The island nation of Japan is wonderfully suited for exploration by small ship. Join your fellow Princetonians for an eight-night cruise through the Inland Sea and the Sea of Japan aboard the 114-passenger Caledonian Sky.
Explore the major cosmopolitan cities of Kyoto and Tokyo and venture beyond to a fascinating variety of tranquil historic towns, artistic centers and remote islands. Visit sacred temples and celebrated gardens. Interact with the owner of a traditional geisha house, a Zen Buddhist monk and an artisan ceramicist. Take part in a tea ceremony, enjoy an electrifying private performance by the world-class Kodo Drummers and travel on Japan's high-speed rail — the shinkansen, or "bullet train." A stop in the World Heritage City of Gyeongju, South Korea, punctuates the tour of Japan and old and new. An optional post-trip extension to Kamakura and the hot springs resort of Hakone is also available.
Please note: Princeton travelers will be joined on this voyage by those from partnering organizations.
Constantine Vaporis *87, Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will serve as Princeton Study Leader for this Journey.
Though his research focuses on the Edo period, Professor Vaporis is deeply interested in the entire range of Japanese history and teaches his courses from an East Asian or comparative context. Author of Breaking Barriers: Travel and the State in Early Modern Japan; Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo and the Culture of Early Modern Japan; Voices of the Shogun’s Age: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life in Tokugawa, Japan, 1603-1868 and (pre-press) Sword and Brush: Portraits of Samurai Life in Tokugawa Japan, he also remains fascinated by contemporary Japan.
He has received numerous fellowships for research in Japanese history including a Fulbright Scholar's Award and an NEH Fellowship for College Teachers. Having received his Ph.D. from Princeton’s East Asian Studies department, he began teaching at UMBC in 1989, has had visiting appointments at The Johns Hopkins University and University of Pennsylvania, and was recently appointed the 2013-2016 UMBC Presidential Research Professor.
During this Journey, his commentary on maritime Japan, the Samurai in history and the atomic bomb in popular culture, will complement that of other experts in Japanese religions and art history.