Optometry in Japan - 3 PLACES LEFT

19 - 31 Mar 2023
  • Medical & Professional Tours

About the tour

Gain real insight into optometry in Japan, while experiencing the culture, history and cuisine of this country during its beautiful cherry blossom season. This tour takes you to the heart of both historic and modern Japan while exploring Japanese approaches to optometry, which is at a different stage to optometry as practised in the UK, Australia and the US.

Optometry is still developing in Japan, with optometrists working in partnership with ophthalmologists. Japanese optical technologies are amongst the most advanced in the world and there are visits to the Hoya spectacle lens manufacturer, as well visits to an optical retailer utilising advanced AI. The tour also visits the Kikuchi College of Optometry and participants will meet with staff and students there.

Starting in the dynamic city of Tokyo, take a bullet train past Mount Fuji to Nagoya, the industrial heart of Japan. Travel into the Japanese Alps in the spring and walk along a, ancient trade route through stunning scenery before continuing to Matsumoto. Continue south through the Alps to the town of Sabae, the world’s most advanced manufacturer of glasses, also known for its flowers and blossom. Continue to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Park and Museum and cruise the Inland Sea. Finish in Kobe, with visits to the cultural centre of Kyoto and the culinary hub of Osaka.

Partners are very welcome.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, ​David Shannon

​David Shannon

David Shannon graduated from Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, Tennessee, as a Doctor of Optometry. He served for ten years on the board of the Association of Optometrists including as chair between 2010 and 2013. David consulted for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and trained practitioners across the UK. Until 2014 he worked in the family practice in London. David has led many successful optometry study tours for Jon Baines Tours.

Need more information?

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

  • Day 1: Tokyo (Sun 19 March)
    Arrive in Tokyo, a vast city encompassing a multitude of distinctive personalities. Transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a local dinner with the group.
  • Day 2: Tokyo (Mon, 20 March)
    Explore the long history of this metropolis. Wander through the historic Asakusa neighbourhood and visit the ancient Buddhist temple of Senso-ji. Visit the Tokyo Skytreee for stunning views of Tokyo. Cruise through canals to central Tokyo. Transfer to Ginza to explore this upmarket shopping district. Visit an upmarket optical practice with an uncompromising attitude to quality and a specialist optician known its use of AI and highly developed optical technologies. Welcome dinner in a local restaurant.
  • Day 3: Tokyo B (Tue, 21 March)
    Visit the Harajuku area, renowned for its colourful street art and fashion scene and the wood block print museum. Continue to Nezu Museum, home to a diverse collection of Japanese and Asian pre-modern art, as well as an exquisite garden. Explore Akihabara (the neon-lit electronics district) by night.
  • Day 4: Tokyo / Nagoya (Wed, 22 March)
    Take the bullet train past Mount Fuji to Nagoya. Visit a College of Optometry in Nagoya, meet with staff and students and learn about optometry education in Japan.
  • Day 5: Nagoya / Matsumoto (Thurs 23 March)
    Travel to Matsumoto by bus, following the ancient Nakasendo Road part of an ancient trade route that connected Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo). Walk along part of the wonderfully scenic actual route between the exquisitely-preserved villages of Magone and Tsumago. Arrive in Matsumoto in the late afternoon.
  • Day 6: Matsumoto Fri, 24 March
    Visit the Hoya spectacle lens manufacturing facility in Minowa, south of Matsumoto. Take part in a tour and meeting. Return to Matsumoto and explore the old town, including the Castle and Frog Street.
  • Day 7 Matsumoto / Sabae (Sat 25 March)
    Drive along the south of the Japan Alps to the charming town of Takayama and visit a sake brewery and the Hida Open Air Museum. After lunch, drive to Sabae, Japan’s most renowned eyeglass-manufacturing district. Sabae’s production volume is now ranked first in Japan and second largest worldwide, with the highest technology level in the world.
  • Day 8: Sabae / Hiroshima (Sun, 26 March)
  • Visit the Glasses Museum before enjoying the Japanese tradition of hanami in the famous cherry blossom viewing venue, Nishiyama Park. Take the train to Hiroshima, a city with a cataclysmic past that is today a powerful symbol for world peace. Arrive and transfer to the hotel.
  • Day 9 Hiroshima (Mon, 27 March)
    Visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum with its many poignant exhibits. Take a cruise on the Inland Sea past the vivid red Torii Shrine set in the water, denoting that the entire island of Miyajima is sacred. Explore the island, covered in virgin forest, as felling trees is forbidden on the island - as is giving birth or dying. Return to the hotel and at leisure.
  • Day 10: Hiroshima / Kobe (Tues 28 March)
    Take the train to Kobe. Check into the hotel. Visit the sake factory and Museum for tastings.
  • Day 11: Kobe / Kyoto / Kobe (Wed, 29 March)
    Take the train to Kyoto, Japan’s capital of high culture. Kyoto was the imperial capital between 794 and 1868 and with its hundreds of temples and gardens it remains the cultural centre of Japan. Visit the shimmering medieval Golden Pavilion, with its sensuously contoured temple roofs and Shinto shrines, and take a walking tour through its raked pebble gardens. Travel to Arashiyama and walk through the magnificent Arashiyama bamboo forest. Visit the Actors’ Garden and tea house. Return to Kobe late afternoon before an Optional Kobe Beef dinner.
  • Day 12: Kobe / Osaka / Kobe (Thurs, 30 March)
  • Visit Osaka and take part in a culinary walk in Namba District. Afternoon at leisure in Osaka and return to Kobe with option to take an onsen (traditional Japanese bath). Farewell dinner.
  • Day 13: Kobe (Fri, 31 March)
    Depart for airport.

Tour cost

The cost of the tour per person sharing is US $5,593. The cost of the tour with a room to yourself is US $6,545

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