatches ››


Apr 4 - 16, 2022 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 JapanTour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo and the Culture of Early Modern JapanVoices of the Shogun's Age: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life in Tokugawa, Japan, 1603-1868 (2nd edition); Samurai. An Encyclopedia of Japan’s Cultured Warriors; and (pre-press) The Samurai in Fifteen Lives, he also remains fascinated by contemporary Japan. He has received numerous fellowships for research in Japanese history including a Fulbright Scholar's Award, an NEH Fellowship for College Teachers, an appointment as the 2013-2016 UMBC Presidential Research Professor, and an appointment as a Member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. in 2020-21. 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. 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.

Apr 27 - May 9, 2022 Departure; May 16 - 28, 2022 Departure; Oct 3 - 15, 2022 Departure
Paula Swart

Paula Swart

Paula Swart is an art historian with expertise in Asian art, culture, and history, and has spent most of her professional life as a curator of Asian Studies. She is a lecturer in the Continuing Education Departments of the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria where she has taught a series of courses related to UNESCO World Heritage. Paula holds degrees in Sinology, Asian art history, Chinese history, and archaeology, having spent two years studying in China. She speaks five languages, including Mandarin, and has published several books and numerous articles on the art and architecture of Asian cultures. One of her recent articles “The Legacy of Cham Royal worship: The Danang Museum of Cham sculpture” published in the 2018 November-December issue of Arts of Asia, discusses the Cham culture of Central Vietnam.

Paula has enjoyed introducing visitors to Asian culture and history for more than 30 years, having participated in well over 70 expeditions by train, ship or private jet.

Sep 12 - 24, 2022 Departure
Barry Till

Barry Till

Barry Till is a Curator Emeritus of Asian art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in Canada. With a wide-ranging knowledge of Asia's history, archaeology, and cultures, Barry has travelled extensively and lectured on numerous expeditions—including trips to China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar—for more than thirty years. He has published more than 100 exhibition catalogues (including The Buddhist Arts of Asia), books, and articles on various Asian art topics, and is an enthusiastic and engaging speaker. In 2008, Barry received the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Museums Association. He speaks Chinese, holds degrees in Far Eastern Studies, and studied at Oxford and at Nanjing University in China.

Oct 24 - Nov 5, 2022 Departure
Jonathan Hall

Jonathan Hall

Jonathan M. Hall is Visiting Assistant Professor in Japanese Studies at the University of California Riverside where he teaches courses in Japanese literature, history, film and aesthetics. His broad range of courses includes Classical Japanese Literature, Cultures of the Floating World, Japanese film history, and modern Japanese women’s literature. His published articles and book manuscript include writing on kabuki dance, Japanese postwar photography and performance, and twentieth-century Japanese film. Jonathan is also active as a film subtitler and occasional dramaturge for contemporary performance. Following graduate work pursued dually at the University of Tokyo and the University of California Santa Cruz, Jonathan has taught at the University of Chicago, the National University of Fine Arts and Music in Tokyo, the University of Leeds (UK), and several University of California campuses.