Green = South Korea pre-conference itinerary

Black = Main Japan conference itinerary

Purple = Nakasendo post-conference itinerary

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner


Wed 8th May

Overnight flight to Seoul

9th–12th May

Pre tour South Korea experience – full description is here

Sat 11th May

Overnight flight to Tokyo Via Helsinki on Finnair arriving 08:55

Those arriving from Korea will land at Hanida airport and meet at lunch

Sun 12th May


We will arrive at Tokyo in the morning and witness this mass city of 12 million people set itself up for the day.

Whilst your luggage goes to the hotel we will introduce you to the city through the captivating Edo-Tokyo Museum which provides the perfect background to your stay in the most amazingly curated display.

Lunch will be after the museum at the special Sumo wrestling restaurant and then we will head for the hotel to check in, welcome meeting and first academic session.

Hyatt Centric


Mon 13th May


After this morning’s academic session we will take the train and head to the famous Tokyo Fish market.

Then it is a short walk to the wonderful Ham-Rikyu gardens on the site of the fortress on the Tokyo river.

We will have lunch during our tour before heading back to the hotel for the evening academic session.

This evening’s dinner will be at nearby kisoji restaurant which specialises in th famous Wagyu beef.

Hyatt Centric


Tue 14th May


After this morning’s session we will take the train to a culinary study session and learn the art of sushi making (and eating!)

After consuming your products (and that of the master chef your instructor) we will visit the tranquil Meiji Shrine and learn about this Shinto shrine in the centre of a wonderful wooded area.

Finally we visit the vibrant area of Harajiku and take a walk down the Ometosando displaying the best in modern architecture.

This evening we head for Shinjuku East the entertainment area full of restaurants and the tiny bars that make up Golden Gait. It is karaoke night!

Hyatt Centric


Wed 15th May


After the morning session we take the train for the 2 1/4 hour trip to Izu.

Now it time for serious relaxation in the geothermal pools overlooking the sea and you will quickly tune into the traditional Japanese Ryokan way ( see hotel description). This is a luxurious Onsen and an insight into a totally different experience.

Full details of Izu are here


B L* D

*Lunch Box

Thurs 16th May


After a leisurely morning and more hot spring (or sea bathing if you fancy) we travel all the way to Western Honshu on the bullet train.

After arriving at Okayama there is an evening academic session and dinner.

Granvia Okayama

B L* D

*Lunch Box

Fri 17th May

Okayama (Hiroshima)

It is only 45 minutes on the Bullet train from our hotel to Hiroshima. If the tides are right we will go straight to the beautiful island of Miyajima and the famous Itsukushima shrine and Tori gate both of which look stunning immersed in the sea.

Then, of course we will visit the peace park and Museum to the Hiroshima bombing. (reversed itinerary if high tide is in the afternoon).

Dinner will be a famous local delicacy okonomiyaki. A sort of tortilla full of noodles pork squid cabbage and delicious!

Then back to the hotel on the Bullet train.

Granvia Okayama


Sat 18th May



A later start today and train to Uno port then a 20 minute ferry to the internationally acclaimed art island of Naoshima.

Stunning art, installations architecture and museums are to be found all over the island. You can easily grab lunch in one of the museums or at the port.

Granvia Okayama

B (free time for lunch on island)

Sun 19th May

Okayama / Kurashiki / Kyoto

Morning academic session then a 15 minute train journey to the hidden gem of Kurashiki. Wonder through the charming streets, canals and ancient houses, interesting shops and tea houses and lunch in a delightful Ryokan. Then visit the Art Museum with its impressive impressionist collection. Free time too.

Then we catch the local train for the 15 minute journey back to Okayama to get the bullet train to Kyoto.

We will eat at one of the restaurants in the architecturally exciting Kyoto station complex.

Granvia Kyoto


Mon 20th May


After the morning session take a local train  to Nara, the ancient capital of Japan. However first there is a stop at the stunning Fushimi-Inari shrine . After a visit and lunch we carry on to Nara and the breath-taking Todaiji temple with its great Buddha surrounded by the large Nara park home to 1000 deer.

Free night for you to choose a dining venue (with our help if needed).


Tue 21st May


An early(ish) start to beat the crowds at Kyoto’s Nijo Castle and it beautifully decorated rooms as befits an imperial residence.

Then to Arishiyami and the famous bamboo forest and a spot of lunch.

This afternoon some Zen contemplation at the dry garden of the Ryonanji temple and finish with a visit the Golden Shrine in its sublime setting.

Evening academic session.

This evening we will eat in a vegetable garden on a roof at Savory restaurant.


Wed 22nd May


After the final academic session this morning it is time to take part in the famous Japanese Tea Ceremony. It is philosophically more Yoga than Yorkshire!

Then a visit to Kiyomizu temple with its stunning view over Kyoto and its masterful wooden constructions. You can even drink at the sacred pool.

Finally time to wonder the streets of the charming Gion area especially if you want to do some gift shopping!

Our final evening sees us entertained in by that famous Japanese social group – the Geishas – or apprentice geishas known as Maiko


Thurs 23rd May


A coach will take us to Osaka Airport for the morning flight to Helsinki and then to London Heathrow.

For those who have been on the Seoul extension - an easy morning before taking the afternoon train to Tokyo for an overnight stay before returning back to the UK.

Or you will stay an extra day in Kyoto to explore this charming city before setting out on one of Japan’s most amazing experiences – Walking the Nakasendo.


Fri 24th to Mon 27th May


BA Seoul Extension group return home (day flight).

Walk the Nakasendo – see full description here

Finish the walk on 28th and transfer to Narita Airport for overnight at airport hotel.


Tue 28th May


Fly to UK via Helsinki.




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