1. Overview - Click here for general info
2. Dates - Click here to see dates for the next trip
3. Costs - Click here to view costs, what is covered etc.
4. Activities - Click here to see the kinds of things we will do
5. Helpful hints - Click here for some hints and tips
6. Disclaimer - Click here to see what I am not responsible for
7. Contact - My contact information
This Japan tour will be small, unique and exclusive - not an average touristy sightseeing tour, but a trip to learn about the culture and way of life in Japan. It is a cultural, educational and active trip.
We will be visiting Kyoto, Kurashiki, Imari (famous potters village), Fukuoka (my home town), Nagasaki & other places in Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan. For more detailed information, please look at the activities section below.
- Fall 2018: Oct. 23 - Nov. 8 (17 days)
- Spring 2019: March 26 - April 11 (17days)
4 - 6 people $4,350 per person excluding airfare
Single supplement: $200 (no need if you are willing to share a room with a new friend)
Pretty much everything excluding airfare and admissions. Includes all trains, Bullet Trains, buses, ferries, all lodging and most meals (approx.13 breakfasts, 10 lunches or dinners).
In order to secure your booking, I require a non-refundable security deposit of $250. A 2-payment installment schedule will follow after your commitment. If the tour is canceled by me, all fees will be refunded.
- See Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. Visit historical sights and gardens. Definitely visit Nijo Castle to see the "Nightingale Floor" - the floor makes a pleasant sound to warn of intruders. Katsura Imperial Detached Villa, Kiyomizu Temple, Moss Temple and much more.
- At Kurashiki, small quaint museums with collections of Leach, Hamada, Munakata etc.
- Visit Miyajima, a U.N. World Cultural Heritage Site.
- Use Bullet Trains (SHINKANSEN) for some points of travel.
- Visit various artist's studios.
- Visit Imari, a famous porcelain/pottery town.
- Visit Nagasaki A-bomb museum, Dejima, Madame Butterfly house and more.
- Visit Kumamoto Castle, one of the most beautiful feudal castles in Japan (“Last Samurai” movie was based on events at this castle.)
- Visit active Mt. Aso volcano, world's largest caldera, with a magnificent view. It is sometimes closed due to eruptions, gas emissions, fog etc.
- Stay at a remote island fishing village (54 homes) for a spectacular seafood feast, Japanese style, with lots of sashimi. This is truly an amazing experience, even for Japanese. While in Japan learn what "fresh" really means!
- Stay at a traditional 150 year old Japanese Inn. Relax in one of their many outdoor hot springs baths (Onsen) in fresh mountain air. In Japan people bathe naked with the same sex at hot springs. If you wish you may experience mixed bathing. All bathing is optional.
- Delicious organic lunch at an exclusive 230 year old private country house.
- Enjoy an elegant lunch, Sunday buffet and exquisite dinner (Kaiseki) at upscale restaurants.
- Private tea ceremony demonstration at exclusive private home (when available) or tea house. Perhaps a chance to participate.
- How to wear Kimono demonstration (if available).
- Cherry blossom viewing in spring and chrysanthemums in fall.
5. Helpful Hints
* Japanese night life is very active. Many people stay out late frequenting restaurants and bars. Some bars can be expensive. There are many unique and interesting eating and drinking places at reasonable cost, drinks from 500 yen to 1,000 yen. Beer available everywhere even movie theaters. It's fun to experience average night life of Japanese.
* Vending machines (everywhere) provide hot or cold coffee for about 100-150 yen, delicious! Starbucks is everywhere too.
* Simple meals can be purchased for around 500 to 1,000 yen. If you get homesick Western food is available everywhere.....hamburgers, KFC to pizzas.
* Some meals will be taken in the traditional Japanese manner on a tatami floor with low tables. We will experience simple to elegant meals. Vegetarians will enjoy Japanese cuisine.
* Be prepared to walk a lot. Bring good comfortable shoes.
* We make 2 major moves while in Japan carrying all luggage. For side trips, bring a small overnight bag.
* About 50,000 yen should be sufficient for out of pocket expenses to cover all beverages, some meals and admissions (200-1,000 yen). Senior discounts are sometimes available.
* We will be using public transportation; subways, buses, taxis, ferry boats and trains (local trains to Shinkansen-Bullet trains). We rent a micro bus for 2 days.
* In Japan most lodging is charged by the person rather than room. Comfortable accommodations in clean inns and hotels ..... generally 3 star. At the island fishing village males and females sleep in separate rooms.
* Temperature averages around 70F(20C) during my spring and fall tours.
* Interested travelers from all nations are welcome to join my Japan tour.
* Private tours (minimum 6 people) can be organized to satisfy your special interests.
Michie Taylor assumes no liability or responsibility for any delay, loss, damage, injury or accident with regards to persons or property caused by fault or negligence of any hotel, transportation, or local operator rendering a part of our services. I shall not be responsible for any expense caused by loss or damage of personal items. It is the participant's responsibility to be adequately insured. The acceptance of our verbal and written confirmation, and a deposit or final payment for services, constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions listed above. Michie Taylor reserves the right to make any changes, with or without notice, which might become necessary.
If you have any questions, would like to sign up, or just want to say hi, here is all my contact information:
Michie Taylor (new address)
PO Box 273
Big Flats, NY 14814
Hope to see you on a trip!