Shofukuji Zen Temple, Fukuoka
Shofukuji Zen Temple, Fukuoka

Archaeological Tours

Japan: Temples, Treasures & Traditions


Still relatively little-known to Western travelers – a legacy of an isolationist society virtually closed to the outside world until the 19th century – Japan’s archaeological heritage today yields an excitingly ‘different’ perspective on the complex mosaic of mankind’s early history. The country’s many state-of-the-art museums and government-sponsored excavations (including the huge Yoshinogari site dating back over 2,000 years) are testimony to the scale and diversity of Japan’s rich cultural inheritance.

On this Japan tour, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of Japanese culture. After an introductory visit to Tokyo’s world-class National Museum on Honshu island, we focus upon the archaeology of mountainous Kyushu (meaning ‘nine provinces’), most south-westerly and third largest of the country’s four main islands and the closest to continental Asia. Volcanoes, lush forests, beaches and hot springs provide a vivid backdrop to a journey of discovery throughout which the Japanese people’s ancient origins, their flamboyant traditions and enigmatic religions are expertly interpreted for you by our specialist tour leader.

From Shinto shrines and Zen Buddhist temples to ruined castles and restored Dutch houses, serene Japanese gardens to lively moonlit night markets, this is a fulfilling itinerary on which even the everyday can bring its own fascination and surprises. It also provides the bonus of springtime travel in perhaps the most beautiful of Japan’s seasons.

To experience even more of Japan’s colours, delights and sounds, add on an optional extension; Power and Spirituality in Nara and Kyoto, an extra 8 days to explore two or Japan’s historic and vibrant cities.

What's included?

  •  Expert Scholar & Tour Manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  Local Transport & private transfer to/from airport and group hotel
  •  Entries & Tips
  •  Ferry
  •  Regional Flights
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Four enlightening evening lectures from your expert scholar
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team

Tour highlights:

  • Visit Kyushu island’s beautiful ‘other-worldly’ forest temples and formidable medieval castles
  • Travel back to the Japan of bygone eras at expertly preserved and reconstructed archaeological sites like Yoshinogari – and Uenohara, whose recently-discovered pit dwellings may be nearly 10,000 years old
  • Savor the sounds, smells, and tastes of Fukuoka’s evening Yatai street market with its open-air food stalls and local delicacies
  • Learn how Japan first opened up to the outside world, viewing Dutch merchants’ houses and Chinese Buddhist temples
  • Explore authentic Samurai warriors’ houses in the Samurai district of Kitsuki

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