Japan’s rituals, art, farming, cuisine and botany have long been shaped by the land. The Japanese philosophy of working in harmony with nature has created unique and sustainable practices. This tour examines how the land and people work together and how this has influenced botany, farming practice, gardens and cuisine in Japan today.
Starting in Tokyo, learn about botanical history in Japan and visit gardens incorporating traditional, contemporary and Western plants and design. Hear about the mini forests of Akira Miyawaki, how gardens and art coexist at the Nezu Museum and see azaleas in bloom at the ancient Nezu Shrine. Travel into the Japanese Alps and experience wasabi, peppers and horticulture in the mountains, before flying to the lovely island of Shikoku.
In Shikoku visit the extensive botanical gardens named after Tomitaro Makino, known as the father of Japanese botany, and visit Japan’s largest open-air market to enjoy its crafts, produce and street food. Cross the highlands and immerse yourself in forest therapy en route to Matsyuama, where dinner is served in a traditional onsen, or bath house.
Cross the Inland Sea to Hiroshima to understand how trees are used to cleanse irradiated soil and learn about the traditions of natural farming. Continue to the historic, cultural and spiritual centre of Kyoto to discover how gardens, shrines, cuisine and rituals combine to create an exquisite cultural legacy. The tour leaders will provide a series of short commentaries throughout the tour. There is the option of arriving a day early to see the famous Iris Screen at the Nezu Museum. Please contact us for details.
3 nights Tokyo – 2 nights Matsumoto – 3 nights Kochi – 1 night Matsuyama - 2 nights Hiroshima – 3 nights Kyoto
Bill Bynum is Professor Emeritus at University College London. A Yale graduate in medicine, he began his career in the history of medicine with a Cambridge PhD before moving to the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. His 'History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction' and 'A Little History of Science' have been translated into 14 languages. Bill also edited the Penguin 150th anniversary edition of The Origin of Species.
After a PhD in the History of Medicine from University College London, Helen Bynum lectured at the University of Liverpool before beginning a freelance career as a medical historian and popular science writer. Together with Bill she edited 'Great Discoveries in Medicine' before turning their attention to the world of plants and their histories in 'Remarkable Plants that Shape our World' and 'Botanical Sketchbooks'. ‘Team Bynum’ have led and lectured on successful tours and cruises for Jon Baines Tours.
The cost of the tour per person sharing is US $6,986. The cost of the tour with a room to yourself is US $7,917.