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SIGNATURE MOMENT
Spend an indulgent seven full days in Kyoto, staying in a modern ryokan
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Meditate in the most beautiful Zen gardens
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Study architecture and garden design at temple sites
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Enjoy the crimson leaves and perfect weather

Everyday Beauty: Japanese Art and Culture

Nov 04-14, 2021

13 days | Japan | Literary Adventures

From the Heian to the Edo periods, and through to the present day, traditional Japanese culture has achieved a rare refinement. Temples and gardens, poetry, calligraphy, ceramics, woodblock prints, textiles, flower arrangement, and the way of tea: beauty infused nearly every aspect of life.

For the lover of art, Kyoto is a must-see destination, in a class with Florence or Paris. Our seven full days there give us an unparalleled opportunity to immerse ourselves in the ancient capital at a relaxed and convivial pace. From moss gardens to rock gardens, from grand wooden temples to intricately carved netsuke, we will gain a deeper understanding of the arts of classical Japan. November is perhaps the best time of year to visit, with brilliant autumn colours—deep red and gold of Japanese maple. These colours transform the gardens, inviting us into a contemplative state of mind.

Our expert Japanese guides will give their insights on walking tours of Kyoto. Sean Forester’s presentations will explore themes of Japanese art and culture from an artist’s point of view. We will read and discuss Japan’s greatest classical haiku poets—Basho, Buson, and Issa—and excerpts from The Tale of Genji, written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century. Zen Buddhism is of course central for the arts of Japan, and we will read Zen stories and koans, explore the concept of wabi-sabi, and take part in a traditional tea ceremony.

Then traveling by bullet train, we will arrive in Tokyo to plunge into the modern with skyscrapers standing beside ancient shrines. We will experience Japanese design and hospitality: Tokyo has elegant shopping and more Michelin stars than any city in the world. We’ll visit tow private museums and plan to attend a performance of kabuki theatre. Finally, no tour of Japan would be complete without a visit to Mt. Fuji, so often depicted in the prints of Hokusai and Hirogshige.

If you love art and have enjoyed Classical Pursuits’ European art tours, or you have an interest in Zen, this is the journey for you. The beauty of Japan will change the way you see.
Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
Approx. US$7495
Group Size:
12 -  16 participants

What’s included: Airport transfers; accommodation based on double occupancy; transportation by private coach with air conditioning; most meals; experienced local English-speaking guides; all sightseeing and entrance fees; books and readings; all taxes and gratuities; Sean Forester's presentations; fully escorted

"I found [Sean's] lectures profoundly enlightening."
"[Sean is a] great teacher with unique and broad perspectives."

Itinerary at a Glance

DayActivity
1Meet in Kyoto
2Golden Pavilion, Ryoanji Temple and Zen rock garden
3Silver Pavilion, Nanzen-ji Temple’s Tiger Garden
4Nijo Castle, grand views from the Kiyomizu Temple, Geishas
5Zen temples, Tea ceremony
6Nara and the birth of arts and crafts
7Katsura Imperial Villa, the ultimate torii gate at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
8The Tale of Genji in the town of Uji
9Bullet Train to Tokyo
10Japanese prints, contemporary galleries
11Iconic Mt. Fuji
12Arts and crafts in nature
13Depart Tokyo
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Your Tour Leader

Sean Forester is a San Francisco–based artist and lecturer. He lived in Italy for ten years and trained as a classical painter at the Florence Academy of Art. Sean is Director of Art History, Humanities, and Composition at the Golden Gate Atelier.

Email Us

Or call 1-800-387-1483 with any questions or to reserve your spot!

Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
Approx. US$7495
Group Size:
12 -  16 participants

What’s included: Airport transfers; accommodation based on double occupancy; transportation by private coach with air conditioning; most meals; experienced local English-speaking guides; all sightseeing and entrance fees; books and readings; all taxes and gratuities; Sean Forester's presentations; fully escorted

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Everyday Beauty: Japanese Art and Culture

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