Japan - Historical and Contemporary - Jon Baines Tours

Japan - Historical and Contemporary

8 - 18 Nov 2020
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Travel with Jason James, the Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, on a tour through Japan's history. This beautiful country is a fascinating blend of refined ritual, stylised ceremony, ancient history and modern urbanity. The itinerary follows Japanese history from the first empire and continues to the shoguns, the arrival of the Europeans, the Meiji Restoration and the opening of Japan, to the modern country it is today. the tour includes a range of specialist visits and experiences in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hakone, the Izu Peninsula and Tokyo. There is an optional extension to Nagasaki after the tour.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Jason James

Jason James

Jason James is Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. Having been fascinated by Japan on a choir tour at the age of 13, he chose to read Japanese Studies at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was a double scholar (academic and choral), graduating with a “starred first” (only the third time this accolade had ever been awarded by Cambridge’s Japanese Department) in 1987. Subsequently he worked in the financial industry, mostly specialising in Japanese equities, becoming Head of Research in the Tokyo office of HSBC Securities, and eventually Head of Global Equity Strategy at HSBC in London. From 2007-2011 Jason was Director of the British Council in Japan, during which time he also served as Chair of the European Union National Institutes of Culture Japan cluster, a Board Member of the Japan-British Society, and a Board Member of United World Colleges Japan. Back in London now, in addition to his day job he is a Trustee of the Japan Society, a member of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, and a member of the Japan Season of Culture Action Committee.

Jason’s interest in Japan is broad, covering the economy, financial markets and tax, as well as Japanese literature, art and history, and the relationship between the UK and Japan. Publications range from 'The Political Economy of Japanese Financial Markets' (co-author, Macmillan 1999), to 'Edmund Blunden and Japan' (Asiatic Society, 2010).

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  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • 8 Nov (Sun) Osaka: Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Short Talk: “An Introdution to Osaka – Trade, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the Taira Family”. Okonomiyaki dinner at a restaurant in Dotomobori
  • 9 Nov (Mon) Osaka: A full day’s visit to Mount Koya. Visit the innermost sanctuary, the most sacred of Buddhist sites, where the monk is eternally meditating. Visit the cemetery to see the graves of some of the key people in Japanese history and see some of the 100 temples on the mountains. Learn about the Taira family. Short talk “Early Emperors or Early Empire?” before a welcome dinner in the evening
  • 10 Nov (Tues) Osaka / Kyoto: Take the train to Yoshino and visit the site of the Imperial Villa. Visit Nara, the first capital of Japan. Visit the Great Buddha residing in the world’s largest wooden building and continue to Kasuya Taisha. Travel onto Kyoto and hear a short talk on "Kyoto art, culture and the Imperial City". Dinner will be at a traditional ‘nagaya’ town-house restaurant
  • 11 Nov (Wed) Kyoto: Visit Nijo Castle, the Golden Temple and explore Gion. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening experience Zen Meditation and an introduction to Zen at the Temple in the Myoshinji Complex Shojin. Haute cuisine dinner at Ajiro, a Michelin-starred restaurant next to Myoshinji
  • 12 Nov (Thurs) Kyoto: Visit Byōdō-in Temple. Afternoon at leisure or the option of taking part in the Philosopher's Walk. Continue to Fushimi Inari later in the afternoon and take part in the Tofukuji walk before enjoying an evening based around sake tastings
  • 13 Nov (Fri) Kyoto / Izu: Transfer to Sekigahara for a tour on the battle and the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. Continue to Inuyama Castle and hear a talk on Oda Nobunaga and Japanese Unification. Take the bullet train to Nagoya to Odawara and transfer to the Izu peninsula by bus. In the evening there is the option for onsen. Short talk: “Barbarians at the Gate”
  • 14 Nov (Sat) Izu / Hakone / Izu: Visit the Okada Museum of Art & Mt Fuji viewpoint before transferring by coach to walk along the old Tokaido Hakone Hachiri. Lunch at the famous Fujiya Hotel. Visit Izunokuni (Nirayama Reverbatory Furnace) en route back to the hotel before dinner at a local restaurant with craft beer tasting
  • 15 Nov (Sun) Izu / Shimoda / Kamakura / Tokyo: Visit Shoimoda and the Mikomoto Lighthouse (The Perry Heritage Treaty). Drive to Kamakura. See the great Buddha at Kotokuin and learn about the Minamoto Shogunate. Continue to Tokyo. Short talk: “Edo – early Tokyo”. Yakiniku Barbecue dinner at a restaurant with views over Tokyo Bay & the Rainbow Bridge
  • 16 Nov (Mon) Tokyo: Travel by subway to visit Zojoji Temple, Sangedatsumon Gate, Tokugawa Mausoleum and Museum. At Namamug learn of the Tokaido Incident and Anglo-Satsuma War See Yokohama Foreign Cemetery and see the British House. Talk “ Making modern Japan”
  • 17 Nov (Tues) Tokyo: Visit the Edo Museum. Continue on an art and architecture tour, visiting Harajuku and the Ota Ukiyoe Woodblock Print Museum and the Nezu Museum. Farewell dinner cruise in the evening in a chartered traditional yakatabune boat on Tokyo Bay
  • 18 Nov (Wed) Tokyo / Nagasaki: Depart for the airport

Extension to Nagasaki: 18 – 21 November 2020

  • 18 Nov (Wed) Tokyo / Nagasaki: Fly to Nagasaki. In the afternoon visit Gunkanjima OR Dejima Peace Park and the A-Bomb Museum
  • 19 Nov (Thurs) Nagasaki: Full day Hirado tour
  • 20 Nov (Fri) Nagasaki: Visit Glover Garden and the Mitsubishi shipyard (Glover and Jardeine Matherson Link). In the afternoon visit Gunkanjima OR Dejima Peace Park and the A-Bomb Museum
  • 21 Nov (Sat) Nagasaki: Depart for the airport

Tour cost


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