Travelers on this journey will get a rare opportunity to participate in Jidai Matsuri, Festival of the Ages, held in Kyoto each October.
This carefully crafted itinerary offers travelers a chance to venture beyond the typical tourist sites to discover the fascinating worlds of Japan—ancient and contemporary, urban and rural, sacred and cutting-edge. Begin in the Imperial capital of Kyoto, now a bustling and beautiful modern city dotted with ancient temples and walled gardens. Next venture to the remote Iya Valley, nestled in the timeless mountains of Shikoku Island, to explore clear waterfalls, picturesque vine bridges steeped in folklore, and tiny villages with traditional thatched-roof farmhouses. Fast forward to the Inland Sea island of Naoshima and experience its cutting-edge art and contemporary architecture, including world-class museums. Conclude the journey with a bullet train ride to Tokyo and discover the highlights of Japan’s fast-paced capital city.
The dates of this journey are timed to coincide with both the annual Jidai Matsuri, Festival of the Ages, in Kyoto, and the beloved monthly flea market at Kyoto’s Toji Temple. During our tour, participants will learn calligraphy from local artisans, participate in an authentic tea ceremony in a historic machiya house, stay at a traditional ryokan with indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, and savor the flavors of Japan, from simple vegetarian fare, traditionally served in Buddhist temples, to the exquisite kaiseki multi-course meals served at the ryokan.
About the Study Leader
Dora C. Y. Ching *11 is Associate Director of the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art at Princeton University. She is a specialist in East Asian art, and her scholarship engages in questions of identity and function in portraiture, the interplay of aesthetics and literati culture in calligraphy, and the transmission of art and ideas along the Silk Road. Before and during her time at the Tang Center, she has been deeply engaged in book editing and publication, with more than a dozen books to her credit as co-editor or managing editor. She is the author of numerous book chapters and articles and has co-curated three major museum exhibitions. Her current project focuses on the Buddhist caves in Dunhuang in northwest China and the historic Lo Archive of 1940s photographs of the site, culminating in a seven-volume publication. She has taught courses on portraiture and the Silk Road and is developing an art history course on sacred sites in Asia. She has conducted research trips to Japan in the past and is eager to explore again traditional “sacred sites” and their modern architectural and artistic equivalents.