Study & Travel (Multi-Destination) Programs

Japanese Culture: Past, Present and Future Itinerary

AIFS Flight Dates

Outbound: May 25 to Kansai | Inbound: June 15 from Tokyo

Japanese Culture: Past, Present and Future

Academic Program: May 27 - June 14

Monday, May 25

Optional overnight flight from U.S. to Kansai International Airport.*

Tuesday, May 26

Arrive in Kansai, (Including Own Travel Students). Transfer to accommodation in Kyoto.* Balance of day free to settle in. Kyoto, capital of Kyoto Prefecture, once served as Japan’s capital and the Emperor’s residence from 794-1868. It is often considered the city which best depicts Japan’s rich history and culture. Home to numerous temples, shrines, traditional gardens, a castle and a range of museums, Kyoto offers a glimpse into traditional Japanese customs and art.

Wednesday, May 27

Morning orientation followed by a sightseeing walking tour with a professional guide of Kyoto’s Higashiyama district, one of Kyoto’s best preserved historical districts. Evening group welcome meal.

Thursday, May 28

Morning class. Evening traditional Japanese cooking class with sake tasting.

Friday, May 29

Morning tour of Taizo-In Zen Buddhist Temple, with an introduction lesson in zazen meditation and a shojin-ryori (monk style) lunch at the temple. Afternoon classes.

Saturday, May 30

Morning and afternoon classes.

Sunday, May 31

Full-day excursion to Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital. Visit Todai-ji and its Great Buddha Hall, one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temples. You will also have the opportunity to visit Nara’s Deer Park and other important temples on your walking tour.

Monday, June 1

Morning guided tour of Nijo Castle, residence of the first shogun of the Edo Period which was later used as an Imperial Palace.

Afternoon guided tour of Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), a UNESCO Zen temple in northern Kyoto and one of Kyoto’s most iconic sites.

Tuesday, June 2

Free day.

Wednesday, June 3

Full-day excursion to Hiroshima and Miyajima Island. Travel by shinkansen to Hiroshima, a modern city that was largely destroyed by the first atomic bomb in World War II. Visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum with museum guides. Near to Hiroshima, Miyajima is one of the top three scenic spots in Japan. You will have free time to explore the island and visit its famous Itsukushima Shrine. Return to Kyoto in evening.

Thursday, June 4

Morning and afternoon classes, with free time in the evening to explore.

Friday, June 5

Morning departure for Nagasaki by shinkansen train with the balance of the day free to settle in. Set in a natural harbor, Nagasaki was once the home of the first foreign settlements for Western trade in Japan. Infamous as the site of the second atomic bomb, it is a city with a long and significant history.

Saturday, June 6

Morning visit to Dejima, constructed in 1636 to segregate Portuguese residents from the Japanese population and control their missionary activities. Today it is home to numerous historical and reconstructed buildings. Afternoon visit to the Museum of History and Culture.

Sunday, June 7

Morning visit to Nagasaki’s Peace Park. Balance of day free.

Monday, June 8

Morning departure to Tokyo by shinkansen with the balance of the travel day to settle in Tokyo. Japan’s busy and sometimes overwhelming capital city mixes the modern, ultramodern, and traditional. The most culture shocking of Japan’s cities, its sights include historic temples and shopping districts, peaceful traditional gardens, history and art museums, neon lights, skyscrapers, “otaku” pop culture, anime and cult fashion.

Wednesday, June 10

Morning class followed by a visit to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

Thursday, June 11

Morning visit to Ghibli Museum. Set near lovely Inokashira Park in Western Tokyo, this museum is dedicated to the work of the Japanese animation studio “Studio Ghibli”. Afternoon visit to Nakano Broadway, home to manga and memorabilia stores.

Friday, June 12

Morning class followed by a visit to Akihabara, Tokyo’s Electric Town, considered to be an “otaku” cultural center and shopping district for anime, manga, video game and home to numerous maid and robot cafés.

Saturday, June 13

Morning class followed by a river cruise from Asakusa to Hamariyku traditional Japanese gardens. Afterwards, you will visit Tokyo Tower’s main deck platform for a panoramic view of the city.

Sunday, June 14

Morning class and afternoon final exams. Traditional farewell meal.

Monday, June 15

Optional return flight from Tokyo to the U.S.*

AIFS reserves the right to modify the itinerary. Dates are subject to change.

* Included for students on the AIFS Flight Package only.