• Explore a range of fascinating temples, from Sensō-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, to Tōkei-ji in the city of Kamakura, and Tōdai-ji in Nara, home to the one of the largest bronze Buddhas in the country
• Discover the stunning collection of treasures in the Tokyo National Museum, the oldest and largest in Japan, home to a captivating array of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics and statues
• Enjoy Japan’s beautiful parks and gardens, including Ueno Park and the country’s famous rock garden at Ryōan-ji
Depart London Heathrow 1020 on Finnair via Helsinki.
Arrive Tokyo 0805 and transfer to Asakusa View Hotel for four nights. Welcome talk. Afternoon visit to Sensō-ji Temple (Tokyo’s oldest temple, dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon).
Morning lecture: Edo to Tokyo. Visits to Tokyo National Museum (including Hōryū-ji Treasures, Asian art gallery and Honkan Japanese Gallery) and Ueno Park.
Whole day excursion by train to Kamakura, including Tsurugaoka Hachimangū (shrine), Engaku-ji (one of Kamakura’s five major Rinzai Zen temples), Tōkei-ji (temple and women’s refuge) and Great Buddha.
Visits in Tokyo: Meiji Shrine, Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery (80 paintings depicting events from the life of Emperor Meiji), Zōjō-ji Temple near Roppongi, Temple of 500 Arhats at Meguro (intricate hand-sculpted Arhats).
Kōyasan (monastic centre) followed by walk through Oku-no-in (Kukai’s mausoleum). Transfer to Fudo for one night at the Kōyasan Renge-in Shukubo.
Transfer to Nara: Kōngobu-ji, Reihokan Treasure Museum. Evening lecture: Buddhist Art of the Nara Period. Three nights at the Hotel Nara Fujita.
Visits in Nara: Tōdai-ji (including museum), Kasuga Taisha (celebrated shrine), Nara National Museum, Kōfuku-ji Temple.
Yakushi-ji (pagodas), Hōryū-ji (temple built in 607 AD), Phoenix Hall at Byōdō-in (rare group of 11th century Buddhist statues).
Morning lecture: Kyoto – the Cultural Capital of Japan. Transfer to Kyoto for visits including Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji temple with gold leaf decoration), Ryōan-ji (famous rock garden) and Daitoku-ji (including Daisen-in). Three nights at Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo, Kyoto.
Visits including Sanjusangendo, Toji and Fushimi Inari (shrine dedicated to god of rice).
Whole day excursion to Eihei-ji (temple complex in mountains).
Excursions to Silver Pavilion and Kennin-ji (one of the oldest Zen Buddhist temples in Kyoto). Overnight at Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport.
Transfer to Osaka Airport for 1045 departure on Finnair via Helsinki, arriving London Heathrow 1710.